“So Sprinkk is a product development company, we work with companies and help them write their formulas, so we're seeing the trends before they're hitting the market,” she says.
People are loving gummy – and a lot of it
With Halloween just around the corner, there has been a concern in the US about a possible shortage of candy, but Porter says that trends she picked up on in the summer are still going to be big this autumn.
“Gummy is one that continues to grow, it’s not slowing down so brands that are not in gummy now are expanding into gummy brands.
“I always wonder, like who's who’s eating all of these gummies? But people are loving gummy – and a lot of it.
“I did a poll on LinkedIn not that long ago of what are you eating? Most popular answer: Gummies. The majority is through nutraceuticals, at least of the people in my network that were pulled, as was gummy vitamins and supplements, but also just sharing gummy candy with your kids as a snack. Those were also players. So gummy definitely continues to grow.”
While at the Ferrara Candy Company as Head of Innovation and Technology, Porter’s team invented fan-favourite NERDS Gummy Clusters that recently won the 2022 Most Innovative Product Award in the Product of the Year (POY), the world's largest consumer-voted award. She also developed Black Forest Organic Gummies, the first certified USDA organic gummy that maintains the traditional gummy texture, along with many other tasty products.
Porter has also worked as a scientist co-op at The Hershey Company and consulted for a variety of small and mid-sized food and beverage companies. She serves on the Board of Directors for The Confectionery Foundation, is a 2019 NCA Future Leader, and is active on the American Association of Candy Technologists Education Committee.
She also uses her inside knowledge to track viral candy trends on platforms such as TikTok and Instagram.
“I often hear about TikToK trends from my clients who are calling me saying 'hey, this thing is about to take off or this thing is taking off – and how do we create something like slime lickers?'"
Products like slime lickers are part of a sour trend in candy, that just could be big this Halloween with US consumers.
- Listen to the full interview with Tessa Porter in our latest podcast.