Spotted on Shelves is back for more at the 2019 Summer Fancy Food Show (FFS) in New York City. I scoped out new products from familiar brands and interesting things from up-and-coming companies.
I, and everyone else present, ate many free samples. So many samples. This did not affect what was chosen to appear in this column or my opinions of the products.
Somehow, I managed to leave FFS on my own feet, not hauled out on a stretcher in a sugar coma. I tried and saw some really interesting and delicious sweet treats that have just landed or will in the future.
Jelly Belly Candy Cupcakes
Last year at FFS, Jelly Belly was showing its mellowcreme ice cream cones. This year, it’s mellowcreme cupcakes. Again, each piece has two halves with its own flavors. In this case, the bottoms are cupcake-flavored, the top is frosting – vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, blueberry or banana. I like the texture of these – I love candy corn, and these are like a refined version of candy corn with more flavors.
Available starting September 2019 in grocery stores, candy shops and retailers nationally
Pechkek’s Misfortune Cookies
Sometimes you find a product that resonates with you on a level that makes you wonder if it was plucked from your brain while you slept. This was one of those times. These fortune cookies are heavy metal black, have delightfully Halloween-ish packaging and are filled with fortunes that are bleak, clever, and funny. If I am ever reincarnated in cookie form, I will be a Pechkek’s Misfortune Cookie. Sadly, they only had paper prototypes on hand at FFS, so I didn’t get to taste them, but I didn’t need to. I want them. I am them.
Available mid-September 2019, outlets TBD
Loacker Double Choc Crispy Wafers
I’m surprised to call a wafer cookie “decadent,” but Loacker’s Double Choc felt so over-the-top rich. The wafers are deep cocoa (but not dark/bittersweet). The filling is thin, gooey, and delicious but left me with choc hands – which I promptly got all over my shirt. Maybe eat them wearing black satin elbow-length gloves just to be safe.
Available in the US starting early 2020, available internationally now.
Red Vines Made Simple Cherry Twist
Some people do not discuss politics at the dinner table. I prefer not to discuss which red licorice is better. There is no right answer – the best red licorice is the red licorice that’s there in front of you. At FFS, Red Vines’ upcoming Made Simple Cherry Twist were in front of me. Well, the packaging was. I didn’t get to sample them, but based on the Made Simple Mixed Berry Twists that I did have, they’ll be pretty close in texture to the original Red Vines with a slightly different flavor.
Available in grocery stores, convenience stores and major retailers starting November 2019
Hammond’s SodaPop and Coconut Cream Pie Milk Chocolate Bars
Hammond’s, of “Pigs N’ Taters” chocolate bar fame, has just dropped two new flavors. My favorite, SodaPop, is a cola-flavored chocolate bar with popping candy inside. As a cola fanatic, I am always skeptical of cola flavoring, but it’s done really well here (thanks for not making it cherry cola!) and the popping candy worked really well. The Coconut Cream Pie has a finely-shredded coconut and ganache filling that will make coconut lovers happy.
Available now online and at specialty stores nationally.
Belgian Boys Dark Chocolate and Salted Caramel Lava Cakes & Cookies & Cream, Raspberry, Cookie Butter, Key Lime and New York Cheesecakes
There’s no better way to get me to stop at your booth at FFS than to dangle cookie butter (aka – speculoos) in front of me, and that’s exactly what The Belgian Boys did. They were showing its new freezer-aisle desserts – single-serving cheesecakes and lava cakes in little glass bowls. The cheesecakes are thaw and eat, the lava cakes are freezer-to-oven. I tried the Cookie Butter flavor, which delivered on specu-locity with a slab of the spread of the Gods on top, a light, creamy cheesecake layer and a cookie crumb crust at the bottom. Bonus points for the tiny shovel-shaped spoons at the booth.
Available in grocery chains and Whole Foods in the MidAtlantic area and regional retailers starting in September 2019.
Mamie’s Pies Peach, Cherry, Pumpkin, Apple, and Blueberry
Mamie’s Pies has been on QVC and Oprah’s “Favorite Things” list, but they’re moving into your local grocery stores soon. These hand pies come individually packaged and frozen – they can be oven-baked, air fried, or deep fried. The samples I tasted were baked the previous day and served at room temperature, but still had flaky crusts and delicious fillings.
Available starting end of Summer 2019 in mass grocery chains nationally
Hot Scream Spicy Ice Cream Salted Caramel Swirl, Strawberry Swirl, Espresso Swirl, Chocolate Swirl, Black Raspberry Swirl, Ginger Swirl and Peach Swirl
Novelty addicts and hot sauce addicts, gather ‘round. Somebody made an ice cream just for you. Hot Scream is basically a good, solid vanilla ice cream with flavor ribbons and a dash of heat. It sounds like a “WHY?” moment, but these ice creams were really good. The heat didn’t compete with the ice cream flavors, it just added a little kick. I’m not enough of a chili fan to crave this, but it was fun to try all the flavors. They would be great for a summer party or outdoor barbecue.
Available now in grocery chains in the Northeast, nationwide distribution TBD.
Waffle Shots Limited Edition 8-packs Peanut Butter & Brownie and Peppermint Bark & Hazelnut
Waffle Shots, the company that makes espresso-shot-sized waffle cone cups, is releasing new flavors for the fall/winter. I didn’t sample these because they were being served with coffee (I hate coffee!) but they’re so cute and useful – I’m definitely going to try them with hot cocoa or cider.
Available starting in September/October 2019 online, Amazon, select department stores and gourmet food markets.