The best and brightest

Automatic Merchandiser and readers love new products. They showed it again this year by voting for their top sellers in the 2013 Readers’ Choice New Products of the Year contest through an online ballot at More than 300 votes were submitted in seven categories.

This year’s winners are consistent with the vending industry’s key growth trends of 2013 — micro market friendly products, items considered nutritious and America’s love of coffee.

New products of the year

The cookie category winner, RUGER®, LLC’s RUGER® Strawberry Wafers, is served in multi-functional pouches perfect for traditional vending or micro markets, as is the diverse packaging sizes of the candy category winner Mars Chocolate North America DOVE® Brand Silky Smooth Cookies and Crème bar. The food category winner, AdvancePierre Foods Pierre Drive Thru Deluxe sandwich, fits the growing micro market trend by offering restaurant-style food.

Wellness focused, the snack category winner, Kellogg’s® Special K® Cracker Chips is regarded as a healthy choice snack low in sodium and calories. In addition, the cold beverage category winner, Nestlé Sweet Leaf Tea, is viewed as a healthy beverage alternative, made with pure cane sugar and no high-fructose corn syrup.

Consistent with the demand for café-quality office coffee, the Barista Prima Coffeehouse® Vanilla Latte Café Beverage for the Keurig® Vue® system, has won the hot beverage category.

The last category is representative of a consumer favorite — Mrs. Freshley’s® Cinnabon® Honey Bun which won in this year’s pastry category.


Micro market mania

The cookie category winner uses real fruit flavor to entice consumers. RUGER®, LLC has introduced RUGER® Strawberry Wafers, with the taste of fresh strawberries. The new wafers have strawberry flavored cream between crispy, crunchy wafers. Shelf life is 18 months.

Mars Chocolate North America offers a classic candy combination with the 2013 new product of the year candy winner. The Mars Chocolate North America DOVE® Brand Silky Smooth Cookies and Crème bar blends sweet and creamy white chocolate and crunchy chocolate cookie bits into an indulgence that only DOVE® Chocolate can deliver. DOVE® Brand encourages consumers to own moments of chocolate pleasure every day. This new item is available in three formats – single bar, large bar and bags of individually wrapped DOVE® Brand PROMISES® for micro markets.

Restaurant-quality taste straight from the microwave is the goal of the food category winner — AdvancePierre Foods Pierre Drive Thru Deluxe sandwich. These sandwiches uses high quality ingredients and are available in three varieties, a 100-percent beef cheeseburger with ketchup and mustard, a breaded chicken breast filet sandwich and a spicy breaded chicken breast filet sandwich.

All-natural, healthy

A low calorie, high-fiber product is the winner of the snack category. Kellogg’s® Special K® Cracker Chips are hybrid snacks that combine the goodness of a cracker with the light crunchiness of a chip for a snack that delivers great taste, fiber and 110 calories per bag. Flavors include cheddar and sea salt.

Nestlé Sweet Leaf Tea, the cold beverage category winner, offers a full line of Sweet Leaf Tea made from a superior blend of black and green organic tea leaves in purified water. Sweetened with pure cane sugar, no high fructose corn syrup, Sweet Leaf iced teas are free from artificial preservatives, colors and flavors. The line of 15.5 ounce cans includes the following flavors: original, mint and honey, citrus, lemon, peach and raspberry.

OCS and fan-favorite

The hot beverage category winner, Barista Prima Coffeehouse® Vanilla Latte Café Beverage for the Keurig® Vue® system, shows the emphasis on premium coffee amongst consumers. Exclusive to the Keurig® Vue® Brewer, Barista Prima Coffeehouse Vanilla Latte Café combines premium gourmet coffee with real milk, real cream and a hint of vanilla to create a true latte lover’s delight.

Mrs. Freshley’s® combines two pastry favorites, Cinnabon® and Honey Buns, for the pastry category winner. Mrs. Freshley’s® Cinnabon® Honey Bun pastries are baked with Cinnabon® cinnamon, Mrs. Freshley’s® Cinnamon Danish has a cinnamon filling, wrapped in a golden, flaky crust, that’s drizzled with icing. The Coffee Cake, topped with icing, has the flavor of Cinnabon® cinnamon in every bite. And Mrs. Freshley’s® has taken its classic honey bun to a new level, swirling Cinnabon® cinnamon throughout the popular icing-topped pastry.

All of the products nominated can be found online at