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NCA’s Most Innovative New Product of the Year!

40 New Items Nominated for NCA’s Most Innovative New Product of the Year at the 2012 SWEETS & SNACKS EXPO®

And the winner is…


The 2012 EXPO introduced the Most Innovative New Product Awards (formerly the Buyers’ Choice Awards) with great success.  The 40 nominations were given to companies showcasing the most innovative ideas, concepts and products in the confectionery and snacks industry. 

A panel of experts made up of retail customers, food industry icons and trend experts, helped NCA narrow the field of more than 200 product entries. The panel analyzed packaging, concepts and salability of each entry and had the opportunity to taste each product in their effort to select the top 40 items among eight categories.  Retail and wholesale trade customers then selected one winner in each of the eight categories.

Panel members consisted of a wide range of experts from different disciplines including Adam Gertler, Host of the Food Network’s Kid in a Candy Store; Harry Balzer, Vice President of The NPD Group; Richard George, St. Joseph’s University; and Joan Steuer, President of Chocolate Marketing, LLC

Industry representatives from some of the nation’s leading retail and wholesale companies completed the group and included:

• BP/ARCO Ampm
• Eby-Brown Company
• KeHE Distributors
• Marine Corps Exchange HQ
• McLane Company Inc.
• Redstone Foods
• Walgreens
• Walmart

Television reporter and food marketing expert Phil Lempert acted as facilitator to guide the collaborative process of the panel to reach an agreement of five nominations in each category.  The panel-selected nominees were displayed in the Most Innovative New Product Awards showcase located within the New Product Showcase. 

Companies whose products were nominated received a special star award for their booth to alert attendees that their product was nominated for the Most Innovative New Product Awards.

Phil Lempert announced the winners at the EXPO’s keynote session on Wednesday morning.  The nominees and winners in each category were as follows:

Chocolate
Most Innovative New Product Winner: Hammond’s Candies – Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich Milk Chocolate Bar

Nominees:
The Hershey Company – HERSHEY’s Milk Chocolate with Almonds PIECES
The Hershey Company – ROLO Minis
WILD OPHELIA – Wild Ophelia Beef Jerky Bar
WILD OPHELIA – Wild Ophelia Peanut Butter and Banana Bar

Non chocolate
Most Innovative New Product Winner: Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company – Skittles Riddles

Nominees:
Hairbo of America, Inc. – Hairbo Ginger Lemon
Just Born, Inc. – HOT TAMALES 3 ALARM
The Hershey Company – ICE BREAKERS DUO Mints – Strawberry
Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company – Orbit Spotlight Series – Melon Remix

Sweet snacks
Most Innovative New Product Winner: Ferrero U.S.A, Inc – Nutella & Go

Nominees:
Lowell International Foods – SesaKiss
The Promotion in Motion Companies, Inc – JUICEFULS FRUIT WAVE
Setton International Foods – Pistachio Chewy Bites
Sheila G’s Brownie Brittle – Sheila G’s Brownie Brittle

Salty snacks
Most Innovative New Product Winner: MARS Chocolate North America – M&M’s Snack Mix and Peanut

Nominees:
Gourmet Basics – Gourmet Basics Smart Fries Garlic and Rosemary
Plocky’s Fine Snacks – Plocky’s Greek Lemon and Herb Hummus Chips
Flamous Brands – Falafel Chips
Jack Links – Big Dippers

Savory
Most Innovative New Product Winner: Nopal Bros. – Nopal Bros. Sweet & Spicy Dried Cactus Snack

Nominees:
Cornfields, Inc. – Hi I’m Skinny Sticks Sweet Onion
Cornfields, Inc. – Hi I’m Skinny Sticks Tangy Barbeque
FixMix – FixMix Chocolate Caramel Pretzels
Lord Nut Levington – Lord Nut Levington El Cheddarales

Novelty / licensed
Most Innovative New Product Winner: Jelly Belly Candy Company – Jelly Belly UNO Gift Box

Nominees:
Amerilab Technologies, Inc. – Fizzies Drink Tablets Grape
Impact Confections – WARHEADS Sour Dippers
Jel Sert Company – Fla-Vor Ice Fudge Pops (Made with Real HERSHEYS’s Chocolate)
Magic Straws, LLC – got milk? Cotton Candy Magic Milk Flavoring Straw

Seasonal
Most Innovative New Product Winner: MARS Chocolate North America – M&M’s Candy Corn

Nominees:
Brown & Haley – Dark Chocolate Peppermint ROCA
Just Born, Inc. – PEEPS Caramel Dipped (milk chocolate)
Just Born, Inc. – PEEPS POP!
Praim Group – Choxcard

Gourmet / premium
Most Innovative New Product Winner: Brown & Haley – Dark ROCA

Nominees:
Cornelia Confections, LLC – Pecan Chipotle Brittle
Lord Nut Levington – Lord Nut Levington Rebel Mary
Nature’s Habit – Nature’s Habit Trail Mix Cranberries, Cherries, Raisins, Almonds & Pecans
Too Haute Cowgirls Popcorn Confections – Have Bacon Will Travel

The 2013 Most Innovative New Product Awards will be presented at next year’s SWEETS & SNACK EXPO® to be held in Chicago, May 21 – 23, 2013. For more information, visit www.sweetsandsnacks.com.