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Confections

Cyber-Thingy Inks Master Distribution Agreement with Specialty Chocolate Company

Cyber-Thingy, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cyber Kiosk Solutions, Inc., has signed a master distribution agreement with specialty chocolate company MegaLoad.  The agreement gives Cyber complete control of MegaLoad’s website  for online sales and master distribution rights to all of its creative chocolate-based products.

Founded in 2010 and based in Hempstead, New York, MegaLoad is set to become one of most innovative chocolate brands in the world, according to Cyber-Thingy. The company is focused on creating unique, quality and delicious milk chocolate, peanut butter cup and caramel cup combinations with some of America’s favorite toppings. Its newest creation, the Sweet & Salty, is comprised of a milk chocolate peanut butter cup topped with a chocolate covered pretzel. Other popular treats include the Caramel Crunch, a milk chocolate-covered caramel-filled cup individually topped with peanut butter crunch, almond butter crunch, and milk chocolate minis, and the Original, a milk chocolate-covered peanut butter filled cup individually topped with milk chocolate minis, cream-filled sandwich cookie and chocolate chip cookie.

Cyber plans to initiate online sales of MegaLoad products through various large volume retail platforms such as Amazon, where it will set a 16 unit minimum. The company plans to use social media and SEO marketing to complement and drive traffic to retail sites.

On the distribution front, Cyber is focused on securing multiple large, specialty and independent distributors to carry the product and ensure its wide dispersion. Already, management has begun initiating contact with and sending samples to identified large distributors across the country, and expects to sign on multiple distributors in the forthcoming months.

Cyber Kiosk Solution’s Chief Operating Officer, Oren Manelis, commented, “We’re pleased to be afforded this opportunity to distribute such a unique, well-received chocolate product. I expect MegaLoad Chocolate to be the next big hit in the candy world due to its superior branding and great taste, and we will work hard alongside our future distributors to help make that happen.”

He added, “In addition to building our distributor network, we plan to create a flexible fundraising program for clubs, schools and sports teams nationwide to not only increase and diversify our revenue streams, but also and more importantly, to aid these groups in raising funds for their cause.  We look forward to updating our fans, followers and shareholders as more of these initiatives come to fruition.”

San Franciscans Show Off In New Scharffen Berger Campaign

Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker recently launched an out-of-home advertising campaign in San Francisco that uniquely ties to social media.  The campaign features everyday consumers as the stars, via 50 digital outdoor boards across the city.

Crafted from the world’s finest cacao, Scharffen Berger Chocolate includes incredible taste complexities and varietals from different parts of the globe.  The “Wonderfully Complicated” ad campaign illustrates that, just like the people who enjoy it, fine artisanal chocolate is anything but simple – and neither can be described with just one word.  They are both rich, multi-layered and complex.

“At Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker, we think it’s time that artisanal chocolate proudly stood up for its depth and unique flavors. Our fans are taste explorers, people with palates that crave adventure as much as comfort and ‘Wonderfully Complicated’ brings this to life,” said Bernie Banas, Vice President for Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker. “Tying the campaign to social media and featuring chocolate lovers in the ads allows us to make a direct connection with them, celebrating that we are both one of life’s great pleasures that are proudly, boldly and always wonderfully complicated.”

The campaign features various creative executions produced by local San Francisco advertising agency, Camp + King, that celebrate the “wonderfully complicated” make-up of the chocolate and the personalities of the people who eat it; with lines such as “I am dark, spicy and mysterious,” or “I am sweet, salty and a little nutty,” among others. It’s an homage to both the taste profile of the bars and also the people who eat them.

What makes it unique? In addition to the five professionally executed ads, a slew of additional creative will appear featuring the people of San Francisco around the city.

Anyone can participate. They simply need to take a selfie, add #wonderfullycomplicated and share it publicly on Instagram.  If chosen, their selfie – with a new headline made up of various adjectives – will pop up in rotation with the professionally executed creative on digital bus shelters around San Francisco and on Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker’s Facebook page, allowing consumers to turn selfies into a starring role in an advertising campaign.

