Canadian Vending

Products Snacks
Sweets & Snacks Expo recognizes innovative products

July 7, 2015
By Canadian Vending


During the recent Sweets & Snacks Expo, the National Confectioners Association awarded 45 Most Innovative New Product Award nominations on companies showcasing imaginative ideas, concepts and products in confectionery and snacks.

Among the winners (see below) were Project 7’s Grapefruit Melon gum and Diamond Foods’ Kettle Brand Potato Chips Thick & Bold Dill Pickle. Retail and wholesale trade customers then electronically selected one winner in each of the nine categories.

Led by supermarket guru and food marketing authority Phil Lempert, a panel of specialists including a registered supermarket dietician, top U.S. retailers and trend experts collaborated and taste-tested nearly 300 product submissions, the association said in a news release. Panel participants included Maribel Alchin, dietitian and healthy living advisor from the supermarket chain Meijer, and Larry Levin, executive vice president of IRI, as well as executives from some of the top retailers of candy and snack products in the U.S.

The panel analyzed nine candy and snack segments ranging from chocolate and nonchocolate, to savoury and salty snacks, to the newest category, gum and mints. Panelists rated product submissions on taste, packaging, innovation and go-to-market feasibility, then discussed the top performers in each segment to narrow the selections to five items in each of the nine segments. “The panelists overwhelmingly agreed that the submissions this year were some of the most competitive and innovative they have ever seen since the program began four years ago,” said Lempert. “The competition was fierce and every nominated product deserves to be recognized as a potential best seller this coming year.”


On the first day of the Expo, hundreds of retail and wholesale trade customers voted for their top picks in each category in the Most Innovative New Product Awards showcase. A Best in Show selection is also named from the list of final nominees. This year, the Best in Show award was presented to Tic Tac Minions, a new, limited edition product from Fererro USA launched in conjunction with the Minions movie expected to be released later this summer.

“In 2014, candy and snacks were responsible for 10 percent of total supermarket sales and 15% of the overall growth of supermarket sales,” commented NCA president and chief executive John H. Downs, Jr. “Increasingly, retailers look to our Most Innovative New Product Award nominees and winners, and the trends represented among the selections, in order to determine what will perform well in the coming year.”

Chocolate winner:

Albanese Confectionery » Albanese World’s Best Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Peanuts

The Hershey Co. – Hershey’s Caramels

Marich Confectionery Co. – Marich Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel Popcorn

Mars Chocolate North America – Snickers Brand Mixed Nuts

Chuao Chocolatier – Strawberry Waffle Wild

Nonchocolate winner:

Jelly Belly Candy Co. » Jelly Belly Pancakes & Maple Syrup Grab & Go Bag

Perfetti Van Melle USA – Airheads Soft Filled Bites

Haribo of America Inc. – Haribo Twin Snakes

Ferrara Candy Co. – Now and Later Splits Lemonade Blends

Ferrara Candy Co. – Trolli Extreme Sour Bites Fruitz Peg Bag

Sweet snacks winner:

The Hershey Co. » Hershey’s Snack Mix

Alli & Rose, LLC – Alli & Rose Tropical Fields Crispy Mixed Fruit Chips

The Hershey Co. – Brookside Dark Chocolate Fruit & Nut Bar

Hammonds Candy/Old Dominion Peanut Co – Jalapeno Lime Brittle Crisp

Lady Walton’s Cookie Company – Lady Walton’s Milk Chocolate with Toasted Coconut

Salty snacks winner:

Diamond Foods » Kettle Brand Potato Chips Thick & Bold Dill Pickle

General Mills – Chex Mix Popped Sweet & Salty

Jack Link’s Beef Jerky – Jack Link’s Small Batch Hickory Bacon Jerky

Kellogg’s Company – Pringles with Dip Jalapeno Cheddar

Twang Partners, LTD – Twangerz Snack Topping – Mango Chili Salty Sweet

Savory snacks winner:

Edward Marc Brands » Edward Marc Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Snappers

County Archer – Country Archer Sriracha Beef Jerky

Carl Budding Co. / Old Wisconsin – Fast Fuel Honey Brown Sugar Turkey Sausage Snack Bites

General Mills – Food Should Taste Good Real Good Bar – Hazelnut & Sea Salt

Oberto Brands – Smokey Sweet BBQ Style Chicken Strips

Novelty/licensed winner:

Jelly Belly Candy Co. » BeanBoozled Mystery Bean Dispenser

Bazooka Candy Brands – Juicy Drop Gummies

Flix Candy – Lolli Pop Ups – Avengers, Frozen

PEZ Candy Inc – PEZ Collectibles – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Ford Gum & Machine Co. – Smarties Squeeze Candy

Seasonal winner:

Brown & Haley » Roca Thins Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bark

Palmer Candy Co. – Bakery Delight Pumpkin Pie Pretzels

Ferrara Candy Co. – Brach’s Dark Chocolate Peppermint Almonds

Ferrara Candy Co. – Brach’s Peanut Butter Cup Candy Corn

Burton’s Biscuits Co. – Cadbury Creme Egg Cookies

Gourmet/premium winner:

SuperSeeds » SuperSeedz Maple Sugar & Sea Salt

Charms Company – Boutique Premium Lollipops

BumbleBerry Farms LLC – BumbleBerry Farms Sticky Buns Cinnamon Honey Cream

Brown & Haley – Dark Chocolate Roca Thins

Diamond K Sweets – P’Nutti Better Fudge O’Bits

Gum & mints winner:

Project 7 » Project 7 Grapefruit Melon

Dr. John’s – Dr. John’s Sweet Advantage Tangy Melon Mints

Perfetti Van Melle USA – Mentos NOW Mints Peppermint

Ferrero USA – TIC TAC MINIONS (also awarded Best in Show)

Mondelez International – Trident Layers Swedish Fish

The 2016 Most Innovative New Product Awards will be presented at next year’s Sweets & Snacks Expo to be held in Chicago, May 24-26, 2016.