The skinny on trendy sweets:
Candy crazes for Halloween
October 22, 1999
By Cathryn Meurer
ATLANTA (CNN) -- Don't expect apples in the Halloween loot bag this year. For 1999, trendy confections rule -- gummi burgers, Mega Warheads sour candies, Atomic Fireballs, bloodshot "Eyes of Terror" gumballs and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" lollipops which paint your trick-or-treater's tongue red.
The sheer number of different candies available this year would make a concerned parent's eyeballs bug out, and perhaps leave him or her salivating for a sweet sample. So it's probably no surprise that American consumption of candy has jumped to an all time high of 26.7 pounds per person.
Everything gummi: burgers, brains, spaceheads ...
Stick-to-your teeth gummi candy is hardly new, but ingenious and gross shapes are expected to be big kid-pleasers this year. Early on, gummi burgers have been a huge hit at Wal-Mart's 2,473 stores around the United States, where company spokesman John Bigio says children generally make the calls on family candy purchases.
"Gummi tarantulas and spiders are flying off the shelves," confirmed Chris Pratt, of The Candy Warehouse, a bustling Internet candy outlet store. Other gummi variations in stock at The Candy Warehouse: gummi brains, giant brains, teeth, broken fingers, rats, rattlers and spaceheads, cute alien creatures guaranteed to "abduct your tastebuds."
Not just for kids
"Halloween has become a major adult holiday," said Terri Kaminski, who helps track candy tonnage for the National Confectioners and Chocolate Manufacturers Associations. They expect $1.8 billion in candy sales this year, a healthy chunk of it served up at adult costume parties.
For the more sophisticated sweet tooth, Godiva offers milk chocolates in a pumpkin shape, as well as "Pumpkin Patch Truffles," pumpkin-flavored chocolates dusted with cinnamon sugar and elegantly wrapped in foil. Russell Stover has also made a grown-up childhood treat with peanut butter and raspberry jam cups covered in milk chocolate in single-serving size.
Test tubes and other weird candies
For those who prefer unusual, weird, and gross candy, the 1999 options are dazzling. Consider "Crave," a super-sour powdered candy in simulated scientific test tubes - few are "tough enough to maintain a non-puckering face with a sprinkle of this sour powder on their tongues."
And, little boys take note, Monster Mouth Candy Tongues will gross out the whole neighborhood. This crossover toy/candy is a toothy plastic monster mouth, and with a retractable tongue-shaped lollipop. It's "a toy they can play with after the candy's gone," says Pratt at The Candy Warehouse.
The old Halloween standbys, candy corn and "fun-size" chocolate candy bars remain very popular. Approximately 20 million pounds of candy corn are produced each year, and last year, the snack-size chocolate bars were among the top selling candies for Halloween.
The many single-serving foods now available in stores can provide alternative treats for Halloween. Parents may want to consider individually wrapped crackers, bags of pretzels, boxes of raisins and small cereal boxes.
"Even if you give out [Honey] Smacks, in addition to the sugar, you're going to be getting vitamins and minerals, as well," says Jeannette Jordan, a registered dietitian for The Medical Center of South Carolina.
"Particularly the ones that are high in fiber, they would give kids a sense of satiety," Jordan added.
And small toys, such as baseball trading cards, stickers, children's tattoos and plastic spider rings, are also appropriate.
But don't bother dropping apples in a trick-or-treater's plastic bucket. While they are a long Halloween tradition dating back to Roman times, they cannot be adequately inspected for signs of tampering.
Which faces are hot this Halloween?
National Confectioners and Chocolate Manufacturers Associations
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