According to research published by GlobalWebIndex in Jan. 2014, Instagram is the fastest growing social media site worldwide.  The social media channel also aligns with the brand’s target – an educated, well-traveled woman who enjoys an active social, cultural, foodie life with her friends and family.  Food is one of the most popular topics searched for and published on Instagram, and according to App Data, 68 percent of Instagram users are women.

Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker also recently added four new, rich and distinctive chocolate bars to their line of products, creating some wonderfully complicated flavors with on-trend exotic ingredients.  The four new bars include:  72% Cacao Signature Dark Chocolate, 33% Cacao Smooth Milk Chocolate, 72% Cacao Dark Chocolate with Pistachios and Sea Salt and 33% Cacao Milk Chocolate with Toasted Coconut and Macadamia.

The four new Scharffen Berger chocolate bars are sold throughout the Bay area.  For more information, visit www.ScharffenBerger.com or follow the brand on Facebook or Instagram.

Red Rocker Candy

If you’re a fan of snack mixes based on breakfast cereals and pretzels, but you’ve been thinking that snack mix just doesn’t seem decadent enough to serve your friends at your next party, Red Rocker Candy has a thought for you. Rocking Chair Mix is the company’s crunchy mix of cereals, pretzels and roasted almonds, all covered in white chocolate. Or, as one of my colleagues put it, “It’s not that unsatisfying yogurt coating.”

The letter that Jennifer Monges, a Manager at Red Rocker Candy, enclosed with the samples she sent our way says that the Rocking Chair Mix is often described as addictive, and Kitchenware News Associate Editor Amber Gallegos, the colleague who appreciated the white chocolate coating agrees. “Yeah, oh yeah,” she says. “Pretty bombalicious.” Rocking Chair Mix is offered in 7-ounce and 21-ounce cans.

Red Rocker Candy also offers Peppermint Bark from October through December. It’s a seasonal favorite that’s a feast for the eyes with white chocolate swirls and crushed peppermint candy on dark chocolate. The bark is sold in 8-ounce and 16-ounce boxes.

Cashew Toffee with White Chocolate is a classical buttery toffee topped with white chocolate and cashew bits. The company also offers Peanut Brittle and Pecan Brittle and promises that Pistachio Brittle will be available at the end of the year. The Cashew Toffee is offered in an 8-ounce bag and 16-ounce box. The brittles are offered in 8-ounce bags. Peanut Brittle also comes in a 16-ounce box, and Pecan Brittle comes in a 14-ounce box.

Red Rocker Candy was founded in 2002 and is based in Troy, Virginia. For more information, visit www.redrockercandy.com.

 

– Lorrie Baumann

 

Torie & Howard Expands National Distribution

Retail penetration of Torie & Howard’s organic, non GMO and kosher certified hard candy continues to expand nationally with placements in large specialty and other retail chains.

Torie & Howard JulyAll four flavors of Torie & Howard’s candy in 2-ounce recyclable steel tins now have been placed in Tony’s Finer Food and Angelo Caputo’s Fresh Market in Illinois, Acme Fresh Markets in Ohio, and Coborn’s in Minnesota through KeHE Distributors of Romeoville, Ill., said Torie Burke, company co-founder.  The tins also are in nine Roth’s Fresh Markets in Oregon through Crown Pacific Fine Foods of Kent, Wash.

In addition, the organic hard candy now is available in 200 Follett College Bookstores nationally, also through KeHE, and in Von Maur department stores in the Midwest as a direct sale, Burke said.

Torie & Howard organic hard candy flavors are California Pomegranate and Sweet Freestone Nectarine, Italian Tarocco Blood Orange & Wildflower Honey, D’Anjou Pear & Ceylon Cinnamon, and Pink Grapefruit & Tupelo Honey, which was named a sofi™ Award Finalist.  The company also recently introduced a new flavor, Meyer Lemon & Raspberry, which will be available for shipment in early fall.  All of the candy is USDA organic and kosher certified and contains no GMOs, preservatives, artificial dyes, casein, soy or gluten, Burke said.

