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Consumers seeking new varieties and flavors in candy, and manufacturers are providing it

Shelby Report Beverage Candy Snacks Feature

M&M’S® Pretzel Chocolate Candies were named the 2011 Product of the Year in the candy and snacks ­category by Product of the Year USA.

“This award is especially gratifying because it was decided by consumers,” Debra A. Sandler, CCO of MMMars Chocolate North America, said in a press release. “We felt confident that the delicious combination of salty and sweet was a winner, but this award solidifies that M&M’S Pretzel are truly irresistible.”

The Product of the Year awards are conducted in 28 ­countries and are the world’s largest consumer-voted program for consumer-packaged goods.

Finalists were judged on four key elements: appeal of ­innovation, usage, satisfaction and purchase intent.

M&M’S Pretzel was selected winner of the Candy & Snacks category by securing high marks across the board, particularly in satisfaction. Many consumers cited the delicious combination of salty and sweet flavors as a key attribute, combined with the fact that the snack contains 30 percent less fat, on average, than other chocolate snacks, the report said.

Shelby Report Beverage Candy Snacks FeatureAnother Mars product line, Snickers, released a new candy in December—the Snickers Brand Peanut Butter Squared. The new singles pack has two square-shaped bars in a small size but big taste for candy lovers.

The new bar is the top-testing new candy bar launch for Mars in the last three years. Of course, there is a comprehensive marketing campaign to go along with the launch.

Shelby Report Beverage Candy Snacks FeatureThe popular Mars candies share retail space with ­thousands of other candy favorites. Recently, dark chocolate has been a more dominant flavor and ingredient, featured in the new Dark Chocolate Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and the brand new release of Dove, Raspberry & Dark Chocolate Swirl. (Dove White & Milk Chocolate Swirl also was unveiled.)

According to Dove, “Research shows that consumers are looking for new varieties and flavors as part of their ­snacking experience.”

Both the Dove White & Milk Chocolate Swirl and the Raspberry & Dark Chocolate Swirl is available in large bar and in bite size.

To appeal to an entirely new consumer group, Tootsie Roll Industries Inc., one of the country’s largest candy ­companies, has modified many of its brands to become kosher.

Junior Mints, Blow Pops, Tootsie Roll Pops, Caramel Apple Pops, Charms, Sugar Daddy and Sugar Babies all have become kosher-certified by the Orthodox Union (OU), according to a press release.

New packaging bearing the “OU” symbol will be ­distributed nationwide beginning in the next few months.

In the fall of 2009, Tootsie Roll announced that Tootsie Rolls, Tootsie Fruit Rolls, Frooties and DOTS had garnered kosher certification. Charleston Chew, Cella’s chocolate ­covered cherries, Andes, Razzles, Fluffy Stuff, Dubble Bubble and Nik-L-Nip have been certified for many years.

“We take great pride in producing wholesome confectionery products with fresh ingredients of the highest quality. This will bring even more of our iconic brands to an entirely new consumer base that can now enjoy our products,” said Ellen Gordon, president of Tootsie Roll Industries.

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