Automatic Merchandiser announces the 2023 Readers’ Choice New Products of the Year award winners

April 13, 2023
Automatic Merchandiser announces this year’s winners and honorees in 12 product categories.

Congratulations to the Readers’ Choice award winners and runners-up in 12 categories – salted snack, healthy snack, protein & meat snack, cold beverage, equipment, cookie & pastry, candy, food, technology, OCS product, OCS equipment, and a new category introduced this year, micro market solutions.

Automatic Merchandiser would like to thank everyone who submitted a nomination for our Readers’ Choice New Products of the Year Awards for vending, micro market and office coffee service, as well as to those who took the time to cast their vote for their most successful or most requested products, solutions and equipment.

The following winners and runners-up received the most reader votes as the best-selling new offerings in 2022.

Salted Snack

Winner: Doritos Flamin’ Hot Cool Ranch

This latest edition in the Doritos Flamin’ Hot lineup from Frito-Lay, a division of PepsiCo, brings iconic heat to an all-time classic. Doritos Cool Ranch, one of the most popular Doritos flavors and a staple snack for chips fans around the world, is now stepping into the fire. Perfect for hot and spicy seekers in the salty snack category, Doritos Flamin’ Hot Cool Ranch combines the classic Cool Ranch flavor with a spicy, bold crunch.

Runner-up: Kellogg’s Cheez-It Puff’d Double Cheese

This snack satisfies the senses with an irresistible crunch followed by melt-in-your-mouth cheesiness. The puffy and airy bite-sized squares are baked with 100% real cheese into every puffy cracker – double cheese means double flavor.

Healthy Snack

Winner: OH SNAP! Spiced Pineapple Bites

Category-leading brand OH SNAP! launched more healthy goodness with new pickled fruit in a convenient single-serve pouch – gluten-free, fat-free, non-GMO – delivering more shelf life than fresh fruit. Spiced Pineapple Bites pack sweet and savory flavor in every bite with the perfect touch of heat. Over half of Americans choose to snack on the run and are looking for healthy, convenient and great-tasting options – OH SNAP! Spiced Pineapple Bites is right on point with evolving snacking behavior and delivers the tasty better-for-you snack that consumers are looking for.

Runner-up: Del Monte Fruit Infusions

Del Monte Fruit Infusions come in three refreshing flavors to support different nutritional needs like healthy digestion, hydration and energy. Each flavor has a full serving of fruit infused with antioxidant vitamin C and delicious ingredients. With no added sugar, these fruit cup snacks make smart snacking easy.

Protein & Meat Snack

Winner: Jack Link’s Cold Crafted Mozzarella & Uncured Pepperoni Combo

Leading snack brand, Jack Link’s, launched its pizzeria-inspired meat and cheese snack. The latest innovation in its successful cold-crafted refrigerated product line contains real old-world uncured pepperoni alongside a mozzarella stick made with Wisconsin cheese. Packed with 12 grams of protein and containing no added nitrates or nitrites, it is the perfect portable combo that consumers are looking for. Jack Link’s is a family-owned business that grew from hard work, high-quality products, a sense of community and a little fun.

Runner-up: Olli Salumeria Pepperoni & Mozzarella Snack Pack

New single-serve, 2-ounce Olli Salumeria Snack Pack features sliced, slow-cured pepperoni and mozzarella cheese with la panzanella crackers. It joins the line of four salami and cheese pairings including genoa and fontina; sopressata and cheddar; calabrese and asiago and prosciutto and mozzarella – all of which have 13 grams of protein.

Cold Beverage

Winner: Mtn Dew Spark and Mtn Dew Spark Zero Sugar

PepsiCo’s Mtn Dew launched the next huge thing in flavors: Mtn Dew Spark and Spark Zero Sugar. This innovation takes the highly popular flavor of raspberry lemonade and gives it a bold and refreshing twist. A perfect balance of tart and sweet, the new addition to the permanent flavor lineup enables Mtn Dew to continue to lead in flavored carbonated soft drinks (CSD). It shows strong appeal across demographics, especially among younger CSD drinkers, and Mtn Dew Spark specifically demonstrated strong brand and flavor connection in consumer testing.

Runner-up: Cult Artisan Beverage Co. Plant-Based Botanical Infusions RTDs

Today’s consumers are seeking healthier, better-for-you beverages, and Cult Botanical Infusions meets this growing demand. Cult’s Botanical Infusions are sugar-free, caffeine-free, made with 100% all-natural ingredients with zero to 10 calories, only 1 gram of carbohydrates per 14-ounce bottle, vegan and keto friendly, no cholesterol, no preservatives, natural electrolytes and natural antioxidants. Botanical Infusions currently come in three flavors: Strawberry-Lemon Honeybush, Pomegranate Hibiscus-Rooibos and Blackberry Acai Elderberry.


Winner: Quik Pick by PepsiCo

Quik Pick’s frictionless technology makes it fast and easy to grab drinks on the go. Consumers just tap, swipe or insert their card to unlock the door, then pick out (or put back) as many drinks as they like. After they shut the door, their card is charged, and they’re ready to go. The ease of use and broad product assortment brings consumers back again and again. The reliable, automatic product recognition technology features 99% accuracy, limited shrink and industry-standard cashless payment. Consumers enjoy the smart tech and intuitive experience.

