Sweet. The Candy Expo Is Back

Candymakers offer innovative treats and new flavors

Every year, the All Candy Expo turns Chicago's McCormick Place into a sweet fantasyland that could rival that of the factory in the Willy Wonka film.

And every year we pout as we realize it's not open to the public.

For three days, candymakers offer new sweet ideas and super-sour treats that they hope consumers will snatch up with enthusiasm.

A few new ideas for cookies include Color-a-Cookie, a shortbread cookie covered in white frosting that comes with four food-coloring pens, and Bunny Chew, nugget-shaped cookies that look like rabbit food.

If you need help chewing those sweets, try Bubbagum Candy Teeth. The edible pearly whites come in rabbit, vampire, and biker style.

For grown-ups, wine has often been paired with food, but now it's found a partner in chocolate as well. Sweet Candy Co. has created Chocolate Wine Sticks made with wine reductions. Also, from Infused-Sun Products, Intoxi-Tators are alcohol-flavored potato chips, mimicking "Bloody Mary"s, margaritas, and beer. (There's even a plain salted chip for the "Designated Driver.")

Old classics are in the mix as well, updating their look and trying out new flavors. Jelly Belly is introducing a Superfruits Mix that contains acai berry and cranberry flavors. Reese's will offer a dark chocolate version of their iconic peanut butter cup, and Twizzlers is experimenting with sour flavors in combination with their sweet strips. M&M's have had success with their peanut butter variety, but candy fans can expect to see a new peanut-butter-and-jelly combo flavor.

And if all the chocolate at the Candy Expo doesn't pack enough of a punch, Lindt will launch a 90-percent cocoa bar in June.

Many of the treats featured are expected to hit shelves later this year.


Matt Bartosik, editor of Off the Rocks' next issue, enjoys sour candies just as much as sweet ones.

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