Philadelphia Candy Show 2014

Many, many thanks to Shirley Cox, the Show Director, who gave me special permission to take photos. All photos taken with permission. All products are kosher, but for each individual item one should check the package/manufacturer to ensure it is to your standard of kashrus. In case of any questions, please refer to your trusted rabbinical authority.

The atmosphere at this show is completely different to any other show I have ever been to.  It is extremely quiet, very professional, and everyone is incredibly polite to one another. The convention room they used was large, and there was no such thing as pushing and shoving. Photo taking, large handbags, and taking items off displays were strictly prohibited, and there were some security guards walking around to enforce this.

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As a food blogger, I went to the Show Director and was given special permission to take pictures, but with a warning from the head of security. I was to ask permission before taking any photos, and if anyone complained I would be asked to leave.  After assuring them both I would do as asked, I was free to go about my business.

This show is to show off what the upcoming trends are and what the latest and greatest is in the chocolate/confection/candy industry, from raw chocolate and confections to package design. There were names I knew – Guittard, Callebaut, CK Products, Merckens, Imani Chocolatiers. There were new names I learned-Niagra Chocolates, Kopper’s, Blommer’s.  For someone in the business of making sweets, this was the place to see and be seen.

Let me divide the post up now. First we start with Chocolate. Many of you know I am going into business for myself as a chocolatier, and I went to the show to meet people I would be ordering supplies from.  I also wanted to see what the trends are. In terms of chocolate, I could not be more thrilled. The trend is swinging towards making more products kosher, and with a respect to sustainability. From bean to bar, more attention and more care is going into chocolate production than ever before. I tried a cocoa nib from Guittard (OU Parve) that I wanted to devour by the handful. I spoke with a rep from Callebaut, and was shown some new product they are coming out with – 2 new dark chocolate couverture and one milk chocolate couverture. (OU Dairy)

Callebaut is working incredibly hard in the area of sustainability – improving the areas where they source their beans, making the most of each batch they get. I found this incredible. The one thing that made me sad was that they would not be producing Cholov Yisroel white chocolate this year.

Another sustainable chocolate producer I spoke to was Blommer’s. (OU Dairy) They manufacture organic, kosher chocolate as well as no added sugar and sugar free lines. (http://www.blommer.com/)

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I see this item as something that will catch on. Lang’s Chocolates Karmalicious (LVKC dairy) is a pretzel stick that is wrapped in caramel, then dipped in milk chocolate. All their products (chocolates, and candies) are kosher dairy, and most are gluten free. I spoke with the owner and producer at length and they are researching different kosher certifications so their product would be available to a wider kosher audience. (http://www.langchocolates.com/)

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Chocolate is being used to cover anything and everything! Imani Chocolatier (All Pareve, Star-K, CRC and Udvari) makes a full line of chocolate covered cookies, pretzels, nut bars, clusters, and dried fruit. They even chocolate cover dried lemon slices, something I never saw before.  They also carry the full Mimi Sweet Candies – from sour sticks that actually taste good, to candy filled toys, to candy tattoos that go on the tongue! (http://www.imanichocolatiers.com/)

 

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It seems to be that in the world of cake confections, there are two words:  bold, true colors and metallics. At every place I went to that showcased these items, I saw beautiful color and metallic sheen everywhere.

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The biggest breakthrough seems to have come from CK Products. They have a line of luster dust called Crystal Colors that is made here in the USA under the CRC of Chicago certification. Apparently, the best luster dust with the best colors and certification was coming from the UK until now. Luster dust is used in many cake and chocolate creations – it is added to chocolate or chocolate coating to give it color or add detail, and it can be added to gum paste and fondant as well. (http://www.ckproducts.com/)

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Sweet Works Celebration Candies line featured a few types of candies that I found really cute – an assortment of mini candy pacifiers and shiny, colored candy hearts. I am not a cake decorator, but I could easily imagine these on a frosted cake.

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I also saw gold and silver metallic star candies. I do not claim to be an expert on candy decorations for cakes, but these impressed me because they were not too big or small and the colors were not garish. (http://sweetworks.net/) The products I mentioned are OU Pareve.

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For the kosher baker, chocolatier, or candy maker, the selection of high quality products available has never been better..and it seems as if the sweet trend is only getting started!

For more information on the Philadelphia National Candy, Gift and Gourmet Show, please visit their website: http://www.phillycandyshow.com/

Comments

  1. I wanna go to a candy show!! That’s awesome. I’m so proud of you!

  2. This is such an awesome experience!!! I would have loved to go. I have been to chocolate shows before but the kosher selection was nothing to write home about! This sounded like the opposite (hence you wrote about it ) :)!

  3. wow, this looks like so much fun! and so delicious!

  4. This sounds so amazing, I wish I could have been there!

  5. Sounds like a great show. We will try to go next year since it is so close to us.

  6. Looks like such a fun show! I love the crystal colors luster dust, it’s an amazing find!

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