Most Clicked NCA SmartBrief Stories

1. Hard candy trends: Functional ingredients, sour flavors

NCA SmartBrief | Apr 20, 2015

Demand for hard candy is on the rise, reaching more than $600 million in U.S. sales last year, and as consumer preferences swing toward healthier, functional ingredients, candy producers such as Primrose Candy are innovating recipes and approaches to offer natural, organic products with health benefits and clean labels. Another trend in hard candy is sour flavors, and manufacturers are finding new, unique ways to delight consumers with the ultimate lip-puckering experience. (04/17)

2. Cadbury launches $4.8M ad campaign for mid-morning snack product

NCA SmartBrief | Apr 20, 2015

As Cadbury enters the mid-morning snack market, the chocolatier has invested $4.8 million in the ad campaign for its new Dairy Milk Oat Crunch bar. The campaign, which debuted on Thursday, will be supported by outdoor, digital and experiential ads as well as public relations and encourages consumers to have an 11 a.m. snack. Drum (Glasgow, Scotland), The (04/17)

3. Cadbury releases limited edition chocolate bar with 7 flavors in U.K.

NCA SmartBrief | Apr 24, 2015

Cadbury has created a limited edition chocolate bar that incorporates seven different rows of flavors for release in the U.K. The company only made 50 of the bars and will run an online Twitter competition to hand them out. The bar includes caramel, fruit and nut, Turkish Delight, whole nut, Oreo, Daim bar and Cadbury Dairy Milk flavors. CNBC (04/23)

4. Mars Chocolate Drinks & Treats unveils new Mars Bar cake

NCA SmartBrief | Apr 23, 2015

Mars Chocolate Drinks & Treats has launched a new celebration cake that imitates its confectionery Mars Bar, featuring caramel and malted chocolate sponge cake separated by layers of buttercream and caramel, encased in a soft chocolate icing. The new product is a response to growth in the branded celebration cake category, which has seen a 13.1% increase, according to IRI, and the Mars Bar cake will continue to drive sales, says the company. (04/22)

5. Ferrero experiments with hazelnut shell-based packaging

NCA SmartBrief | Apr 22, 2015

Nutella producer Ferrero is experimenting with a new, recycled packaging that is made from hazelnut shells left from the production of its popular nut butter, making the chocolate company one of many major nut users to explore more environmentally friendly uses for its shell waste. The shells will be used in pulp as the middle layer of fiber in a hazelnut board, which looks and feels similar to cardboard, the company says. Half of the funding for this $1.29 million project is provided by the European Union. Guardian (London), The (04/21)

6. Santa Cruz Nutritionals takes functional gummies to the next level

NCA SmartBrief | Apr 22, 2015

Santa Cruz Nutritionals has seen a compounded annual growth rate of more than 30% over the past nine years, driven by a surge in demand for children’s gummi supplements, but also for adult gummies, which account for 7% of all adult dietary supplements. The company is also developing functional confections and experimenting with active ingredients, such as live cultures, as well as a formula for over-the-counter gummi medicines. (04/21)

7. Retailers stocking smaller, lesser known brands to appeal to millennials

NCA SmartBrief | Apr 20, 2015

New, lesser-known brands in the natural, gourmet and organic spaces are crossing into the mass market so quickly that in three to five years they could be generating revenues up to $500 million, according to Boulder Brands CEO Steve Hughes. Hughes said retailers such as Whole Foods are replacing lost sales of legacy products by stocking brands such as EVOL, Udi's Gluten Free and Earth Balance, which appeal to millennials. FoodNavigator (04/16)

8. Frito-Lay's 3 key strategies for keeping up with changing consumer habits

NCA SmartBrief | Apr 23, 2015

Increased urbanization, diversity and income inequality are significantly affecting food and beverage consumption in the U.S., according to Tom Greco, CEO of Frito-Lay North America's business unit. The company is banking on innovation, demand science and brand building to keep up with the shifting market. Frito-Lay has built on these ideas by working with Taco Bell to create Doritos and Fritos Locos Tacos and with its Do Us A Flavor contest, which invites consumers to invent flavors for Frito-Lay chips, Greco said. (04/22)

9. Scientists identify singular cocoa butter melting point gene

NCA SmartBrief | Apr 21, 2015

Researchers at Penn State University say they have located the single SAD gene, TcSAD1, which controls the melting point of cocoa butter. The manipulation of that gene could result in new and improved products in sectors ranging from the food industry to pharmaceuticals, as well as help plant geneticists create new varieties of cocoa plants that can tolerate a wider range of climates and soils, boosting yields and revenues, the scientists say. United Press International (04/20)

10. Convenience stores break records with $215B in 2014 sales

NCA SmartBrief | Apr 21, 2015

Convenience store operators in the U.S. had a record-breaking 2014, posting a 4.1% year-on-year gain for in-store sales to $214.9 billion, according to the National Association of Convenience Stores. Growth was driven by improved food service and merchandise, particularly a 10.6% rise in center-store sales, which include candy and snacks. (04/20)

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