Rudolph Foods' charitable initiative has nothing on candy maker Ritter Sport. Every time someone purchases one of Ritter's new milk-chocolate strawberry crème bars, the German company will make a donation to the Leslie Simon Breast Care and Cytodiagnosis Center at Englewood Hospital in New Jersey. The goal is $100,000. (Strawberry crème is pink, like breast-cancer ribbons.)

The folks behind Project 7 probably aren't impressed with the largess of Rudolph or Ritter Sport. The tiny company, which boasts a staff of eight, trades in coffee, T-shirts, gum, mints and water and has pledged a portion of everything it sells to one of thirteen different nonprofits that support Project 7's seven pet causes. (Customers can learn which worthy cause they're supporting by reading the label: Feed the Hungry Peppermint Vanilla Gum, Heal the Sick French Roast, etc.) The percentages vary, but during the first quarter of 2011, Project 7 planted more than 120,000 fruit trees, distributed 131,000 meals, donated malaria treatments for 1,800 people and provided 1,900 people with a year's worth of clean water.

"It's a trend," says Project 7 spokesman Darren Dunham. "More and more people require their favorite snack company to do more in the world than stack money to the moon."

Professor Sauernoggin works the Toxic Waste Candy booth at the recent Sweets & Snacks Expo at McCormick Place in Chicago.
William Rice
Professor Sauernoggin works the Toxic Waste Candy booth at the recent Sweets & Snacks Expo at McCormick Place in Chicago.
Jill Robbins developed HomeFree cookies so that her son, who has multiple food allergies, would be able to enjoy snacks with his friends.
William Rice
Jill Robbins developed HomeFree cookies so that her son, who has multiple food allergies, would be able to enjoy snacks with his friends.

Even the expo itself is getting in on the action. At the end of the convention, every participating company has agreed to donate any leftover sweets and/or snack samples to soldiers serving overseas. To further buck up our candy-deprived troops, attendees are encouraged to write uplifting messages on their badges.


Salvation

Some poor souls were convinced this year's Sweets & Snacks Expo was destined not to take place at all.

May 21, the previous Saturday, was to have been the date of the Rapture, according to the virally disseminated prognostication of Christian radio broadcaster Harold Camping. (When the day passed without incident, Camping recalculated and announced that the Almighty had rescheduled for October 21.)

Brian Adkins, owner of Scripture Candy, and his partner Mac McCarron aren't so sure. "I don't think God would tell somebody about the Rapture," McCarron muses. "It would make His Word invalid."

Scripture Candy doesn't concern itself with matters as esoteric as the Rapture. Its mission is to spread the Gospel through candy. The enterprise began in 1991, when Adkins was driving around his hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, listening to a Focus on the Family broadcast on the car radio.

"There was a story about the occult and all the negativity attached to Halloween," he remembers. "I thought: 'Why not take candy and turn it into Scripture — use a pagan holiday to glorify God?' It's the only time of the year our lost neighbors come to our door and allow us to witness to them. We should take advantage of the opportunity to plant the seed of God's Word in their lives."

Adkins kicked off with mints that came in a tin imprinted with quotes from the King James Version of the Bible. The company has since branched into lollipops, candy corn ("Promise Seeds") and jelly beans that represent different aspects of Christianity.

The jelly beans have caused some confusion at the expo.

"People come by and say, 'We'd like to taste Sin and Jesus' Blood,'" Adkins relates. "We have to tell them that those aren't the actual flavors."

Although Scripture Candy is now available all across the United States and ships to nineteen other nations, the product has yet to become a household name. That said, the company has been, in Adkins' words, "very blessed" — and likely never more so than on the morning of Day Two of this year's Expo, when two nuns stop by the Scripture booth to discuss purchasing some candy for their school. Deferring to his partner's Catholicism, Adkins lets McCarron close the sale. Leaning back against the company's display and taking it all in, he can't contain his elation.

"Man!" he hoots. "It don't get no better than this!"


Sloth

By Day Three the smallest scintilla of desperation has crept into the heart of even the most seasoned Expo-goer. Isn't anyone on the convention floor willing to admit to not giving a good goddamn about the public's health, emotional well-being or mortal soul?

