Convenience Store News Reveals Winners of 25th Annual Best New Products Awards
Health and wellness are still strong selling points for new c-store items.
NATIONAL REPORT — The health and wellness trend in product innovation hasn't slowed down. If anything, consumers' desire for healthier products enhanced with functional benefits has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many of the winners in the 2021 Convenience Store News Best New Products Awards represent examples of how Americans continue to look for proof of functional benefits in the foods and beverages they consume. Some of the more common product attributes shared among this year's honorees include low or no sugar or carbs, organic, clean label, and sustainable.
On the other hand, this year's group of winners also includes products that illustrate the fact that while consumers may want to follow healthy diets, that doesn't mean they don't like to treat themselves to indulgent sugary and salty snacks on occasion. This creates a tale of two c-stores: healthy products on one side and comforting, fun products on the other.
Another trend seen this year is "premium." Premium brand identification is on the upswing, with many products claiming unique ingredients, presentation and benefits over standard c-store fare.
More than any year prior, this year's Best New Products Awards winners backed up their claims with data showing the success of their new introductions.
From more than 100 entries, judges chose 44products new to convenience store shelves for recognition in the 25th annual competition. The Best New Products Awards program recognizes the marketers that introduced the most innovative, high-quality products that meet consumers' evolving needs and fit a convenience store's value proposition.
Entries were rated and awarded points based on the criteria of taste, value, convenience, healthfulness, ingredients, preparation requirements, appearance and packaging. Judging was supervised and tallied by Past Times Marketing, a New York-based consumer research and product-testing firm. Detailed criteria is available here.
Products honored this year range from enhanced still waters, hard seltzers and indulgent sweet snacks to low-sugar, keto friendly and convenient grab-and-go foodservice items.
The 2021 Best New Products Awards winners are:
ALTERNATIVE SNACKS: ENERGY BARS
CLIF Bar Duos, CLIF Bar & Co.
ALTERNATIVE SNACKS: MEAT SNACKS
Country Archer Footlongs, Country Archer Provisions
ALTERNATIVE SNACKS: PROTEIN BARS
Cinnamon Toast Crunch Protein Bar, General Mills Convenience
Coors Pure, Molson Coors Beverage Co.
Reese's Big Cup with Pretzels, The Hershey Co.
ORBIT Mega Pack — Peppermint, Mars Wrigley
HARIBO Funtastic Mix, HARIBO of America
Skittles Shriekers!, Mars Wrigley
Hemp Bombs CBD Gummies, Hemp Bombs
CBD: JUICE DRINKS
Forth CBD-Infused Juice Drinks, E-Alternative Solutions