Amongst the hundreds of new products introduced at the Sweets and Snacks Expo, these are the best, as judged by top industry members.
The Sweets and Snacks Expo is the top industry event for the candy and snacks industry in the USA, with hundreds of new products vying for the coveted “Most Innovative New Product Award”. The winners not only take home a trophy, but the award also provides exposure to winning companies both on and off the show.
A select group of industry experts and buyers, in a secret tasting session, sample the products before the show and the winners announced at the award ceremony on the first day of the show.
There is some criticism that the top awards tend to go to the sponsors, but smaller players get their chance for recognition with the Small Business Innovator Award.
Do you agree with the winners? Follow our social media coverage and stay tuned as we’ll be selecting our best-in-show! Our selection, chosen by our analysts as well as feedback from exhibitors at the show!
Without further ado, here are the award-winning products for each of the nine categories plus a special award:
Chocolate: Hershey’s Gold
Hershey’s took the top award in the Chocolate category with their Hershey’s Gold product. It’s a combination of caramelised creme, peanuts, pretzels and chocolate. The product hits the growing demand for sweet/salty combos.
Salty Snack: Sahale Snacks
Sahale’s took home the Salty Snack award with their Tangerine Vanilla Cashew Macadamia Glazed Mix product. Though not entirely salty, the product brings a sweet element to the product and a tropical twist (more on that later) with tropical mangoes and Madagascar vanilla.
Non-Chocolate: Nestle USA/Ferrara Candy Co.
Nestle/Ferrara’s Big Chewy Nerds tap into the textured candy trend we were tracking at the show. See our preview here. The product combines the crunch of candy with the chewy texture of a gummy.
Savoury Snack: In Season Snacks
Crispy Trail Mix Crackers from In Season Snacks is a crispy and indulgent cracker product made with mung beans, cashew nuts, raisins, sesame seeds, and pumpkin seeds. The baked product is free from artificial colours and flavours.
Gum/Mints: Ferrero USA
While we got a sneak previewed at last year’s show, the product officially launched in 2018. Ferrero’s Tic Tac Gum product takes the award for this category. What’s interesting about this product is the tropical flavour, an award-winning flavour for confectionery at the ISM Show 2018 in Germany.
Novelty: Impact Confections
Warheads always surprises at the show with extreme and fun varieties targeted to kids. This year the company took home the novelty prize with their Warheads Dippin’ Ring, hitting the “edible entertainment” trend that has been popping up at recent shows.
Gourmet/Premium: That’s How We Roll
Eligible for snacks or candy products, this year’s award goes to Parma Crisps Trio. A handy and convenient snack pack consisting of partitioned Cheese ParmaCrisps, almonds and pumpkin seeds, and apricots and cranberries for that sweet, salty, and crunchy snack.
Sweet Snacks: Justin’s
A new take on a long-time favourite, the winning product in the sweets snacks category goes to Organic White Chocolate Mini Peanut Butter Cups from Justin’s. This is a well-deserved award for Justin’s as they’re showcasing some high-quality products.
Seasonal: Ferrero USA
The second award for Ferrero with their Golden Heart for You & Me product, perfect for Valentine’s Day 2019.
Best in Show: Hostess
The top award at the event goes to Bakery Petites from Hostess. The team at Hostess is a creative powerhouse (have a peek at their Instagram account). The product is a decadent small batch treats that take on familiar.
Small Business Innovator Award: Vosges Wild Ophelia Cocoa Toast
The big winner for the smaller brands is Vosges Haute Chocolate Wild Ophelia with their Hazelnut Cocoa Toast product. This award, launched in 2017, recognises the overall top-ranked product by the judges from among all items submitted by companies with $500,000 or less in sales.
The Ruby Award: Barry Callenbaut A.G. USA
The first every Ruby Award for Supplier Innovation was presented to Barry Callenbaut for their Ruby Chocolate. The product was creating quite a buzz with its unique natural red colouring. The award recognises the company’s break-through development which has advanced confectionery development.
So, what did you think? Were these your favourites at the show? If you couldn’t go to the show, make sure to follow our social media for more and keep an eye out for OUR selection of the top products.