Monthly Archives: August 2007

Twizzlers Pull & Peel Cherry

Under the Hershey’s umbrella since 1977, Twizzlers have been around since the beginning of the 20th century. People love licorice because it is fat free, tastes great, and is fun to chew on. In 1994, Hershey’s decided to take Twizzlers to the next level, letting customers interact with the product. Twizzlers Pull & Peel candies are a similar concept to fruit roll-ups, in that kids (and kid-like adults) love to take them apart and play with them as part of the eating process. You can unravel the strands and braid them, make jewelry out of them, or just slurp them up like a straw.

In cherry, watermelon, and other fruit flavors, Pull & Peel must be an acquired taste, because I just didn’t love them as much as the traditional licorice ropes. But then again, they don’t claim to be licorice just because they share the popular Twizzlers brand. The taste of the cherry ropes is similar to that of some type of cough syrup that’s trying to be appetizing but just doesn’t make it all the way there. It’s not an offensive taste—in fact, I’m sure some people out there love it. No matter what you think of the taste, you will most likely eat the whole bag because these Twizzlers are just so fun to chew. Wrap them around your finger or chomp on the entire licorice braid—There’s no wrong way to do it. One drawback—You’re not going to be able to chew off the ends and use this licorice rope like a straw, which is an oh-so-fun component to traditional Twizzlers.

My expert conclusion: This candy is a lot more fun to eat than its predecessor, Twizzler licorice ropes. But if you’re looking for the same classic taste, you won’t find that here. Pick the flavor that most appeals to you, and try it at least once. The “candy” part of your brain deserves to have some fun.

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Dark Chocolate M&M’s

“Name Something That Melts in Your Mouth, But Not in Your Hand.” The M&M brand has been around since 1941, and its corner on today’s candy market is substantial. The first chocolate candy that comes to mind for many—in fact, I think you’d find it as the Number One Answer if you were asked on Family Feud to name the best-selling chocolate candy.

Traditional M&M’s just got a little scarier. Popularized by an Addams Family advertising campaign, Dark Chocolate M&M’s are just another twist on the candy-coated chocolates the world has grown to love. Each colorful candy is printed with the famous, white-printed “m” logo with the word “dark” just below. The same candy crunch is there, but the chocolate is richer, darker, and more satisfying—just as dark chocolate fans would expect. Imagine eating a bag of candy-coated semisweet chocolate chips. That’s what you can expect in this product.

You can buy M&M’s pretty much anywhere candy is sold, but you may have to look a little harder for the dark chocolate variety. You can always get them online at

I bought a small bag at a gas station and expected to have the thing completely gone by the by the end of my commute home from work. Instead, I had some to share and a handful to save for later—and I felt completely satisfied of my chocolate craving. Not many milk chocolate products can attain such excellent results, but Dark M&M’s really knocked that craving out of the ballpark. The only complaint about these candies is that they seemed a bit small, though I’m sure they are the same size as normal M&M’s. It may be that I’m just spoiled on the peanut-filled ones.

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Necco Wafers Assorted

Does the “N” in NECCO stand for “Nostalgia?” Not technically—but maybe it should. The New England Confectionery Company (“Necco” for short) has been around since the 1840s and is one of the oldest thriving candy companies in the United States. Headquartered in Massachusetts, the company brings in annual sales up to $100 million. How do they do it? A large part of their product line focuses on holiday candies that everyone loves like Sweethearts conversation heart candies, as well as Halloween and Easter candies.

Necco Wafers are the nostalgia lover’s candy. Available in eight assorted flavors, these pastel-colored wafers are fat free. The flavors are the same today as they were in the days of yesteryear—orange, lemon, lime, clove, chocolate, cinnamon, licorice, and wintergreen. Made from the key ingredients of sugar, corn syrup, and gelatin, Necco Wafers last and last. Unlike other candy bars, one roll of wafers can take just under an hour to eat. Troops enjoyed Necco Wafers during World War II for their tastiness and durability. This is one reason Baby Boomers tend to remember Necco Wafers so favorably. If you don’t care for the taste, these little gems can double as poker chips. Some families have even used the wafers as a practice round for a child’s first communion!

If you want to join with a worldwide community of Necco consumers, you won’t be alone. The company claims to produce four billion wafers each year—enough to wrap around the world twice when placed edge to edge. With all this fanfare, I had to try Necco Wafers again as an adult and see if they were as tasty and “pretty” as I thought they were when I was a kid. Though I’m not wild about some of the flavors, citrus and chocolate varieties were tops on my list. The smooth, flat surface of the wafer (about the size of a half dollar) makes it perfect to enjoy anyplace at any time. A roll of Necco Wafers would make a great nostalgic treat for the Baby Boomer in your life.

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Reese’s NutRageous

Housed under parent company Hershey’s, the Reese’s brand is synonymous with peanut butter. The original Reese cup has been available since 1928—almost a century. H.B. Reese invented the popular chocolate shell with peanut butter filling. It has changed a great deal over the years with countless variations on the original. But the fame the Reese’s brand attained in the candy marketplace is due to this original success story: the peanut butter cup that changed the world.

