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A Healthier Candy Alternative for the Inner Child in All of Us

By S. Mathur

The next big thing at weddings might be....cotton candy? Glamor magazine and The Knot both think so, and they should know what they're talking about. That would be organic, gluten-free, fat-free, vegan cotton candy, the brainchild of Yasmeen Tadia who wanted her son to experience the sweets she had when growing up in South Africa. Her signature line includes Fluffpop Gourmet Mini Cotton Candy, Hotpoppin Gourmet Popcorn, and the recently launched Sugaire Organic Cotton Candy and ModChocolate.

Fluffpops come in a range of flavors including guava, lychee, pomegranate, pineapple, cappuccino, papaya and more. Flavors can be customized for special events and weddings. The tiny swirls of spun sugar are just a little over bite-sized: maybe two-bite-sized. They have been showing up at events across the country - red-carpet celebrity soirees, sporting events, and posh parties have all succumbed to the lure of cotton candy in its grown up version. Hotpoppin gourmet popcorn comes in sweet and savory flavors and is seen at trendsetting popcorn bars and custom presentations. A new product is Sugaire, cotton candy in the traditional sizes and colors. Like Fluffpops, Sugaire is organic, hand-spun, vegan, and gluten-free.

Fluffpops and gourmet popcorn were both invented as healthy treats for children, but grown ups love them too. They seem to be marketed to adults with memories of eating cotton candy at state fairs, with taste and design modified to reflect current food trends which emphasize healthy eating and interesting flavors. The tiny treats pack a strong flavor and almost universally, it seems to be love at first bite.

Fluffpops and gourmet popcorn can be purchased online from their website, and come packaged in mason jars. Tadia and her cotton candy DJs will go out to parties and events to spin the treats "live".

Tadia has a background in corporate management, which may have helped to launch the venture. Fluffpops supports a variety of charitable initiatives and a new project is the non-profit Random Acts of Sweetness, to be launched in the Fall of 2016. It aims to help communities worldwide and takes its inspiration from the words of Nelson Mandela: "Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like Slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. YOU can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom."

It is touching that much of the inspiration for Tadia's work comes from the kind of world she wants her son, Zain, now three years old, to live in. It has healthy sweet snacks, and people care for those less fortunate than themselves. As a single mother and female entrepreneur, Tadia is also committed to supporting women in business and is an exemplary figure herself. She is writing a book about her experiences and is much in demand as a public speaker.

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