Apr 30, 2024 - Food and Drink

Ranch cotton candy is now a thing

A tub of cotton candy with a ranch label

Photo: Courtesy of Fairy Tale Cotton Candy

Midwesterners are known for their affinity for ranch, but one Des Moines sweetsmaker might be testing those limits with ranch cotton candy.

State of play: The peculiar flavor, sold by Fairy Tale Cotton Candy, is competing in the Iowa Association of Business and Industry's "Coolest Thing Made in Iowa" contest this month.

How it started: Fairy Tale co-owner Meg Shearer says her culinary inspiration came from a walk around Raygun, where she noticed ranch-themed merch everywhere.

  • She decided to hop on the ranch train and reached out to flavoring companies to make a "ranch profile" for her cotton candy.

The result: Her company launched the flavor in February and "it's performing so well," Shearer says.

  • The flavor is a "broad, herbaceous note" with a little bit of a dill bite and sour cream mouthfeel.

The big picture: Social media has driven demand for more extreme flavors, especially as people film themselves trying unusual foods.

What's next: If ranch is too mellow for you, just wait — ghost pepper watermelon and Carolina reaper cherry are coming next month.

Where to find it: Chocolate Storybook in West Des Moines and online.

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