Cotton Candy: Finding Its Place Across The Category


Washington — Over the years, cotton candy has evolved into more than just a circus or county fair staple. According to a report from Future Market Insights, the global market was valued at $107.2 billion in 2022 and is anticipated to reach nearly $169.3 billion by 2032 with a CAGR of 4.7 percent. Manufacturers of this sugar-spun treat are experimenting with flavors, while candymakers are expanding their portfolios to jump in on the trend. Here are some products available to satisfy that cotton candy craving.

Red Bird Soft Cotton Candy Puffs 

Piedmont Candy Co.’s makes Red Bird brand soft cotton candy-flavored puffs that the company says taste exactly like the real thing “without the sticky mess.” The melt-in-your-mouth candies are handcrafted using 100 percent pure cane sugar and are individually wrapped. Each piece is colored to evoke memories of the classic candy with pink and blue stripes. Red Bird has been making puffed candy from its hometown in Lexington, NC, since 1890.

Taste of Nature Starburst Fave Reds, Skittles Cotton Candy 

Putting a branded twist on the handspun sweet, Taste of Nature, Inc. has launched Skittles and Starburst cotton candy in partnership with Mars, Inc. The Starburst version is available in “Fave Reds” cherry and strawberry flavor, the brand’s undisputed top flavors, and the Skittles variety is flavored to mimic the taste of a handful of Skittles candy. The product is hand spun in the U.S., according to the company. 

Maud Borup Want S’More Cotton Candy

Branching out from traditional flavors, Maud Borup Want S’More cotton candy is marshmallow-flavored with cacao and crushed graham crackers swirled throughout. According to the company, the product is USDA Certified Organic, non-GMO and nut- and dye-free. Created by a women- and veteran-owned company committed to sustainability, other flavors in the line include blueberry waffle, cookies and cream and magic dragon, described as raspberry-flavored cotton candy with naturally flavored rainbow candy bits throughout. 

Cotton Candy Peeps

Expanding its iconic Peeps brand, Just Born Inc., has included a cotton candy variety, which the company says has “the light and fluffy flavor of that great tasting carnival confection.” Packaged in pink- and blue-striped window trays, the pink sugar-sanded marshmallow candies are sprinkled with blue flecks, harkening back to the classic colors of the sugar spun treat.

McJak Champagne Cotton Candy With
 GOLD Glitter

Putting an upscale spin on the classic fair item, McJak Candy Co.’s County Fair brand champagne-flavored cotton candy includes bits of edible gold glitter throughout and is packaged in clear mason jars. The family-owned company is based in Medina, OH, and its variety of unique innovations and flavors is meant to attract an adult audience. 

Big Sky Sugarfree Cotton Candy Mints

Big Sky Brands Inc. Sugarfree Cotton Candy mints are an unconventional addition to the breath mint sector for consumers who want to keep the flavor of cotton candy close at hand — say in a purse or a pocket. Smooth, intensely flavored and containing no artificial colors or aspartame, all of the company’s mints are kosher certified and made in North America. 

Jelly Belly Cotton Candy Jelly Beans

Known for its true-to-life flavors, Jelly Belly Candy Co.’s cotton candy jelly beans are described as an immersive experience into the pink freshly spun treat. In fact, an online source ranked the flavor seventh overall among all of the brand’s more than 100 flavors. Another online source puts it as the number one flavor in Montana. The company reports all Jelly Belly jelly beans are OU kosher, gluten-, peanut-, dairy- and fat-free and are vegetarian friendly.