Food & Beverage

Nestle takes on Hershey's in non-chocolate wars

Licorice wars? Nestle's taking on Hershey's Twizzlers

Licorice is the most popular non-chocolate candy in America. For years, Hershey-owned Twizzlers have twisted the market to its own desires. Statista reports licorice sales topped $300 million in 2013, most of that went to Twizzlers, $204 million. Red Vines was a distant second at $49 million.

Now, Nestle wants a bite of that action. The company is busy rebranding and relaunching the former Kazoozles as SweeTARTS Soft & Chewy Ropes, which appeal to what BNP Media reports are new trends in licorice: softer and more natural.

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While all licorice brands now tout themselves as containing no fat, SweeTARTS also boasts no artificial flavors or ingredients.

"We felt SweeTARTS would be a strong category player with its flavor profile," the company said in a statement.

How do the Ropes stack up against established licorice brands? I did a taste test. Watch the video.

—By CNBC's Jane Wells.