Just when you thought it was safe to start your summer diet, snack and candy makers are trying to tempt your taste buds with a slew of new sweet or savory or just plain strange new treats.
Whether it's with unique chip flavors --such as blue cheese, dill pickle or barbecue ribs -- or the most mouthwatering chocolates, companies that specialize in munchies are competing for your appetite and your food budget.
The hottest trends in palate pleasing goodies were recently on display at the Sweets and Snack Expo in Chicago, where buyers sampled the latest confections and product innovations. Here's a look at what's coming soon to a store shelf near you:
1. Asher's chocolate smothered potato chips
What could be better than crunchy, salty potato chips? CHOCOLATE COVERED crunchy, salty potato chips, that's what! They come in dark or milk chocolate.
2. Ch'up cake cupcakes
Have your cupcake and eat it too. These little gems are like a combination of candy and cake in one indulgent bunch. There are five heavenly flavors; cookies and cream, s'mores, trail mix, banana carmel and espresso.
3. Beauty Sweeties
It's more of a lifestyle than a candy. So says the labeling of these heart shaped jelly treats, packed with nutrients like Q10, collagen and aloe vera. They come in mango, pomegranate and acai flavors.
Remember animal crackers? They were actually cookies that came in a circus designed box. Well here's a slight twist to the simple biscuit. Just in time for baseball season, a company called Color-a-Cookie has boxes that show off your loyalty for the home team with cookies in the shapes of things you'd find on the baseball field: bats, bases, balls and bats.
5. Touch Down Jawbreakers
A football helmet will not protect you if you break your jaw on one of these more-than-a-mouthful Touch Down Jawbreaker candies, but they will help you cheer on your favorite fake football team, such as the Iguanas, the Bearz the Pirates or the Bazookas. The helmet's not edible, but those who are brave enough to make it through the rock hard candy shell, get a surprise inside; bubble gum.
Its the Swedish name for cannonball. You might feel like your mouth was hit with one after tasting the unique combination of chili pepper and sweet mandarin in these little orange confections. The company that makes it says it will satisfy both your cravings for spicy and sweet.
7. Vitamin Candy
No excuses needed because you're not even breaking your diet when you indulge in these vitamin packed, sugar free, gelatin free, gummy candies. They come in three non-guilt inducing flavors; watermelon, strawberry and pineapple-mandarin.
8. Smart Fries
They won't actually raise your IQ but you might feel smarter when you switch the fried foods for these light, crunchy, air-popped snacks that are low in fat and calories. They come in honey bbq, vintage cheddar, jalapeño try and classic sea salt.
Yes, you read that right. Seaweed. People in Japan and Korea have been eating it as a snack for years, and now Americans are catching on. Once the seaweed is roasted in sesame oil or olive oil, and then salted, it becomes a very flavorful chip, without the fat. "We bring the whole ocean taste into your mouth", is the somewhat strange phrase used to market the snack.