CHICAGO — Pucker up. New products from leading players in the confectionery market are tart, tangy and targeted to younger consumers, who have shown an appreciation for sour foods and candy.
Sour was a prominent theme of innovation unveiled at the Sweets & Snacks Expo, held May 19-21 in Chicago, but perhaps no company is embracing the trend more than Wrigley, a subsidiary of Mars, Inc., which declared 2016 “the year of the sours.” The company, which is set to introduce a spate of new sour candies and gums, said dollar sales for sour gum grew ten-fold in 2014, and that sour gum is a key driver with younger consumers and is associated with more dollars per basket. Sour gum purchasers are 50% more likely to have children younger than 18 in the household compared to the total gum category, Wrigley said.
The lineup of launches from Wrigley includes Extra Sour Green Apple gum, Juicy Fruit Sour Green Apple gum, Juicy Fruit Bubble Gum Sour Watermelon and 5 Flood Sour Strawberry gum. On the candy side, sour offerings include Skittles Sweets & Sours candies and Starburst Sweets & Sours chews, both of which combine classic sweet flavors with sour varieties.
Wrigley isn’t the only company taking sour for a spin. A new variety of gum from Mondel?z International is Stride Sour Patch Watermelon, and a new candy product from Nestle USA is SweeTarts Chewy Sours, which are soft, coated candies that are made without artificial flavors or colors, according to a spokesperson for the company.
From Just Born Confections, there’s Mike and Ike Zours, featuring such flavors as sour lemon, sour green apple, sour watermelon, sour blue raspberry and sour cherry.
And new Airheads Soft Filled Bites from Perfetti Van Melle USA Inc. are soft and chewy candies in six “sweetly sour” flavors.
But sour wasn’t the only tastemaker at the show. Plenty of sweet, spicy and salty snacks debuted, too.Click for a slideshow of new products.