McCormick Place — Hundreds of industry members came together this evening at the Sweets & Snacks Expo Awards Ceremony to celebrate the winners and finalists in the 2022 Most Innovative New Products Awards, sponsored by Information Resources, Inc.
The Awards Ceremony also recognized the recipients of the Ruby Award for Supplier Innovation, the Candy Dish Awards and the new WLG Woman of Influence Award.
Best in Show was awarded to Trü Frü Natures Strawberries Hyper-Chilled Fresh and Immersed in Ruby Cacao from Tru Fru LLC. The top honor is given to the product with the best overall score as determined by a panel of judges. Trü Frü Natures Strawberries are frozen berries enrobed in Ruby cacao.
The Small Business Innovator award recognizes the overall top-ranked product by the judges from among all products submitted by companies with $500,000 or less in sales. Plant Bacon Corp. walked away with this year’s honors for its Carolina Smoke Carrot Bacon. The non-GMO, plant-based jerky is made from carrot slices marinated in sauce and then dehydrated.
“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,” John Downs, president and CEO of NCA, said. “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 to Best in Show and Small Business Innovator, awards were also presented to the top items in each of 11 categories, chosen from among the more than 300 products vying for the coveted awards.
Lindt Classic Recipe OatMilk Non-Dairy Chocolate Bar from Lindt & Sprungli (USA), Inc. took home top honors in the Chocolate Category, while Trü Frü Natures Strawberries Hyper-Dried Fresh in Crème from Tru Fru was named the winner of the Gourmet/Premium Candy Category.
Nutella B-Ready Crispy Wafer Filled With Nutella from Ferrero U.S.A., Inc. was crowned Gourmet/Premium Candy Category winner and top honors in the Gum & Mint Category went to Mars Wrigley’s Extra Refreshers Fruit Mix Sugar-Free Chewing Gum.
The Meat Snacks Category winner was Chile Limon Chicharrones from 4505 Meats.
Ferrara Candy Co., Inc.’s Nerds Gummy Clusters Very Berry was crowned the winner of the Non-Chocolate Category and in the Novelty/Licensed Category Harry Potter Butterbeer Barrel Tin from Jelly Belly Candy Co. took home the honors.
KrackCorn Original Family Size from KrackCorn LLC was named Salty Snacks Category winner and the Savory Snacks Category top honors went to Pecan Nation Cinnamon Snacking Pecans from Pecan Nation.
Kinder Holiday Mix Countdown Calendar from Ferrero U.S.A., Inc. took top honors in the Seasonal Category, while in the Sweet Snacks Category, Reese’s Snack Bar from The Hershey Co. was crowned winner.
The Most Innovative New Products Awards program highlights innovative products, concepts and ideas judged by a panel of top retailers, distributors and industry food experts that represent 85 percent of the buying power in the U.S. confectionery and snack industry.
To see photos from the awards ceremony check out our gallery.
Complete list of winners and finalists:
Chocolate Category Winner
Lindt & Sprungli (USA), Inc. — Lindt Classic Recipe OatMilk Non-Dairy Chocolate Bar
The Hershey Co. — Reese’s Big Cup Stuffed with Potato Chips
Mars Wrigley — Twix Salted Caramel Cookie Bars
Mars Wrigley — M&M’s Crunchy Cookie
Edward Marc Brands — Snappers Caramel Brownie Crisp
Tru Fru, LLC — Trü Frü Natures Strawberries Hyper- Dried Fresh in Crème
Ferrero U.S.A., Inc. — Ferrero Rocher Milk
Sconza Chocolates — Chocolate Bar with Hazelnut & Cocoa Filling
Gatsby Peanut — Milk Chocolate Churro Almonds
DoJo Brands LLC — Butter Madness Bar
Ocho Candy, Inc. — Classic Vegan Caramels
Ferrero U.S.A., Inc. — Nutella B-Ready Crispy Wafer Filled With Nutella
Tate’s Wholesale LLC — Tate’s Bake Shop Vegan Vanilla Maple Cookies
MomoMilk, LLC — Milk Bar Cereal Milk Ice Cream
Chunk Nibbles — Original Chunk Nibbles
Second Nature Brands — Sanders Small Batch Wonders Sea Salt Caramel Crunch
Gum & Mints Category Winner
Mars Wrigley — Extra Refreshers Fruit Mix Sugar- Free Chewing Gum
Perfetti Van Melle USA, Inc. — Mentos Sugarfree Gum with Vitamins – Berry
Ferrero U.S.A., Inc. — Tic Tac Strawberry & Cream
Tootsie Roll Industries, Inc. — Charms Blow Pop Inside Outs
Rev Energy Gum — Rev Energy Gum
4505 Meats — Chile Limon Chicharrones
Old Wisconsin Sausage, Inc. — Hot & Spicy Sausage Bites
Country Archer Provisions — Grass Fed Beef Jerky Cracked Pepper
Prevail Jerky — Lemongrass Beef Jerky
Ranch House Sausage Co. — Hickory Smoked Philly Cheese Style Sausage
Non-Chocolate Category Winner
Ferrara Candy Co., Inc. — Nerds Gummy Clusters Very Berry
Galerie Candy & Gifts — Froot Loops Gummies Peg Bag
Bazooka Candy Brands — Juicy Drop Gummy Dip N’ Stix
Ferrara Candy Co., Inc. — SweeTarts Gummies Fruity Splitz
Mars Wrigley — StarBurst Airs Gummies Original
Novelty/Licensed Category Winner
Jelly Belly Candy Co. — Harry Potter Butterbeer Barrel Tin
The Jel Sert Co. — Skittles Original Punch Drink Mix
The Jel Sert Co. — Powerade Sports Freezer Bars; Mountain Berry Blast, Fruit Punch
Pez Candy Inc. — Black Panther Gift Tin
Bazooka Candy Brands — Juicy Drop Remix
Salty Snacks Category Winner
KrackCorn, LLC — KrackCorn Original Family Size
TH Foods, Inc. — Crunchmaster Avocado Toast Salt & Pepper
Ancient inGRAINed Snack Co. — Ka-Pop! Super Grain Dill Pickle Rings
Amplify Snack Brands, Inc. — Pirate’s Booty Cheddar Blast
Frito-Lay North America, Inc. — Doritos Flamin’ Hot Cool Ranch
Savory Snacks Category Winner
Pecan Nation — Pecan Nation Cinnamon Snacking Pecans
Shrewd Food LLC — Protein Puffs Totally Taco
The SnakYard — Soft & Chewy Sweet Potato Sticks
Nutradried Food Co., LLC — Moon Cheese Yum Inferno Crunchy Cheese Sticks
Seasonal Category Winner
Ferrero U.S.A., Inc. — Kinder Holiday Mix Countdown Calendar
Jelly Belly Candy Co. — Jelly Belly Christmas Greeting Card
Ferrero U.S.A., Inc. — Ferrero Rocher Golden Eggs Original
Niagara Hand Crafted Chocolates — Peppermint Cookie Crunch Clusters
Sconza Chocolates — Hot Cocoa Almonds
Sweet Snacks Category Winner
The Hershey Co. — Reese’s Snack Bar
Star Brands North America, Inc. — Flipz Stuff’D White Fudge Peanut Butter
Ferrara Candy Co., Inc. — Keebler Fudge Stripes Mini S’mores Dip’mmms
Quest Nutrition, LLC — Quest Frosted Cookies Birthday Cake
Crack Corn, Ltd. — Crack Corn Sea Salt Caramel Ultra Premium Puff Corn