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Candy Land A national craving for Gummy Bears and lemon drops bulks up candy store sales.

By Frances Huffman

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You know the feeling--that irrepressible craving that hitsaround 3 o'clock in the afternoon. Or maybe it's a trip tothe movies that triggers the uncontrollable urge. Perhaps you neverthink about it until you come face to face with a sweet treat atthe mall--and then you absolutely have to have it. No matter whenit strikes, America's sweet tooth needs to be sated.

Sure, Americans are spending billions on diets and lo-cal andfat-free foods. But if everyone is so hell-bent on eating right,why did we gobble up an average of more than 24 pounds of candy in1996 compared to 17.9 pounds in 1983?

We don't know the answer to that question, but we do knowthis: The nation's bulk candy purveyors are grateful our sweettooth isn't decaying. This confection affection is part of thereason bulk candy stores are popping up in malls, strip centers andfood courts around the country and why grocery stores, movietheaters, airports, university student unions and other primelocations are adding bulk candy bins to the mix of goodies theyalready carry.

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