Monday, October 22, 2007

the weekly Shelf halloween candy review..

We've been a little off of our game this year with the Halloween candy reviews, but we're going to make it up to you starting with this one. This week we bring you a double feature: 'Frite Bites' and the 'Horror Bag'. When I spotted these in our local chain pharmacy my thoughts went immediately to Wolf Jr. Both of these items are gummy candies and he loves gummies. I also thought about how glad I was to see an actual Halloween candy. Year after year, large candy companies do the most unoriginal thing and repackage the same old stuff in Halloween wrappers.
I can't understand why a big company like Hershey won't get a new idea just for the holiday season. I mean, they make gads of money and they can't put a little of it into creativity and holiday spirit? Business experts will say that going out of your way to make a product just for a month's worth of sales that requires specific ingredients and equipment just for that product is not a sound move. That's where we see that they are not experts. Personally as a consumer, I love to see this type of creativity from manufacturers. When a company puts out something creative and fun for the holidays, I remember that while I'm shopping the rest of the year. The most I see from Hershey during Halloween is the Reese's Pumpkin. I did see they stepped it up a notch this year with the "King Size" Reese's Pumpkin which will kill a diabetic at 50 yards when the aroma gets out.

On to today's candy. I'll start small with the 'Horror Bag'. This gummy candy comes to us from Morris National Inc. and is a decent offering for a low price of $0.99. It's a simple collection of gummy candy in Halloween style shapes. The package I got included a skeleton in 7 pieces, one set of eyes, two sets of fangs and a pair of pumpkins. Wolf Sr. has cut back on the sweets due to a family history of diabetes and his realization that he doesn't have the metabolism he did some years ago. I'm told by my colleague that it all just tasted like "gummy". As profound as this statement was, I asked for a little elaboration. It was explained to me that the pumpkins tasted "like orange", the fangs tasted like "strawberry mixed with gummy", the eyes were "marshmallow mixed with gummy" and the skeleton was just "gummy". All in all it appeared to be quite good since it disappeared completely while I was changing my camera's battery.

Next up is 'Frite Bites'. This is a creative product from Bee international Candy. The bag catches your eye as it is shaped like a coffin and though it is a bag, it stands upright. 'Frite Bites' are individually wrapped gummy candies in various shapes fashioned into finger puppets and rings. This was a particularly enjoyable experiment for Wolf Jr. as you can see in the pictures. The finger puppet shapes are (from left to right in the picture): Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy and a witch. The rings beneath are quite obvious. What's so great about these is they are not skimpy candies floated out to dupe the public. The faces and clothing are actually made from a firm candy substance and adds to the base flavor. I am informed that the flavors are "orange" for the pumpkin, "berry" for the bat, "blueberry" for Frankenstein, "cherry" for Dracula, "berry" for the witch and "I don't know, but it's good" for the Mummy. This is the straight dope folks. Quoted verbatim. Now, don't complain if your flavor experience is quite different 'cause our taste-tester is only 5. That's the market this candy is aimed at, though. It's directed to the ones whom Halloween is for: the children.

The verdict:

As far as price is concerned, the 'Horror Bag' is a definite bargain. The 'Frite Bites' are not so much as they weigh in at $5.99. It's not that bad ,though, considering they're worth at last a few bucks and I don't mind 'tipping' them a buck or two for providing a true Halloween product. As far as taste goes, I don't think there is a problem. The now sugar-laced Wolf Jr. will attest to that.

I applaud both of these companies for their efforts in trying to do what they can to aid the Halloween experience for children everywhere by providing products that are truly made for Halloween. There's not enough of that anymore. As a kid, I anxiously waited for the Halloween candy to arrive on store shelves. That's because there would be something there that you only get in the Halloween season and it helped to create an anticipation and aided in the atmosphere of the season. Believe it or not, for the children, candy really is an important part of the holiday experience and helps to give them memories that they will keep with them and share with their own children. At The Shelf, we strive every holiday season to keep that spirit alive and find the products and entertainment out there that we feel helps us to accomplish this task. We want to find special things out there that add to the mood and help to conjure up feelings of holidays past. If you will , Shelfers , help us to wage this good fight by supporting the products that you feel aid the holiday spirit and implore others to do the same. If there is something you have found and would like for us to spread the word, just send the information to us at and we will bring it to the Shelf. Enjoy the season and let's help create memories for those that the retail community forgot.

In America you can go on the air and kid the politicians, and the politicians can go on the air and kid the people.

Please feel free to comment if the need strikes you.


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