KaDunks is the latest invention from the candy innovators at Yolo Candy, the group behind the famous gourmet lollipop company Linda’s Lollies. Yolo Candy was founded by three former executives of Topps, a mainstream candy company responsible for some of your favorite childhood temptations.
If you grew up in the 1990s or early 2000s, I’m sure you remember getting bombarded with very effective TV ads for Ring Pop, Push Pop, Baby Bottle Pop and Juice Drop Pop, all of which came out of Topps, where John Budd, the Yolo Chief Marketing Officer and former Topps Vice President of Marketing, lead the branding and marketing strategy that made these candies such great sellers.
The Yolo founding team also includes Chief Sales Officer Brent Greer and Chief Executive Officer Scott Silverstein, and they were kind enough to send us some samples of the new sour confectionary for a review.
KaDunks has yet to hit stores, but even so, it won the 2014 ECRM Buyer’s Choice award for the “Best New Novelty Product”.
Knowing that going in, my expectations were set a little high, which is not good for a product review like this. From a brand PR perspective, they shouldn’t have told us that because it’s easier to impress when expectations aren’t high. Plus, while I’m a fan of a variety of candies, I find that a lot of candy almost tastes the same with far too much sweetness, so I tend to look for sweets that put more effort into the flavor rather than sweetness or novelty. I can’t say I’m the easiest person to please.
But I’m pleased to say that I was pleasantly surprised.
It was definitely a weird, unexpected experience: the combination of flavors and textures, an explosion of stimulation in every part of my mouth. While it’s nothing like Pop Rocks, the sensation of eating this for the first time is as surprising as trying Pop Rocks for the first time.
Your brain knows what food is supposed to be like, and weird sensations like this are not what your brain knows as food. But I urge you, just give in. Let yourself get lost in the sour. Rub your tongue over the rough curves of the gummy piece. Let it get drowned out by the sour gel. A melee of delicious.
Still biased that I wasn’t going to like it, I swallowed my first KaDunks piece. I thought about it for a minute, reminiscing over the odd traces of flavor still in my mouth.
And I was tempted to do it again, so I Kadunked another gummy into the sour dip.
This time, the experience was known. I was ready to accept the sour invasion, and I liked it more the second time around. By the time I KaDunked my last gummy piece, I was thrilled with the whole experience, though I wasn’t happy with the limited number of pieces in my box.
“Just one more,” I thought to myself.