A. Elizabeth Sloan

You know the feeling: you crave something sweet! According to USDA/Opinion Research, two out of five Americans admit to their sweet tooth, 96% have a regular urge for a sweet snack, and sugar intake is up 20% since 1986. No wonder candy consumption is at an all-time high, posting $23 billion in U.S. sales.

With 1,273 candy/confectionary products introduced in 1999—just behind beverages and condiments, according to New Product News/GNDP—the candy business is more competitive than ever. Whatever it…

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