Although new product introductions in confections and snacks generally wait until the Sweets & Snacks Expo in May, this year has already seen several high-profile launches and announcements. Just Born Inc. is taking a heated approach to sweets with an even hotter version of its Hot Tamales. Hot Tamales 3 Alarm combines three different versions of hot cinnamon-flavored candies: hot (traditional Hot Tamales Cinnamon), hotter (Hot Tamales Fire) and hottest (the newest and, per the company, hottest Hot Tamales ever introduced). Just Born notes the candies have 7 calories a piece and are kosher and free of gluten.   

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Jelly Belly has never been one to shy away from a chance to co-brand, and for its newest jelly beans, the company is drawing upon the inspiration of Snapple Juice Drinks. Jelly Belly Snapple Mix can be found in five flavors (Fruit Punch, Mango Madness, Cranberry Raspberry, Pink Lemonade and Kiwi Strawberry), each in miniature Snapple-inspired bottles. The line was developed with natural ingredients, fruit juice, Snapple juice drink concentrates and fruit purees; even the beans’ colorings are from natural fruits and vegetables, including grapes, black currant, carrot and apple.

For its part, Mars is already looking to the winter holidays and has announced several ranges of products centered around that theme. Singles Shapes are 1.1oz versions of Snickers Nutcracker, Snickers Peanut Butter Santa and Milky Way Simply Caramel Snowman. The Twix brand gets a version made with sugar cookies, and 3 Musketeers adds a limited-edition hot cocoa with marshmallow variety.