KANSAS CITY —The dynamic duo of chocolate and fruit is flourishing. Sales of fruit and chocolate combinations in confectionery have increased 116% in the last three years, said Susan Whiteside, vice-president of public relations and marketing communications for the National Confectioners Association. But the pair’s popularity is reaching beyond the candy aisle with recent new product launches.

Cherries and chocolate unite in Unilever’s new Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Cherry Garcia ice cream. The frozen treat features chocolate ice cream with cherries and fudge flakes.

Smartfood Popcorn, a subsidiary of PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division, brought together dark chocolate and raspberry for its new popcorn flavor. Smartfood Indulgences Raspberry & Dark Chocolate flavored popcorn, made with 100% whole grains and no artificial flavors or preservatives, features a combination of raspberry and dark chocolate drizzled over kettle corn.

18 Rabbits Organics combines cherries and cocoa and dark chocolate and strawberries in its two new products. The Chocolate Cherry Jr. Cereal consists of cherries and cocoa folded together with whole grains, seeds and honey. The Chocolate Strawberry Jr. Bar is made with strawberries, dark chocolate, whole grains, seeds, maple syrup and honey. The products are USDA Certified Organic, Non-GMO Project verified and gluten-free.

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