The import and sales of Mexican candy in the United States has been a steadily increasing market for a number of years now with figures now suggesting that this is an almost $170 million dollar business. This fact should certainly make some of us take up and notice.
The major contributor of this increase has been the demand for these types of treats by the Latino population on the west coast who are looking for tasty snacks that remind them of their own cultural tastes and provide their children with an opportunity to sample some of their childhood candy favorites. Beyond this, the emergence of candy markets across the U.S. that specialize in ethic foods, have begun to spread sales numbers from coast to coast.
But what is different about Mexican candy? What explains it growing popularity?
Eduardo Rodríguez, the founder of Dulcelandia, a Chicago based candy store chain that sells a variety of Mexican candy made following statement: “The American candy market is a great market, but it lacks spice.”
What is meant by spice, you may ask? Many of these foreign confections with their combination sweet and sour with the tangy flavor of chili powder challenge many Americans sensibilities when it comes to what is considered candy.
But, for some the uniqueness of Mexican candy has been a welcome change in taste from the regular run of candies to be found at the local supermarket. Despite the fact that most of the buyers of these candies are Latino emigrants, a growing number of Anglo and African Americans are intrigued by the different flavors that Mexican candy has to offer.
Many of the candies are uniquely shaped, taking the form of soda bottles, ears of corn, cucumbers, and roasted chicken to name a few. Most of them are made with all natural fruits: peach, pineapple, mango, tamarind, guava, papaya, and cantaloupe. These are further enhanced by the inclusion of chili powder coatings.
So how about a bag of chili-coated gummies? Or, perhaps, you would prefer a mango-and-chili-flavored lollipop? Again, these may seem like odd combinations, but it wouldn’t hurt you to try them? You may be in for a pleasant surprise.