The tins have a suggested retail price of $3.99 to $4.99 and are available eight per case with 12 cases to a master case.  The four original flavors also are sold in bulk and are available in a handbag gift package with a suggested retail price of $7.99 to $8.99.  More information is available by calling 1-888-826-9554 or online at www.TorieAndHoward.com.

Mrs. Prindable’s Gourmet Caramel Apples

Mrs. Prindable’s hand-selects extra-fancy apples based on crispiness, juiciness, and size. The Gourmet Jumbo Apples are an impressive 4.5 inches tall and 1.5 pounds. These enormous apples are available in eleven flavors and serve up to 10 people. While smaller than the Jumbo Apples, the Petite Apples are still sizeable at 3.5 inches tall and half a pound. These beauties are available in seven flavors and serve one or two people.

applesEach orchard-fresh premium apple is dipped by hand in creamy, smooth caramel cooked that same day. Then, depending on the flavor chosen, the apple is hand-rolled in the finest nuts and toppings. Gourmet caramel apples ordered from Mrs. Prindable’s are made to order to ensure freshness and are delivered without delay.

Natural Caramels combine the creamy caramel Mrs. Prindable’s is famous for with exotic flavor combinations to deliver a uniquely delicious bite-size indulgence. Each decadent treat offers a sophisticated visual experience in addition to satisfying caramel and chocolate cravings.

Irish Chocolatier Draws Attention to African Fairtrade Chocolate

A Canadian chocolatier has made a big splash in Ireland and Ghana in recent months with her plans to open the first Fairtrade bean-to-bar factory in Ireland.

Allison Roberts, now a resident in Clonakilty, Ireland, started her first chocolate business at age 12 in King City, Ontario, Canada.  In 2014 she was awarded a trip to Ghana as a Fairtrade representative and has since been on a mission to draw attention to, and create more business for Fairtrade cooperative farmers in GhanaWest Africa.

”The impact of Fairtrade in these rural communities is remarkable, we’re talking about the basics – introduction of water facilities, toilet blocks and schools,” Roberts explains. ”Fairtrade also provides education for farmers around crop rotation and safety and the Fairtrade premium nurtures the development of other industries such as batik or palm oil production in these areas of high unemployment.  One of the major problems with the chocolate industry is widespread child-slavery,” she continues. ”Fairtrade means farmers get a fair price for their crops, ensuring no child is ever taken from their family or forced to give up education.”

Roberts has been running her business, Clonakilty Chocolate, for six years and is now the process of buying her first set of manufacturing machines with the ultimate goal to reproduce her Irish factory in Ghana so that Ghanian farmers are able to add value to their products.  ”This is all part of a much bigger issue; there is an urgent need for a greater understanding around the impacts of food choices in the West. Large corporate control in the industry means we’re often not shown the reality behind the products we consume,” she said.

For more information and to watch videos from Ireland and Ghana visit www.clonakiltychocolate.com.

Moonstruck Chocolate Introduces Fall Confections Collection

Moonstruck Chocolate Co. welcomes fall with new collections inspired by warm autumn hues and rich flavors. Whether preparing for ghoulish Halloween festivities, a resplendent Thanksgiving table or simply celebrating the changing seasons, including handcrafted Moonstruck Chocolates in the mix steeps the senses in quintessential autumn experiences.

“With the changing of the seasons, we look to the bounty of the Northwest and highlight the flavors that are prevalent in markets, on kitchen tables, and at favorite local restaurants and watering holes,” explains Julian Rose, Master Chocolatier for Moonstruck. “Our fall collections feature spicy, nutty and syrupy notes that conjure memories of old favorites like pumpkin and pecan pies and gingerbread, but we think chocolate lovers also will find new favorites to enjoy.”