"I don't know why people insist that candy should be healthy," says Zel Peterson, marketing manager of the venerable Ferrara Pan Candy Company, manufacturer of Lemonheads, Boston Baked Beans and Atomic Fireballs. "We believe candy should be eaten in moderation — a treat or a reward. You can't eat an entire case and expect to feel healthy."

Peterson's company, of course, possesses a built-in control: Who could possibly eat an entire case of Lemonheads?

Over at Kraft — which, with its gauzy white curtains, pink lighting scheme and nary a snack or sweet to be seen, bears a disconcerting resemblance to a bordello — company mouthpiece Gary Washburn says he can't address his products' happiness factor or lack thereof "for legal reasons." Told his line of argument was not unanticipated, he says, "Good, we don't wanna talk to you," then disappears into a tiny room at the back of the display and slams the door.

But then there is Gamer Grub, a product designed exclusively for the video-game devotee. "You just tear and tilt," instructs founder Keith Mullin. "There's no grease or crumbs on the keyboard," he elaborates. "It's a pain to hit Pause, and I got tired of wiping my hands on my shirt."

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9 comments
Basti Auser
Basti Auser

YES , WE CAN...YES , WE CAN...WE WILL WIN IN WAR ON TERROR (30 whities or what are terrorists will never come back alive...thank you lord....aaamen).

What do you mean tragedy! It was just a birthday present for planet apes president !!! That's all ! Feels great to flip hamburgers and hip hop atop of good news...makes you feel vibrant and energized !!!

ARIZONA = UTOYA = GOVERNMENT‘S "AFTERLIFE" CASH & $$ FLASH MOB (there was no shooting in Utoya or Arizona, but tear gas and theater instead on faces of multiculturalism maniacs..your guilt or blame and shame weapon against us and our families in our own countries atop of forceful unemployment during so called "ECONOMIC CRISES" during which third world foreigners are allowed to rape, kill, and still is nothing else but fast way to early retirements for government related criminals/ terrorists...$$$ extra bonuses, and newly issued state identities while calling you a terrorists) !!! http://stateofterror.blogspot.... or http://stateofterror.wordpress...

OBAMA = STALIN = BUSH or USA = SOVIET UNION http://avsecbostjan.blogspot.c... or http://avsecbostjan.wordpress.... Whitie is fighting war on terrorism just to come home and be pronounced as terrorist...turned in Timothy, jobless, homeless ...YESSS, WE CAN...YESSS, WE CAN...GABBY OPENED HER EYES (Obaminator’s psychotic speech in Tucson = failed “Apocalypse Now“)

WAKE-UP !!! WAKE UP PEOPLE BEFORE IT GETS ALL TO LATE ON PLANET APES !!! TEARS WON'T DO YOU ANY GOOD !!! AS BUSH STATED "THAT'S WHAT THEY ARE PAID FOR"(to die ) !!

EVEN IF IRAQ WOULD HAVE BEEN WAR FOR OIL ONLY, VETERANS WOULDN'T NEVER EVER HAVE TO BE HOMELESS PEOPLE THE WAY THEY ARE AND NOR WOULD OUR PEOPLE HAVE TO DIE ALLOVER THE PLACE THE WAY THEY DO TO VERY TODAY(never ending “war on terror” story). BECAUSE EVEN IF WAR WAS FOR THE SAKE OF MONEY, MONEY SHOULD BE USED FOR AMERICAN CITIZENS AND NOT WHAT THE CASE IS OR AGAINST WHITES(to destroy us allover the world) !!! You don't really proof for 911, just put your sht together in your heads...THIS IS PLENTY ENOUGH TO HAVE O(B)SAMA INDICTED FOR CRIMES COMMITTED AGAINST WHITE AMERICAN HUMANITY TOGETHER WITH HIS ZIONIST MASTERS) !!!

Don't worry O(s)bama, you have just saved USA what is lots of Dollars in your DEBT DEALS as those best of America or Navy Seals would also grew older and then you already know how it goes...DEAD & ILL = DEBT DEAL !!!

