Snickers Peanut Butter Squared, Cacao de Chuao Origins, Natural Vines licorice, Orchard Bars, Juicy Oozers Gummy Vampires and M&M's Star Wars Lightsabers were the winners of this year's New Product Awards presented annually by the National Confectionery Sales Association.
Product nominations across six categories came from candy and snack buyers, brokers and suppliers, and were narrowed down to 30 items by a panel of industry experts. Each nominated product offers significant innovation and/or sales potential to the candy and snack categories.
The crystal awards and certificates of achievement were presented to company representatives attending the glittering, black-tie Candy Hall of Fame induction banquet held in Tampa, Fla., attended by more than 300 guests from the confectionery and snack industry, on Oct. 15.
In the chocolate category, the winner was Snickers Peanut Butter Squared, from Mars Chocolate North America. Four other products received NCSA certificates of achievement - Hershey's Drops, from The Hershey Co.; Chocolate Dips, from The Jelly Belly Candy Co.; the Skinny Cow line, from Nestlé USA, Inc.; and Giant Size and Bite Size Turtles from DeMet's Candy Co.
The winner in the licensed/limited edition category was M&M's Star Wars Lightsabers from CandyRific, LLC, and Certificates were awarded to ICEE Squeeze Candy from Koko's Confectionery & Novelty; Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs boxed set, from PEZ Candy Inc.; Collectible Giant Tootsie Roll Pops from Diversified Licensing Group LLC; and Twix Coconut from Mars Chocolate North America.
Natural Vines from American Licorice Co. won the non-chocolate category, and Ice Breakers Frost from The Hershey Co.; Marionberry Licorice from Lucky Country, Inc.; eFrutti Bear-Rings from Mederer U.S.A., Inc.; and 5 React Gum from Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. won certificates.
The premium/gourmet award went to Cacao de Chuao Origins from Chuao Chocolatier. Certificates were awarded to Ovation Cappuccino from SweetWorks, Inc.; Black Salt Caramel bars from Vosges, Ltd; 70% Cocoa Almond Brittle Intense Dark from Lindt & Sprüngli (USA), Inc.; and Intense Dark Sea Salt Soiree from Ghirardelli Chocolate Co.
In the snacks category, the winner was Orchard Bars from Liberty Orchards Co., Inc., with Hummus Chips from Simply 7 Snacks, LLC; Buffalo Blue Cheese Pretzel Combos from Mars Chocolate North America; Flavor Roasted Cashews from Yumnuts Naturals; and the Seasoned Nuts line from Sahale Snacks, Inc. earning certificates.
Juicy Oozers Gummy Vampires, from Ferrara Pan Candy Co., Inc., won in the seasonal category, and certificates were awarded to Chocolate-Covered Raspberry Flavored Marshmallow Peeps Hearts from Just Born, Inc.; Rudolph Lip Pops from Imaginings 3, Inc.; Dueggs Spring Edition from The Madelaine Chocolate Co.; and Mary Jane Wicked Mix from New England Confectionery Co., Inc.
NCSA President Alastair Northway said in a prepared statement: "Product introductions are a driving force in the candy and snack industry, and we were delighted to honor companies that value innovation, research and development with awards recognizing their hard work."
For further details on the NCSA and the new product awards, visit candyhalloffame.org.