A Party Store Owners View of the Chicago Candy Show
This week I went to McCormick Place for the annual National Sweets & Snacks Expo. What a fun and filling day!! An entire day’s worth of aisles and aisles of new and mostly tasty candy and snacks. Every vendor sampling their new treats. We tried at least 20 kinds of chocolate, 10 kinds of popcorn, 8-10 kinds of beef jerky, and assorted hard candies, cookies, cupcakes, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds. Taffy, lollipops, gummy bears, gumballs, licorice and then more of the same. By noon, we only took samples that looked REALLY good. By 1 p.m. we were waiving off all samples unless they were wrapped and we could take them home. You see they give everyone a paper tote bag which you can fill like a coal car and take back to your store. So, if you want to try something good, or maybe just weird, come buy and grab a sample—no charge. The big trend in candy seems to be gluten free. In snacks-Spicy. All kinds of spicy popcorn, jerky, chips, even Buffalo Wing sunflower seeds. Most interesting and new: chocolate maple bacon flavored lollipops, draft beer flavored Jelly Bellys, spicy avocado corn chips, and a little wind-up dog that poops tiny gumballs. My favorite new taste: Jelly Belly cake bites - miniature petite fours of layered cake in Jelly Belly flavors with one jelly bean on top. I want one now. We ordered rock candy on a stick, lollipops, ring pops, chocolate turkeys for Thanksgiving and a whole new display of bags of Jelly Bellys. Visit our party store in Glenview to see the new candy selection! I’m going to go lie down!