HOW MUCH FURTHER ARE WE WILLING TO GO IN ORDER TO PLEASE VERY SAME PEOPLE WHO DENY US EVEN THE RIGHT TO EXISTENCE(what is to you country without laws or lawless country in respect to your personal rights, but the one that in contrast to your denied basic human rights recognizes you extremely liable when payments are due) !!?

IS IT INDEPENDENCE THAT WE CELEBRATE OR DEPENDENCE (what are your credit card bills or alimony saying about it) !!? HOW IS YOUR DIABETES AND LOST MARRIAGES !!? FORECLOSURES AND JOB SEARCH !!? THAT IS THE QUESTION TO BE OR NOT TO BE !!! IS IT LAND OF THE FREE OR STATE OF TERROR AGAINST OWN POPULATION !!? IT IS TIME TO LET THEM KNOW WHAT COLOR ARE THE STRIPES ON OUR STAR SPANGLED BANNER !!! TIME TO DETERMINE WHOSE INDEPENDENCE/AMERICA, WE CELEBRATE TODAY(who wants to erase us and denies us the right to exist) !!! IT IS IMPORTANT TO KNOW WHOM WE ADDRESS WITH "PRESIDENT" (STOP HUMILIATING YOURSELF) !!!

VOTING POLL:

DO WE NEED MORE PROOFS TO INDICT OBAMA AND BUSH ADMINISTRATION FOR CRIMES COMMITTED AGAINST WHITE HUMANITY !!?

1)NO, THEY ARE CLEARLY GUILTY AS OIL WAR NEVER EVER WAS REAL ISSUE IN GENOCIDE AGAINST WHITES. REAL ISSUE ARE FACTS OR WHAT WE WITNESS TODAY WHEN VETERANS ARE HOMELESS, JOBLESS, KILLED, ETC.

2)NO, AS 911 ALONE AS WELL AS ACTIONS IMPOSED AGAINST WHITES IN USA (as well worldwide) ARE CLEARLY INDICATING ACTS OF GENOCIDE AGAINST WHITE HUMANITY

3)YESS AS JUST YESTERDAY(for over 15 years to very yesterday), WE (news/media = vacuum world of lies) WERE TELLING YOU THAT UNEMPLOYMENT WAS AT 10% WHILE TODAY ONE IS AT 50% (HOW COME NO ONE QUESTION JOURNALISM LIKE THIS OR WHAT IS WORLD OF LIES AND DEMENTIA)!

4)I AGREE WITH FIRST TWO ANSWERS ABOVE. IT IS TIME TO PRESS CRIMINAL CHARGES AGAINST BOTH ADMINISTRATIONS DUE TO ACTS OF GENOCIDE AGAINST WHITE HUMANITY FOR THE SAKE(SAFETY) OF US AND OUR CHILDREN(DO NOT TURN THEM IN WHITE REFUGEES ON PLANET APES OR WHAT YOU ARE ABOUT TO SEE WHEN VISITING ABOVE PAGES) !!!

Jkenah
Jkenah

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AaronL
AaronL

I liked the fact that sources for this article included a professor named Nestle and an author named Almond.

Richard
Richard

Can I bring a hollowed out wheel chair?

will there be a gummy Venus De Milo?

Kel
Kel

I can't believe I just sat here and read a 7 page article on a candy convention in Chicago. But it was well-written and interesting. Which is more than I can say for most AP articles these days. Good story.

James Hodges
James Hodges

What ever happened to Chocolate Babbies?

David Klein
David Klein

One of the biggest hits at this trade show if not the biggest hit was a candy product called "farts." The headlines in a Chicago newspaper said "farts to be released in Chicago."

David Klein
David Klein

This is the best article I have read about the 2011 candy and snack convention. I too was in Chicago as an exhibitor. In fact I have written a whole chapter on the 2011 trade show for my upcoming book A Man and his Beans--the David Klein Story which will be a companion for our documentary Candyman:the David Klein Story.. Keep up the great writing style. Thank you.......

 
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