Candy corn evolves into flavorful, fruity treat

When candy corn first appeared in the 1880s, farmers loved it because of its agrarian look.

The rest of America embraced it, too, because the tri-color design – yellow on the bottom, orange in the middle and white at the tip – was revolutionary, according to the National Confectioners Association.

Fast-forward more than a century.

More than 35 million pounds of candy corn is produced each year.

The association says that weight equates to nearly 9 billion pieces, enough to circle the moon nearly four times if laid end-to-end.

The candy still has the familiar shape and coloring, with a creamy vanilla flavor (and chocolate, in the case of what’s known as Indian corn). And it’s still a Halloween favorite.

But a new generation of candy corn entered the market this year.

It’s fruity with stripes of other colors, designed to appeal to adults who want something new.

Gourmet Candy Corn was developed by Galerie, a company in Hebron, Ky., about 10 miles from Cincinnati, that specializes in “innovative confectionary gifts.”

So far, it comes in three flavors, but the company president said more are on the way for next year.

The recipe is similar to the original, only the new gourmet corn does not contain honey.

The green apple flavor is lime green on the bottom, yellow in the middle and orange at the tip; cherry is red, pink and yellow, respectively; and tangerine is orange, yellow and purple, respectively.

“Some of our customers were challenging us that nothing special was going on with candy corn,” Galerie president Richard Ross said.

“Two years ago, we set out to bring new life to candy corn. We found most people who eat candy corn are adults.”

Adults eat less candy, but they seek better quality “or more intrigue,” Ross said.