NERDS candy, Lucha Grande, intense flavors win over fans


Are you ready to rumble? NERDS candy, Lucha Grande, introduces bold, intense candy flavors, like guava, mango and tamarind.

Candy flavors are evolving. The classic flavors, like cherry, strawberry and lemon, may not tickle the taste buds. As consumers explore other cuisines, candy is adopting cultural flavors. The new NERDS candy, Lucha Grande, reflects the candies found in a dulceria.

In many Hispanic cultures, the candy stores feature flavors that are not too common to the American candy stores. For example, tamarind, with its sweet and sour taste, is quite popular in Hispanic candies. But, this flavor doesn’t often find its way to an American Halloween bag.

Nestle, the makers of NERDS, expanded the NERDS brand with NERDS Lucha Grande. The new Hispanic inspired flavors are both bold and intense. Launching this summer, the new flavors include guava, mango chili and pineapple lime.

Unveiled at the annual Sweets and Snacks Expo in Chicago, NERDS Lucha Grande won the 2017 Most Innovative New Product.

According to Chris Ota, Marketing Manager, Nestlé USA Confections & Global Foods, “We know that these distinctive staple flavors are held very dear to much of the Hispanic population and we’re thrilled to introduce a whole new audience to the mesmerizing tastes of flavors like Mango, Guava and Tamarind.”

Also, Nestle added similar flavors to its other candy lines. LAFFY TAFFY introduced guava and pineapple flavors. FUN DIP added mango lime and cucumber watermelon. PIXY STIX launched cucumber watermelon, mango lime and pineapple. These flavors appeal to a different flavor profile and help to broaden customer demographic.

Spicy candy trend at SSE17, Spicy Starburst, photo by Cristine Struble

This new line reflects a trend in the candy industry. Many companies have or are adding spicy flavors to their classic candies. Skittles and Starbursts will have a spicy version later this year. Mike and Ike previously released spicy/sweet flavor combinations. WarHeads HotHeads has several heat-enhanced candies.

While some people may never want to try any of these intense candies, the flavors can be quite good. Years ago no one thought that chocolate and jalapenos would be tasty together, but that combination is now common place. Candy manufacturers need to evolve flavors. Otherwise, the candy market will become boring.

Next: Spicy Skittles, are you ready for a flavor explosion?

No one is implying that candy manufacturers will replace all the classic, favorite candy from our youth. Popular flavors will always have a fan base. But, new flavors and flavor combinations can and are enjoyable. Once people get over the shock value and try these candies, like the NERDS candy Lucha Grande, they might like them just as much as the classic candies.

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