Elmer’s Nelson Presented With 2022 Kettle Award


Chicago — Robert (Rob) Nelson, chairman and CEO of Elmer Chocolate, was honored with the 2022 Kettle Award during the recent Sweets & Snacks Expo. 

“The Kettle Award celebrates the extraordinary leadership and tradition of our industry. It is my great honor to participate in that heritage and help recognize so many extraordinary members of our industry” said Barry Callebaut’s Elizabeth Clair, chair of the Kettle Committee, in the presenting the award, which is in its 75th year.

“Rob’s exceptional service to our industry as well as his lifelong commitment to growing his Elmer Chocolate and his community make him an outstanding recipient of the Kettle Award,” she said. 

Despite his father owning Elmer Chocolate since 1963, Nelson did not think he would ever go into the candy industry. After receiving his BS in management from Tulane University, he went on to receive his JD from Louisiana State University Law Center. Shortly after law school, he was approached to help with running the family business, and since then, Nelson has risen through the ranks to become the company’s chairman and CEO. 

Under Nelson’s leadership, Elmer Chocolate has grown from a small, regional company to a leader in seasonal candy throughout North America.

In 2011, Nelson helped establish The Confectionery Foundation and served as chairman from 2018 until 2020. He has also been on the NCA Board and Executive Board twice, and currently sits on the association’s Board of Trustees. He is a regular contributor to the NCA CandyPAC and was a Kettle Award nominee in 2015. 

Nelson is a 2017 inductee into the Candy Hall of Fame.