CHICAGO — The 25th Sweets & Snacks Expo honored its Most Innovative New Product Awards by recognizing this year's most innovative confectionery and snack products and the companies that created them during an event at Chicago's McCormick Place.
These products have been developed during the last year and are now available on store shelves or will be made available to shoppers in the coming months, according to the National Confectioners Association (NCA), which presents the trade show.
Retail leaders representing 85 percent of the confectionery and snack categories' buying power served as judges across the 13 categories that comprise the Most Innovative New Product Awards.
The winners of the 2022 Most Innovative New Products Awards are:
- Best in Show: Trü Frü LLC — Natures Strawberries Hyper-Chilled Fresh in Ruby Cacao
- Small Business Innovator: Carrot Bacon — Carolina Smoke
- Chocolate: Lindt & Sprüngli USA Inc. — Lindt CLASSIC RECIPE OatMilk
- Non-Chocolate: Ferrara — Nerds Gummy Clusters Very Berry 8oz
- Gum & Mints: Mars Wrigley US — EXTRA Refreshers Fruity Mix Sugar-Free Chewing Gum
- Salty Snacks: KrackCorn LLC — KrackCorn Original Family Size
- Sweet Snacks: The Hershey Co. — Reese's Snack Bar
- Meat Snacks: 4505 Meats — Chile Limon Chicharrones
- Savory Snacks: Pecan Nation — Cinnamon Healthy Snacking Pecans
- Novelty/Licensed: Jelly Belly Candy Co. — Jelly Belly Harry Potter Butterbeer Barrel Tin
- Seasonal: Ferrero NA — Kinder Holiday Mix Countdown Calendar
- Gourmet/Premium | Candy: Ferrero North America — Nutella B-Ready
- Gourmet/Premium | Snack: Trü Frü LLC —Natures Strawberries Hyper-Dried Fresh and Immersed in Crème
"Innovation puts the candy and snack categories in the driver's seat when it comes to flavor and product trends, and the 2022 Most Innovative New Product Awards continue to highlight those that accelerate us into the future," said John Downs, president and CEO of the NCA. "Consumers have been making life at home a little more enjoyable over the past two years by incorporating their favorite treat or snack into their lives in a way that has brought a variety of new flavors and fun to their daily routines."
In addition, the 2022 Sweets & Snacks Expo announced the winners of the Golden and Silver Candy Dish Awards and the Woman of Influence Award during its presentation:
- 2022 Golden Candy Dish Award: Kathy Corcoran, vice president at Premier Specialty
- 2022 Silver Candy Dish Award: Lois Anthony, director of sales at PEZ
- 2022 Woman of Influence Award: Emily Edmondson, sales director at Galerie
Washington, D.C.-based National Confectioners Association is the trade organization for the U.S. confectionery industry, which generates more than $37 billion in retail sales each year. Making chocolate, candy, gum and mints, the industry employs nearly 58,000 workers in more than 1,600 manufacturing facilities across all 50 states. NCA advocates for an environment that enables candy makers to thrive and work to ensure that chocolate and candy are celebrated for their contributions to culture, society, the economy and everyday moments of joy.
The Sweets & Snacks Expo is an event for the confectionery and snack industries. Featuring new product launches, business-building solutions and merchandising innovations, the annual trade show brings together qualified candy and snack retail professionals and company representatives who showcase the latest in candy and snack products.