Interview by Jesse Osborne, Editor
Q. What are some of the emerging
trends in candy/confections?
A. From quinoa to kale and from chia
to chai, the candy and snack categories are
no exception when it comes to the influence
of the ancient grains, seeds and super food
movements. According to IRI Worldwide,
53 percent of consumers try to eat foods
that help prevent or manage health chal-
lenges and 45 percent seek snacks that offer
benefits beyond basic nutrition. The candy
industry is featuring an influx of products
with pumpkin seeds, chick peas, pomegran-
ate, seaweed, sesame, parsnips and even
peabutter (a spread made from brown peas).
Peabutter might be a radical new concept
for most Americans, but they are sure to be
better acquainted with its distant cousin,
peanut butter, which is popping up alongside other beloved ingredients like bacon,
marshmallow fluff and banana. Coconut is
also experiencing resurgence in popularity
in sweet, salty, savory, chocolate and gourmet products. Other comeback kids include
almonds, cashews and chocolate with hazelnuts — the latter of which grew an impressive 16 percent in sales in 2013. Caramels
are also making a comeback in a big way
— both on their own and as an inclusion in
As taste palates and demographics continue to shift, candy manufacturers are increasingly adding more flavorful and exotic
herbs and spices, including red chili, ginger,
wasabi, seasalt, cracked pepper and garlic.
Similarly, Tabasco is popping up in a variety
of products, often paired with chocolate.
Truffle oil, imported salts and browned
with Larry Wilson, Vice President Customer Relations,
National Confectioners Association
Food Manufacturing spoke with Larry Wilson of the National Confectioners Association about
trends and topics in the candy and confections sector of the food manufacturing industry.