Finding your favorite flavor candy is important. Why not search by flavor? Only you know what you like, and getting it right is non-negotiable! Use these candy by flavor pages to find your flavor of candy under one roof, without being interrupted by some other flavor you don't like. All the butterscotch people can stay on their page, and the licorice people on theirs. (They've been known to tussle.) Most candy makers do not create their own unique flavors. They actually employ what is called a "flavor company" for that! Large companies may require different tastes for new products, or new versions of an existing item, so they contract the taste-making to outside experts!
Scientists called "flavorists" (seriously, we're not making this up) are in charge of creating new flavors or ways to artificially re-create some that exist in nature. The yummy-maker's job mixes real scientific knowledge of what is called the chemical palette and her own artistic savvy to create new and exciting tastes.
Here's how it works. The flavorist receives a memo from the client that tries to tell them exactly what type of taste they're looking for. They may also need to know in what way the flavor is going to be used by the client. In candy? In soda? Does it have to be all natural? This part can be tricky because not many people are as refined with their flavor senses as the flavorists. So the communication must be done with much care. The scientist then utilizes his experience with all the yummy flavors out there and tries to mix some juices or chemicals that will produce what they think the client wants. They will often go back and forth many times making adjustments until the client is satisfied with the taste. Which is probably pretty frustrating for the yummy-tologists. :)
Other work these companies may do is to take taste test surveys. They want to make sure people will like it in the general public, not just in a lab. Sometimes the highly refined tastes of a flavorist are lost upon we mere mortals. :) They will probably also hire people to test that it will actually work in the application for which it is intended. Sometimes special flavor delivery methods are used to protect the taste during potentially harmful processing or cooking. They have got to keep that specific taste in tact, because if it changes, all bets are off!
So next time you're at a wedding and they have a candy buffet, take a moment to think about all the scientists who studied and worked for years to bring you that sweet tasty goodness.