Pumpkin Patch Collection

moonstruck pumpkinIdeal for an autumn gift bag or place setting, the four-piece Pumpkin Patch Collection offers perfectly molded pumpkins that look almost too good to eat. Filled with velvety pumpkin spice milk chocolate and dark chocolate ganache and enrobed in ivory chocolate tinted naturally with orange, the pumpkins are hand-finished and two are dusted with sugar for a sparkly, textured delight. Suggested retail price is $10.

Monster Mash Collection

moonlightmonsterThis frightfully fabulous collection features the artistry of Chef Rose, who hand-carved the clay originals from which confection molds were cast. It’s no trick; each treat is decorated by hand, and no two monsters are exactly alike. Familiar combinations are captured in milk and ivory chocolate shells, including caramelized tones in the Crème Brulèe Werewolf Truffle, nutty goodness in the Peanut Butter Ghost Truffle, deep citrus in the Blood Orange Devil Truffle, and crunchy Oregon hazelnuts and popping candy in the Popping Praline Mummy Truffle. Suggested retail price is $10.

Spooky Spider Collection

moonlightspookyMoonstruck’s classic bow-tied truffles get a creepy crawly makeover as Creepy Orange Spider Truffles and Milk Chocolate Spider Truffles. The collection includes three truffles draped with orange spiders guarding a rich, extra-bittersweet dark chocolate ganache within. Two milk chocolate ganache truffles are embellish with foreboding dark chocolate spiders. Suggested retail price is $10.

Flavors of Fall Collection

Capture the best flavors of fall with this six-piece collection, released just in time to lend warmth and comfort to cooler autumn days. Stunning seasonal motifs of foliage, nuts and pies hint at the unique combinations within. The popular confections include a Maple Walnut Mousse Truffle, Pfeffernüsse Spice Truffle, Pumpkin Pie Truffle, Pecan Pie Truffle, Harvest Almond Praline and Plantation Molasses Caramel. Suggested retail price is $13.50.

New Milk Chocolate Tumbled Gingerbread Hazelnuts

Oregon hazelnuts get an extra kick from gingerbread spices before being tumbled with layer upon layer of premium chocolate. These small bites pack big and complex flavor, revealing notes of ginger and cinnamon followed by a toasty crunch under signature milk chocolate. Suggested retail price is $5.

Special Treats and Wrapped Collections

For a hauntingly sweet gesture, give Moonstruck’s 10-piece Haunted House Collection. Boxed in a chilling coffin-shaped haunted house, the collection includes one of each of Moonstruck’s Halloween-themed truffles, including all four Monster Mash truffles, both pumpkin truffles, both spider truffles, as well as a Frankenstein Toffee Truffle and an Extra-Bittersweet Black Cat Truffle. Suggested retail price is $25.

With fall comes the great pumpkin, and Moonstruck offers two. Satisfy chocolate and peanut butter cravings with a Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Crispy Pumpkin, or take a walk on the dark side with a Dark Chocolate Rocky Road Pumpkin. At 110 grams a piece, pumpkins are available for a suggested price of $7.50.

Moonstruck offers its signature truffles specially wrapped in seasonally-inspired paper ideal for any gift-giving occasion. The suggested retail price is $20 for the nine-piece collection and $35 for the 16-piece box.

Finally, now is the time to find Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Almond Bark. A superb balance of sweet and salty, this decadent dark chocolate incorporates roasted almonds and Maldon sea salt flakes for a satisfying crunch. Available in one-pound boxes for a suggested price of $25.            

Moonstruck Chocolate’s autumn collections are available online at www.moonstruckchocolate.com, at select national retailers, in four Moonstruck Chocolate Cafés in Oregon and at the St. John’s store in North Portland. For more information, call 800.557.6666.

nibmor Offering Ethically-Sourced Chocolate at #SFFS14

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By Lorrie Baumann

Jessie Osias is serving Mint and 6 Spice Drinking Chocolates at nibmor’s booth #4475 at the Summer Fancy Food Show. This is nibmor’s debut at the Fancy Food Show, although the company, headquartered in New York, has been around for five years now. Both of the drinking chocolates that are being served in the booth are made with cashew milk. “Everything is vegan, so we stick to a nondairy milk,” Osias commented.

