LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - Atkinson Candy has updated Chick-O-Stick. The crunchy candy will now be made with simple ingredients and without artificial colors or flavors.
Since their inception in the early 1940s, Chick-O-Sticks have featured fresh roasted peanut butter and toasted coconut made daily onsite at the Atkinson’s Candy factory in Lufkin.
“Over the past couple of years, we’ve been more conscious about the ingredients that we’re using to make the candies,” said Sarah Atkinson, the company’s marketing director.
She said they are simplifying the recipes with ingredients found in the kitchen.
“If you go back to the very beginning, when my great grandparents started this company, they were making these candies based on on my great grandmother’s just sort of homemade candy recipe. So they were simple to begin with because they were made with what she had in her kitchen pantry," Atkinson said.
All of the crunchy candy will now be made with natural ingredients void of artificial colors or flavors says Atkinson. She said they’ve invested a year’s time to find the right color for the chick-o-stick, working closely with their suppliers.
“Turmeric as a natural coloring came about because we were still trying to find that vibrant yellow orange hue to color a chick-o-stick specifically and turmeric was the best option,” Atkinson said.
In addition to the color from the turmeric root, the roasted peanut butter and toasted coconut Chick-O-Stick will also contain vegetable juice as part of the natural ingredients initiative.
“It was really just sort of an ethos around wanting to be as simple as and natural as possible. While we’re making candy, we’re not making health food, we’re not making meal replacements but we do want the candy to be good for you as possible,” Atkinson said.
The artificial red and blue coloring will be removed, and the new formulation contains no hydrogenated oils or artificial preservatives.