15 June 2005

‘Healthy Candy’—Rrrrright...

Via AP:

Apparently energy-packed sports drinks aren't enough. Now there are vitamin-laced jelly beans and ginseng-stoked chews.

The nation's candy makers are targeting fitness enthusiasts seeking to boost athletic performance or quickly grab a jolt of energy.

Industry insiders and analysts who gathered this week in Chicago for North America's largest candy trade show say the odd pairing of candy and fitness might just make economic sense. Consumers are scooping up more than $3 billion a year in "energy" gels, bars and drinks, and the crowded, $25 billion confection industry must continue to innovate if it's going to sweeten the bottom line.

And when you consider that more than 60 percent of adults say they exercise, the new products stand a good chance of catching on, said Harry Balzer, vice president of a consumer marketing firm that tracks the food industry.

Oh goody, more processed, refined, extracted, extruded, treated, preserved, re-treated, modified “health food” for people to binge on, just what we need! Sports drinks with electrolytes and stuff, I can understand (though the food coloring really isn't the best). Sports bars probably aren't too bad, what with (as I understand it) mostly ‘real food’ contents with some extra nutrients thrown in. But candy? I guess it's the logical follow-up to all of the vitamin C lozenges and stuff.

<shrug> Just give me real, actual fruits and vegetables with an occasional granola bar and some really good dark chocolate every once in a while. Now that’s snacking!

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