Back in August of last year, I received a call from my mother asking if I’d seen or picked up the new Walgreens “Nice!” branded candy. At the time I hadn’t, but a few months later while back in Nebraska for Christmas I decided it was time to grab as many of these wonderfully-designed packages as I could. Today I’d like to share them with you.
Before I get to these Walgreens Nice! branded offerings, I’d like to provide a little background on bagged store-brand candies.
Within the candy business the term “Private Label” is used to describe repackaged candy for specific stores or chains. Many times it involves packages of plain-label candies with no credited manufacturer, but just as often you can find brands like Brach’s, Ferrara Pan and others within these assortments. Sometimes single private label packages can contain products from multiple manufacturers.
And though it might seem like private label would be an afterthought, for some of the smaller family-owned candy companies in America the private label segment is a significant and important part of their business. During the same trip back to Nebraska where I picked up today’s Nice! packages, I also picked up a package from a local Hy-Vee grocery store, and it turns out that it was a private label package produced by Palmer, yet it contained Ferrara Pan Atomic Fireballs. Palmer, best known for their holiday offerings, has a pretty robust private label business.
Walgreens launched its private label brand Nice! in 2011, and when they brought their new branding to candy, in my opinion their packaging designers hit it out of the park.
Each package graphically invokes its individual confectionery contents, though not always in a direct or literal way. A package for licorice twists features a 50’s style dance-step graphic of “The Twist” while the package for the classic Smarties features the taped-up eyeglasses of someone who we assume is the “smartest” kid in his class. Beyond the clever graphics, these share the clean, unifying look of the Nice! brand.
Here are the pieces I’ve picked up for my collection:
This next and final package for Strawberry Twists licorice was sadly damaged in my attempt to separate it from its tasty contents. Licorice can create quite a bond with packaging like this and even with the care I used, it took a destructive act to get the twists out of there. At some point I’m going to have to try again with this one as I would like to have a more intact example of this neat piece of packaging.
The Walgreens Nice! private label brand covers quite a manner of grocery products at their stores and they all share an appealing design sense, but I think it’s these candy packages that stand out as the best-looking of the bunch. I look forward to tracking down more of them for my collection as the line continues.
And that’s it for today’s post. See you next time!
They certainly stand out on the candy aisle. Good designs.
The bridge mix seems to get waxier and waxier tasting since Brach’s no longer is carried by Walgreen’s.
I really like the Nice! brand, the bags are cute and the product itself is usually quite tasty! 🙂
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The problem with labeling something “Gluten Free” and then in the description saying the product was manufactured on the same equipment as items containing wheat means it is no longer GLUTEN FREE. That is misrepresentation at the least and deadly to someone with Celiacs.
Mario, I’m not a food packaging warning expert or a food policy expert, but I believe that is why the indication you highlight is there. In the case of the hyper-allergic, or diseased individual. If someone risks death by consuming molecules of gluten, they’re the folks those extra indications are for. But for the vast majority of the population, it is a gluten free product.
It’s why candy products that do not contain peanuts at all, indicate if they’re made in factories or on machines that could have some residue of peanut oil on them. Even if they contain no peanuts, they could still contain enough residue from transfer to cause an extremely allergic person to react.
Similarly to your Gluten Free concern. By any reasonable measure, these are gluten free, as the products contain no gluten in their manufacture, but they want you to know that they are prepared in factories where it is, at least possible, that some minor residue of wheat could make it into the mix.
As with peanut allergies, I would hope those suffering from extreme forms of Celiacs would take to reading packaging less casually than the typical consumer.
The cinnamon discs smell horrible when you open the bag. Must be the wrappers, because the candy is great
nice packaging and have enjoyed all the varieties we have got lately. package does not say made in USA, is it?
What have you done to the sugar free candy? The pieces are thicker and are tasteless. They used to be really good. I will not be buying any more.
es..but where on the package does it say where this candy is made ..is this Chinese or Mexican origin ?
Where is Walgreens assortment of hard candy made? Which Candy Company makes the “Starlight” disc peppermint candy? The new Starlight peppermint discs taste like a cough drop (menthol)
Back to the gluten free thing , not in direct reference to the Nice! candies, but in general… Some celiacs (like myself) cannot tolerate ANY gluten regardless if it comes from wheat, corn, millet, oats, quinoa, rice or ANY grain. This past week I was in the emergency room with serious reaction to cross contamination. Wheat has 69% gluten, corn is right up there with 55% gluten, oats have 16% gluten, even rice has 5% gluten. Obviously corn syrup is to be avoided, but artificial colors and flavors, natural flavors, citric acid, cellulose, food starch, maltodextrin, mono and diglycerides ( and many other ingredients) can be very dangerous to celeriac’s. Many times to be able to call a product “gluten free” the manufacturer replaces the wheat with another grain – like corn, oats or brown rice, and a reaction CAN occur. I hope this is helpful. : )
What has happened with Cinnamon disks? Can’t find them!!
I have been buying Nice! Assorted Fruit Discs made with Splenda for years and i love them. They are a smooth tasty alternative to sugared candies. Over the last 4 months or so, Walgreens has had the same candies out there without the Splenda and they are horrible. Does anyone know if this is going to be the new way the candy is going to be made or if the splenda brand can be bought under another name?