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Candy Sales, Up. Chocolate Altoids, Meh.

By Hanna Aronovich in Food on Nov 1, 2006 1:26PM

Halloween is more than just an excuse to slut it up; it’s also one of the most important holidays to candy makers. And it seems that sales – especially for Chicago-based confectioners – are up. Crains reported Chicago’s own Tootsie Roll Industries grew its third-quarter earnings, and shares rose 7 percent in October. Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. also posted increases, with shares up 14 percent last month. And, Fannie May, now owned by 1-800-Flowers, is also doing well, according to its latest results.

2006_11_altoids.jpgNew products continue to drive revenues, and recently, Wrigley’s Altoids introduced its dark-chocolate-covered mints. The curiously strong candies come in peppermint, cinnamon and ginger flavors. Over the summer, the confections were sold on eBay, and proceeds for the $182 set of three flavors went to the American Red Cross.

The Sun-Times reported Altoids Dark Chocolate Dipped Mints will ship to stores in December. However, Chicaogist managed to find the cinnamon ones in our local convenience store. The mints look like rounder chocolate-covered raisins, and the chocolate coating is about as thick. The first mint we tried seemed a little weird. We just weren’t used to Altoids covered in chocolate. The softer texture of the chocolate didn’t match the hard crunch of the Altoid, and we kind of wished the Altoids had more of a Junior Mint consistency. But, after eating about half the package, the mints grew on us. And, keeping true to Altoids, the strong mint flavor isn’t diminished by the chocolate.

We think the peppermint flavor sounds the best, but we couldn’t find it. Guess we’ll just have to wait until December to buy ‘em – and which might help boost Wrigley’s Christmas sales.