I’ve always enjoyed when confection crosses over with another category of product and even when the mix doesn’t quite work, it can still be a notable experience. This is definitely true when soft drinks lend their flavors and branding to candy.
Today I’m going to take a look at a few new releases that fall into this territory while also digging back into some historical packaging that shows how soft drinks and candy have long been connected and how taste preferences both here and abroad have shaped the flavors that companies are willing to market to various regions.
I’ve got lots of fun packaging to share, so make the jump to check it out!
Over the years I’ve covered a few of the more iconic soda pop-flavored candy and gum releases, starting with my look back at A&W Root Beer flavored candy and gum from the 1980’s. I soon followed that up with the exciting news that Hubba Bubba had released new Dr Pepper (and Orange Crush) flavored varieties. Finally, last year I covered Hubba Bubba’s latest soft-drink branded flavors, A&W Root Beer and Hawaiian Punch.
So it’s been an exciting time for those who enjoy their candy with a soda pop or soft drink flare, and that trend has only been continuing.
I’d like to showcase a few of these new soft drink flavored confectionery releases first, and then I’m going to round out today’s post with some related historical packaging and discussion.
First up is an assortment of soft-drink flavored candy chews from Healthy Food Brands, the same folks behind Angry Birds Gummies. Here they are:
The same five brands from that release are also represented in a line of licorice candy twists from KLN/Kenny’s Candy Company:
I’ve also come across these soda flavored freeze pops:
Jelly Belly has gotten in on the soda-candy game in recent years as well, though I first noted their un-branded soda pop approach.
The year following those gummies, Jelly Belly brought out fully-licensed soda-flavored jelly bean offerings:
Beyond all of those, there’s also a current release that mixes soda pop flavors with chocolate. So far I’ve found two offerings of these from the Turin Chocolate company.
Gathering all of those recent soda and soft drink flavor confections together for today’s post had me wondering about the relationship between the two categories, so I looked back over my archives to see where and how they crossed over.
The first thing I noted was that the flavor of cola, which is typically paired with soda pop here in the United States, has a much closer relationship to the confection category abroad and is considered a typical candy flavor. I’ve got a selection of international candy packaging featuring cola as its main flavor that I’d like to share next.
Whereas in the United States we are typically greeted by flavors like orange and even pink lemonade (as with these 1980’s Topps carton gums,) the UK got a cola flavor, too:
Topps Ireland even has a cola-flavored Ring Pop in their assortment for consumers there:
Cola was one of the flavors featured in this UK Woolworth store exclusive Nerds offering:
I’ve even encountered cola-flavored Pop Rocks, created for the Australian market:
Here’s a cola-flavored offering of the popular UK Chewits brand:
But perhaps most common of all the cola-flavored confections I’ve encountered from overseas, the one that stands out is bubblegum:
In contrast, here in the United States, cola-flavored candy is more of a shooting star that only shows up once and a while.
For a brief time back in the 1940’s, Life Savers in the United States had a cola flavor as part of their roll candy family:
Jumping ahead to the early 1970’s when Breaker Confections (eventually Willy Wonka Brands) introduced what would be the longest running USA brand to feature a cola-flavored candy, Bottle Caps:
Wrigley tried the flavor in the early 1980’s as an extension of their successful Hubba Bubba brand, and while it didn’t last long here, it lived on overseas:
Most recently Necco introduced its Pop Eggs for Easter 2014. A new soda pop-flavored offering (that includes cola) to the candy marketplace, it remains to be seen if it will be embraced for the long-haul or not.
So cola as a confectionery flavor here in the USA has long been a challenge to market. But the same can’t be said for that flavor with a twist; cherry cola. Perhaps it is the evocative nostalgia of the 1950’s soda fountain culture that makes it work here but cherry cola seems to connect with consumers more successfully in the United States. Because of that, you find more instances of confectionery products sporting the flavor. Here are a few:
And finally, the most recent example in my collection – a limited edition for Summer 2014 from Twizzlers:
It’s a fascinating thing to look at what confectionery flavors are preferred around the world and to wonder why certain regions embrace a flavor while others seem to reject it. How about you? Do you love cola flavored candy and gum, or cherry cola? Is there a soda or soft drink that you think deserves the confectionery treatment that has never gotten it? I’d love to hear what you think.
For now, that’s everything I’ve got to share on the latest soft drink-flavored confections and my look at the taste for cola candy.
See you next time!