In order for me to get into the right headspace for producing the confectionery issue, a trip down to the corner bodega was necessary for sweet treats. I scanned the shelves for the latest flavors in candies: Thai coconut chocolate, banana taffy, sour and fruity chews, English toffee chocolate, Mexican jalapeno peanut, mint and dark chocolate … and below the limited releases, I saw the tried and trues of my childhood: Almond Joy, Kit Kats, Snickers, Butterfingers, Sour Patch Kids, SweeTarts. It’s amazing to see how each of these originals spawned their own remixed versions throughout the years based on what us kids (and adult kids) were looking for.
And what are consumers looking for? A transparent indulgence: How many calories are in this piece of candy? What kind of ingredients are in it? Is it natural (page DM4)? Over the years, the flavor and confectionery industry have worked tirelessly to answer these questions on the label as clearly, honestly and concisely as they can. With health-conscious consumers seeking foods that do good for the body, the challenge remains in developing low/no calorie products without compromising sweet taste. So the search for sweeteners and sweet taste enhancers continues to be an area of major innovation for flavor developers.
This issue, we’re including a new angle to our editorial. For the first time, you’ll get to hear from the industry’s leading companies in our Industry Insights section (page 8). Each month will feature exclusive interviews with experts on a specific topic, which will then continue in our Digital Magazine. In case you missed it, we’ve been developing our digital magazine to be more interactive, educational and convenient than ever before. We’d love to hear your thoughts on how we’re doing.
In 2018, Halloween in the U.S. reached $9 billion in candy sales, and those numbers are expected to grow with more limited edition releases and unique flavor combinations and packaging. October is one of confectionery’s most popular months, and we’re also featuring a delightful story on the history of American Halloween and the evolving role of candy throughout the decades (page 24).
The October issue also features the final part of the four-part frankincense series on the future of sustainable Boswellia cultivation (page 44). Frankincense has been a part of the aromatherapy movement and the authors in each article of the series have painted a clearer picture of its cultural, geopolitical and sustainable impact and what the F&F industry can do to continue raising awareness for equality along the supply chain.
I hope you enjoy this (sweet) issue.
With warmth from Brooklyn,