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CANDY CORNER MAKES DEBUT

NEW YORK -- Lotta Luv is developing a real sweet tooth.<P>Earlier this year the upstart beauty company signed a license with Hershey Foods to market cosmetics and bath and body items under the Bubble Yum bubble gum brand, which are slated to ship in...

NEW YORK — Lotta Luv is developing a real sweet tooth.

Earlier this year the upstart beauty company signed a license with Hershey Foods to market cosmetics and bath and body items under the Bubble Yum bubble gum brand, which are slated to ship in time for back to school.

Since then it has continued to stock up on licenses for other candy brands, including Junior Mints, Charms, Blow Pops, Dots, Sugar Daddy and Tootsie Roll, all products of the Tootsie Roll Co. This week Lotta Luv executives revealed they also possess licenses for three other blockbuster Hershey brands — Hershey Kisses, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and York Peppermint Patties. Additionally, the company has signed a deal with Bratford Licensing for rights to market beauty items under the Pez dispenser candy brand. And others are coming, assured Steph Fogelson, president of Lotta Luv. “We want to dominate this concept and the way to do it is to bring together the most exciting and dominant brand names.”

Together the items are being presented to retailers as Candy Corner Cosmetics, a name that has been trademarked by Lotta Luv, according to Fogelson. “The goal is to merchandise them as a collection. It is going to look like a candy store.” The products will be packaged in a variety of ways including on blister cards, in boxes and in a wrapper that replicates a bagged candy wrapper like that used for Sugar Babies.

Lotta Luv will be showcasing its lineup at the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Marketplace show in San Diego, which begins Saturday. But the collection will be offered to specialty stores as well. Already Dylan’s Candy Store on 59th Street said it will put in a set for September, according to Fogelson.

To start there is an emphasis on lip glosses and lip balms, all of which are scented and flavored to match the respective candy. For Bubble Yum, there are already bath and body items in the works. Along with lip items, Junior Mints will be offering a mint body gel and mint body lotion and chocolate bath fizzies and mint bath fizzies. The Charms lollipop brand will offer a pot lip gloss with a brush that is packaged so the brush looks like a lollipop stick. And Tootsie Roll will feature nail polish in bottles that look like Tootsie Roll Pops. The polish, naturally, is scented.

Tootsie Roll brand items are expected to be in store by October and Hershey Kisses will be out in time for holiday. For now there is no traditional advertising planned, instead Lotta Luv will focus on co-op ads with retailers.

Fogelson said while he expects the line to have broad appeal, it is generally viewed as a brand for tweens and teens. “We think we can add an element to this category that has never been done before,” said Fogelson, who thinks the brand would appeal to consumers who like Bonne Bell products, which are also highly scented and flavored.

Sources predict that Bubble Yum products alone could hit retail sales this year between $5 million and $10 million. Taking a long view, Fogelson believes the candy concept has potential to match Bonne Bell. According to Information Resources Inc., Bonne Bell’s lip color sales grew 20.5 percent last year to $67.7 million, excluding Wal-Mart which typically represents about 30 percent of a brand’s business.