Like many industries, the world of confections is subject to changing trends. Most consumers likely have a personal favorite that they return to again and again, be it Snickers, Kit Kat, Starburst, or Hershey bars.
However, variety being the spice of life, many are also keen to try something new once in a while, especially on occasions like holidays.
The recent Sweets & Snacks Expo predicted some interesting trends for the year, including an emphasis on "newstalgia,” or new takes on old favorites. While the clever portmanteau is relatively new, the concept is not, and already, several companies have come up with fresh twists on the classics for Halloween.
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups – Halloween Editions
As in years past, Reese’s will revamp their popular peanut butter cups in Halloween style. Their peanut butter pumpkins deliver the same classic flavor combo consumers love but with a cosmetic makeover featuring a pumpkin shape and jack-o-lantern cutouts.
Franken-Cups, on the other hand, keep the classic flavor and round shape with corrugated edges, but the bottom half of the cup is rendered in green creme. Packaging also features a Halloween theme.
M&M’s Cookies & Screeem
It’s not just the candy coating on these M&M’s that gets the Halloween treatment, with black, white, and orange outer shells. The innards are also transformed into a cookies and cream filling, rather than standard milk chocolate.
As always, Mars sets the bar for pushing the envelope on holiday-themed flavors. Other Halloween iterations have included pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice, candy corn, Cocoa Crisp, Boo-tterscotch, and more.
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Twix Salted Caramel
With a crunchy shortbread cookie base, gooey caramel innards, and a milk chocolate coating, Twix is already a shoo-in for favored status due to the combination of complementary flavors and textures.
For 2022, Mars didn’t stray far from the script, simply updating the classic with a salted caramel for a sweet-salty flavor combo that can’t be beaten.
Kit Kat Witch’s Brew
Like some others, this holiday twist plays it relatively safe with little more than updated packaging and plain marshmallow creme coating instead of milk chocolate, missing an opportunity to introduce a fun new flavor.
It shouldn’t be much of a surprise, though, considering the expected limitations of a western palate. While the Matcha Green Tea Kit Kat, for example, plays well with a Japanese audience, it’s not a popular flavor profile in the U.S.
The pandemic saw an uptick in demand for intense flavor profiles, from hot and exotic spices to indulgent sweets. The Wrigley Company offers their own take this Halloween with insanely sour candies in flavors like citrus scream, ghoulish green apple, rattled raspberry, shocking lime, and spine-tingling tangerine.
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No one really knows why candy corn has remained a Halloween staple. Perhaps it’s the attractive color block design, the distinctive shape, or the fact that it’s supposed to mimic the largest production crop in the U.S.
The fact that it tastes like pure sugar and has the mouthfeel of a candle are dubious advantages, so nostalgia is likely a major factor. The long and short of it is that this iconic Halloween candy is a hallmark of the fall season.
It’s hard to say if this classic can be improved upon, but American Licorice Company decided to give it a try with Candy Corn flavor Red Vines, featuring orange-colored twists. Reviewers liken the flavor to burnt sugar. Brach’s also makes a Caramel Apple Candy Corn, pairing two fall harvest classics into one appealing confection.
While we have yet to see any s’mores flavors announced specifically for Halloween, this is the flavor profile predicted to take the confectionary world by storm as the year progresses, according to the Sweets & Snacks Expo.
Brach’s has already re-released their S’mores Candy Corn well before the fall holiday season – perhaps because s’mores are seen as more of a summer treat. It remains to be seen if anyone else throws their hat in the ring for Halloween.
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