Home FOOD Leftovers: Sweethearts candies embrace ‘situationships’ | Peeps turn sour with strawberry, blue raspberry flavors

Leftovers: Sweethearts candies embrace ‘situationships’ | Peeps turn sour with strawberry, blue raspberry flavors

by Ohio Digital News


Leftovers is our look at a few of the product ideas popping up everywhere. Some are intriguing, some sound amazing and some are the kinds of ideas we would never dream of. We can’t write about everything that we get pitched, so here are some leftovers pulled from our inboxes.

Sweethearts candy debuts conversation hearts with mixed messages

Sweethearts is entering the dating world full of mixed signals and uncertainty with a sweet new candy.

The popular candy brand, known for 40 sayings on its colorful heart-shaped candy such as “Be Mine” and “Hug Me” is debuting specially designed boxes with blurry, misprinted candies that are as hard to read as Gen-Z relationships.

The candies, sporting the tagline “Messages as blurry as your relationship,”  will be sold for a limited time at Sweethearts’ website.

“Singles are taking ‘situationships’ to the next level this year, and Sweethearts is here for them,” Evan Brock, vice president of marketing for Spangler, said in a statement. “The printing on Sweethearts isn’t always perfect. This is our way of embracing those imperfections in a way that taps into pop culture.”

Cleveland Clinic defines situationships as romantic entanglements where the participants haven’t established the nature of their relationship. Sweethearts noted that the dating app Tinder said young singles consider the situationship to be a legitimate relationship status. 

Sweethearts is owned by Spangler, which also has other novelty candies such as Dum-Dums, Necco Wafers and Bit-O-Honey in its portfolio. The 122-year-old Sweethearts brand was acquired by Spangler in 2018 and re-released two years later. Since then, sales have “more than tripled,” according to the company.

Christopher Doering


Peeps new offerings

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Permission granted by Peeps


2024 Peeps lineup packs a punch from sour strawberry to icy blue raspberry

Peeps, the 70-plus-year-old marshmallow confection has released its 2024 lineup of flavors, which include both new and familiar offerings, like the iconic yellow Chicks and pink Bunnies.

The popular Easter candy is introducing S’mores Flavored Delights, which feature a graham cracker flavored marshmallow dipped in milk chocolate, Rice Krispies Treats flavored Chicks, Blue Raspberry Flavored Marshmallow Chicks, which are reminiscent of ICEE adding a frosty twist and Sour Strawberry Chicks which feature a tangy twist to the classic marshmallow flavor. 

Though the Easter holiday comes on the earlier side this year, Peeps has made its 2024 lineup announcement early in the calendar as well — similar to how pumpkin spice has snuck its way into the summer season, and holiday limited time offerings debuted shortly after Halloween.

Peeps also unveiled its complete list of 2024 varieties, outside of its lucrative Easter season, which includes 12 varieties. On the list are Peeps Chicks and Bunnies, Marshmallow Rainbow Pop, Mike and Ike Flavored Pop, Dr. Pepper Flavored Pop, Cotton Candy Marshmallow Chicks, Fruit Punch Marshmallow Chicks, among others. 

— Elizabeth Flood


cheez it crunch

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Courtesy of Kellanova


Kellanova amps up the crunch in the new Cheez-It

ASMR videos have been gaining popularity on YouTube and other social media platforms by enhancing the volume and texture of sounds — from the bone chilling crisp of a chip to a first bite —- giving way to goosebumps.

Viewers of the viral videos may have a new favorite snack in 2024.

Kellanova has announced the debut of Cheez-It Extra Crunchy, featuring a louder crunch with each bite of the cracker. It is available in two varieties: Bold Cheddar, which draws from the original Cheez-It flavor with a boost of seasoning, and Snap’d Sharp White Cheddar, a thinner variety. It is the first new product launch for Kellanova since the snacking business offset its cereal operations in the fall.

Kellanova believes crunchiness is of significant importance to snacking consumers, with 60% indicating a preference for crunchier snacks in proprietary survey data shared in the press release. But not all snacks producers are turning up the crunch. In November, PepsiCo’s Doritos brand debuted technology to silence the crunch sound of the chip through the help of an iPhone app.

“With a generous sprinkle of seasoning and a multisensory crunch, these two new products will deliver on fan demand for an even louder, flavorful way to snack on their favorite crackers,” Cara Tragseiler, the senior brand director for Cheez-It, said in a statement.

Before its company split, Kellanova told Food Dive in 2022 it would rely on its household name brands like Cheez-It to grow market share in the snacking category. Cheez-It has come a long way from its creation in 1921 to the billion-dollar brand it is today. In recent years, the company has launched Cheez It Snap’d, Puff’d, Grooves and Duo varieties, each expanding upon the original premise of the bite-sized orange cracker.

Chris Casey


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