How could the company branch out from their signature Reese’s Pieces and Peanut Butter Cup and tempt the public in new ways? Could they pack chocolate and peanut butter into a candy bar in a way that would be inventive enough and tasty enough to grab the public’s attention? Packing in fresh roasted peanuts seemed to be the ticket. But they didn’t stop there. Caramel and peanut butter round out the innards of the candy log. Milk chocolate coats the delicious invention. Wrap it all up in the classic orange-colored label with a bright blue nameplate, and you have NutRageous. Candy consumers have been buying up this bar since it was unleashed on the public in 1994. If you haven’t tried it–where have you been?

I love the NutRageous bar. It’s crunchy and truly satisfying, like a Snickers. In fact, I’d place it in line just behind Reese cups to meet my cravings for peanut buttery goodness. What makes this bar so all-the-rage? Definitely the rich peanut butter. You just can’t go wrong with peanut-creaminess and milk chocolate. In fact, I didn’t realize caramel was also one of the dominant ingredients until I read the packaging. If this candy-combo sounds up your alley, you’ll most likely buy NutRageous again and again. This is a genuine favorite candy bar of many connoisseurs, so you will be in good company if you find yourself adding the word “nutrageous” to your vocabulary—and your shopping list.

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Hershey S’mores

“Kum-Ba-Yah my Lord . . . Kum-Ba-Yah.” If you find yourself with the strange urge to sing campfire songs when you eat this candy, you won’t be alone. Hershey’s S’mores candy bar was born in 2003. The “snack size” 1.65-ounce treat is the one you’re most likely to find on display in grocery store aisles. The new candy bar was met with such success that a king-size bar rolled off production lines the next year.

Whatever size you choose, you’ll fine a new creation in Hershey’s S’mores. Unlike the traditional s’more eaten over a campfire, the graham cracker here is on the inside. Hershey’s chocolate gets wrapped around a layer of graham cracker bits topped with marshmallow. So bundle up in a sweater, cozy up by the fire, and rip open this candy bar! The ghost stories can wait until you’re done. And you don’t even need to nuke it in the microwave. Just to clarify, please don’t microwave this s’more, or you’ll find yourself with a big mess to clean up!

I think the Hershey’s S’mores bar offers enough variation from a plain chocolate bar to sell on the market. But marshmallow isn’t at the top of most consumers’ top tastes—probably right up there with coconut, which is a kind of love it or hate it flavor for most people. Graham cracker is a brilliant yet overlooked candy bar component—many more candy companies choose some type of wafer, nougat, or crisped rice for their chocolate complement. But it’s the combination of chocolate with these two unlikely ingredients—graham cracker and marshmallow—that makes this bar stand apart in the market. I’m prone to eating other s’mores flavored products, like Quaker Chewy Granola bars, but Hershey’s knows how to put out an even more tasty indulgence. Overcome the temptation to pick up your staple candy bar and give Hershey’s S’mores a shot.

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Willy Wonka Press Release 2

On July 25, the first-ever candy heist took place at Willy Wonka’s candy factory. The Oompa Loompas snuck out of the factory with Willy’s newest candy creations – SweeTARTS® Rope and SHOCKERS® Squeez – packing them up in the WonkaMobile, and taking them to kids in select cities. Kids can go online at to view security camera footage (attached) and read the Oompas first-ever travel blog. There kids will find “Oompa Clues,” which will reveal the places where the Oompas can be spotted.

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Caramello Bar

If Cadbury Eggs were sold year-round, all of our wallets would be in trouble. Strong seasonal sales have only encouraged England’s Cadbury corporation to release tasty temptations all year long. An expert in filled chocolates since the 1800s, Cadbury produces the United Kingdom’s current-best-selling chocolate, Cadbury Dairy Milk. In order to bring Cadbury over to the United States, Hershey’s gained the rights to make and sell Cadbury products nationwide. Americans picked up on the trend—they love Cadbury candies like the Royal Dark bar, Roasted Almond Bar, Fruit & Nut Bar, Crème Eggs, Caramel Eggs, and Caramello Bars.

The 1.6-ounce Caramello is a staple in many grocery and convenience store checkout aisles, and you can buy larger 4-ounce bars in movie theaters. Although each bar is filled with smooth, dripping caramel, each candy bar comes in sections (chocolate “pockets”) that are easy to break off and share without the filling oozing out. Though, once you sink your teeth into this delectable chocolate bar, sharing will probably be the last thing on your mind.

I’ve always loved Caramello bars, because there is really nothing like them outside of the Cadbury brand. The quality of chocolate is top notch. The caramel is so creamy and silky, and the bar has an undeniable melt-in-your-mouth quality. It’s like staring at uncharted lands or watching the ocean waves roll forward and backward. Eating this candy bar isn’t like going to the mall or going to a movie. It’s more rare and unique—like going on vacation. And you wouldn’t truly appreciate a vacation if you went all the time—right? It’s the same with a candy that you eat it all the time. Saving it for a special occasion makes it all the more special. Make Caramello bars your “vacation” candy—the one you eat to really get away from the “daily grind” and escape to a land of milk and cocoa.

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