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    'Most Innovative Products of the Year’ Honored

    Retailers, wholesalers selected winners at Sweet and Snacks Expo

    At the Sweets and Snacks Expo held in Chicago May 8-10, the National Confectioners Association awarded 40 Most Innovative New Product nominations to companies showcasing the most innovative ideas, concepts and products in two of the fastest growing categories in the marketplace – confectionery and snacks. Retail and wholesale trade customers then selected one winner in each of eight categories that help make up the $80 billion sweets and snacks industry in the United States.

    A panel of experts made up of retail customers, food industry icons and trend experts helped NCA narrow down the field of entrants. Nearly 200 products were submitted for consideration. The panel analyzed packaging, concepts and salability of each entry and had the opportunity to taste the products in their effort to select the top 40 items among eight categories. On the first day of the expo, retail and wholesale trade customers had the final vote to select the best in each category.

    “The expo’s new product tasting session has been not only one of the most unique and diverse as far as product submissions, but also one of the most fun and flavorful events to collaborate on,” said Phil Lempert, food trends editor for NBC’s Today Show and panel moderator. “Where else but at the Sweets and Snacks Expo will you find cocoa-flavored freezer pops up against habanero corn nuggets, bacon and chocolate-flavored popcorn and sour gel-filled pens?”

    The winner and nominees in each category are:

    Chocolate: Hammond’s Candies – Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich Milk Chocolate Bar

    Nominees:
    The Hershey Co. – Herhsey’s Milk Chocolate with Almonds Pieces
    The Hershey Co. – Rolo Minis
    Wild Ophelia – Wild Ophelia Beef Jerky Bar
    Wild Ophelia – Wild Ophelia Peanut Butter and Banana Bar

    Non-chocolate: Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. – Skittles® Riddles™

    Nominees:
    Haribo of America Inc. – Haribo Ginger-Lemon Gummi Candy
    Just Born Inc. – Hot Tamales® 3 Alarm
    The Hershey Co. – Ice Breakers Duo Mints – Strawberry
    Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. – Orbit® Spotlight Series™ Melon Remix™

    Sweet Snacks: Ferrero U.S.A. Inc. – Nutella® & Go!

    Nominees:
    Lowell International Foods – SesaKiss
    The Promotion in Motion Companies Inc. – Juicefuls® Fruit Wave
    Setton International Foods Inc. – Setton Farms Pistachio Chewy Bites
    Sheila G Brands LLC – Sheila G’s Brownie Brittle

    Salty Snacks: Mars Chocolate North America – M&M’S® Brand Snack Mix

    Nominees:
    Gourmet Basics –Smart Fries Popped Potato Sticks Garlic & Rosemary
    Plocky’s Fine Snacks – Plocky’s® Greek Lemon Herb Hummus Chips
    Flamous Brands – Falafel Chips
    Jack Links – Big Dippers

    Savory Snacks: Nopal Bros. – Nopal Bros. Sweet & Spicy Dried Cactus Snack

    Nominees:
    Cornfields Inc. – Hi I’m Skinny Sticks Sweet Onion
    Cornfields Inc. – Hi I’m Skinny Sticks Tangy Barbeque
    Gracious Gifts – FixMix™ Chocolate Caramel Pretzels
    Holy Cow LLC – Lord Nut Levington El Cheddarales Peanuts

    Novelty & Licensed:  Jelly Belly Candy Co. – Jelly Belly UNO Game Box

    Nominees:
    Amerilab Technologies Inc. – Fizzies® Drink Tablets, Grape
    Impact Confections – Warheads® Sour Dippers™
    Jel Sert Company – Fla-Vor Ice Fudge Pops (Made with Hershey’s Chocolate)
    Magic Straws LLC – got milk? Cotton Candy Magic Milk Flavoring Straw

    Seasonal: Mars Chocolate North America – M&M’S® Brand Candy Corn White Chocolate Candies

    Nominees:
    Brown & Haley – Dark Chocolate Peppermint ROCA
    Just Born Inc. – 3 ct. Milk Chocolate Dipped Caramel Flavored Peeps® Chicks
    Just Born Inc. – 4 ct. Package PeepS® Chicks Rainbow POP (assorted colors of red, green and white)
    Praim Group – Choxcard

    Gourmet & Premium: Brown & Haley – Dark Roca

    Nominees:
    Cornelia Confections – Pecan Chipotle Brittle
    Holy Cow LLC – Lord Nut Levington Rebel Mary Peanuts
    Nature’s Habit – Nature’s Habit Trail Mix Cranberries, Cherries, Raisins, Almonds & Pecans
    Too Haute Cowgirls Popcorn Confections – Have Bacon Will Travel

    In any given year about 30 percent of all confectionery sales are attributed to products launched in the previous 24 months, noted NCA president Larry Graham. “Innovation is an essential part of the confectionery and snacks industry,” said Graham. “Last year there were nearly 4,800 new candy and snack items launched in the U.S., many of them making their debut at the Sweet and Snacks Expo.”

    The 2013 Most Innovative New Product Awards will be presented at next year’s expo to be held in Chicago, May 21–23, 2013.
     

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