All of nibmor’s chocolate products are ethically sources, certified either by Rainforest Alliance or Fair Trade. The company is currently planning for a fall release of a 6 Spice bar, which is dark chocolate with 72 percent cacao. The 2.2-ounce bar will retail for about $3.99. At the same time, nibmor will release a Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Bar with 80 percent cacao. This will also be a 2.2-ounce bar to retail for $3.99.

nibmor is also planning a new All-Natural Superfruit line of chocolate bars intended to offer a healthier confection option to the mainstream grocery market. “We’re trying to meet the consumer where they are,” Osias says. The line is tentatively scheduled to launch at the end of this year. “At this point, it’s still being discussed,” says Osias.

Brittles are Hot at Hammond’s Candies #SFFS14

By Lorrie Baumann

The folks at Hammond’s Candies (in booth #3930 at the Summer Fancy Food Show) are delighted at the market’s reception of its new Cotton Candy, which launched in March and exceeded market projections for the entire year by the end of April, according to Hammond’s CEO Andrew Schuman.

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The Hammond’s Cotton Candy is the brainchild of Vice President Andrew Whisler.

The Hammond’s Cotton Candy is offered in Classic and Peppermint as well as a couple of other seasonal varieties, and Schuman is predicting that the peppermint flavor, which is made from crushed Hammond’s candy canes, is going to be a strong seller during this holiday season. Shipping of the product is in hiatus during the summer, but once the weather is a little cooler this fall, Hammond’s Cotton Candy will be available again. Schuman recommends ordering in September so you can offer it for sale to customers during the fall and holiday season.

The Hammond’s Cotton Candy is packaged in plastic bags to hang from a tree, and it retails for $2.99.

Also coming this fall is the Hammond’s Popcorn line, which will be relaunched in August, says Andrew Whisler, Hammond’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing. It’s coming in a newly designed bag with a much more attractive retail price point that should appeal to customers. Flavors include Caramel, Chocolate Caramel, Cinnamon Toast, Mango Habanero and Honey Peanut, as well as Chicago-style, which Whisler says is half caramel and half cheese popcorn. “It is so good, especially in combination,” he says. The popcorn retails for $3.99 to $4.99.

And new in the Hammond’s booth at the Summer Fancy Food Show are the Hammond’s Brittle Crisps. These are nut brittle confections that are a little thinner and a little crispier than the traditional brittle, and they’re infused with adventurous new flavors like Jalapeno Lime. There’s a Cashew & Cayenne Brittle for the folks who like sweet heat and a Sea Salt & Caramel Brittle for the folks who are fond of the sweet and salty taste. They’re packaged in 9-ounce bags to retail for $3.99 to $4.99, and they’re available to ship.. “They’re going to do real well,” Whisler says. “The price point is really nice on them.”

Buddy Squirrel Offering All-Natural Honey Bite Samples at #SFFS14

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By Lorrie Baumann

Buddy Squirrel is introducing a new line of All-Natural Honey Bites in booth #1160 at this year’s Summer Fancy Food Show. The line is made with real Wisconsin honey, which eliminates the need for any artificial preservatives, and no artificial flavors or additives are used. Each of the bite-size snacks comes in around 80 calories.

There are three varieties: Cinnamon Coconut Almond, Cranberry Peanut Butter, and Pistachio Cashew, all made with premium nuts and packaged in cups that will fit into car cupholders for snacks on the go. Each 3.6 ounce cup contains a single variety of the bites and retails for about $6, and there’s also a 7.2-ounce cup with a variety assortment that retails for about $10, says Buddy Squirrel Marketing Coordinator Emily Zager.

The cups are sealed to maintain freshness, which gives them a shelf life of about six to eight months, and the bite-size treats are individually wrapped as well, so they’d be great for school lunch boxes or for tucking into the kids’ bags for summer camp. “It’s really designed for people on the go,” Zager says.