Runner-up: ICEBLU Freezer

The ICEBLU Freezer from Premium Product Group is a high-quality appliance perfect for those looking for maximum storage capacity and energy efficiency. Its drum spiral condenser maximizes air flow and reduces energy consumption, while its variable speed compressors offer longer life and lower cost. It has a spacious interior and durable design. The ICEBLU Freezer is ISO9001:2015 certified and manufactured in North America.

Cookie & Pastry

Winner: Tate’s Bake Shop 2-count Chocolate Chip

Tate’s Bake Shop’s signature thin, crispy and buttery chocolate chip cookies in single-serve 2-count packages make the perfect anytime snack. Consumers can tuck a package of these scrumptious 2-count cookies into a briefcase for a great on-the-go snack. What makes Tate’s Bake Shop cookies so deeply delicious? “The Bake Shop Way” started when 11-year-old Kathleen King began baking cookies to sell at her parents’ farm stand. Her love of baking and dedication to quality soon made her crisp, buttery cookies legendary in Southampton and were the inspiration for what eventually became Tate’s Bake Shop.

Runner-up: Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts Eggo Waffle Flavor

Kellogg’s debuted a new product that brings together two of the company’s greatest breakfast snacks: Pop-Tarts and Eggo join forces for one delicious breakfast mashup. A flaky, buttery crust is paired with sweet, iconic maple-flavored filling with yellow icing. This toaster pastry combines all the best elements of Eggo and Pop-Tarts.


Winner: Haribo Twin Snakes

Sweet and sour Twin Snakes are closely coiled together in a pack of delicious gummies with flavors like Cherry & Orange, Apple & Lemon, and Blueberry & Blackcurrant. Consumers can eat them together or pull them apart for double the fun. Kids and grown-ups alike enjoy this new product from Haribo, a family business in its third generation. Haribo produces at 16 locations worldwide, providing consumers with gummies in a fun variety of shapes and flavors.

Runner-up: Solely Mango Passion Fruit Whole Fruit Gummies

Solely’s snack-sized gummies are made from whole organic fruit, picked fresh from Solely organic farms, and crafted into gummie bites, with no added sugars, no preservatives, no added gelatins or gums and no added flavors. The 2.5-oz. stand-up pouch has a resealable closure, and hole-punched bags are perfect for micro markets.


Winner: Jimmy Dean Omelet Minis

Jimmy Dean Omelet Minis are a protein-packed, bite-sized breakfast for a warm, convenient, on-the-go meal. The Omelet Minis come in single-serve cups and are ready in under a minute. Each cup contains two omelet bites and are made with seasoned Jimmy Dean breakfast meats, eggs and cheese. Jimmy Dean Omelet Minis come in Sausage & Cheddar and Gouda & Bacon varieties. The Sausage & Cheddar variety features pork sausage crumble, cheddar cheese, cream cheese and eggs. The Omelet Minis join Jimmy Dean’s growing portfolio of delicious, satisfying bite-size breakfast options.

Runner-up: Blue Bunny Twist Cones

New Twist Cones from Blue Bunny feature classic flavors of soft frozen dairy dessert twisted all the way to the bottom with a bonus chocolaty bite at the bottom of a crunchy cone. Flavors include Chocolate Vanilla, Strawberry Cheesecake and Chocolate Peanut Butter.


Winner: 365Dining’s MM6 Dining Kiosk

365Dining’s MM6 Dining Kiosk is a frictionless, unattended dining solution that offers customers a seamless ordering journey. The MM6, available as a countertop or freestanding kiosk, equips operators with improved tools that capture the most out of each transaction. It boasts a 22-inch display for easy menu selections and customizations, front-open maintenance access, an optional expansion unit for cash-funding accounts, plus 365Pay, Connected Campus and ADM backend compatibility. The user interface guides customers through the ordering process with product imagery, animations, transitions and suggestive selling at the right point in the ordering journey.

Runner-up: Gimme Mobile Picking

Gimme Mobile Picking is a cloud-based, warehouse pre-kitting tool for tablets, allowing operators to box all product types at their warehouse before loading trucks. The tool makes it easier for warehouse staff to look at a product or image and pick the number of products they need and pre-kit on their mobile device.

OCS Product

Winner: Death Wish Coffee Espresso Roast

With deep notes of cocoa, caramelized sugar plus cherries, this blend is perfect for intense cups of coffee and espresso drinks. Made with carefully curated Fair Trade Sumatran and Peruvian arabica and Indian Cherry Robusta beans, Espresso Roast is a brew of otherworldly strength, brimming with espresso-like texture and depth. “Exorcise the demons of blah beans and boring routines by sipping on the next dimension of darkness.” Death Wish Coffee was founded by Mike Brown in Saratoga Springs, New York, and introduced in 2012.

Runner-up: The J.M. Smucker Co. 1850 Liquid Coffee Horizon Blend

Flavor meets ultimate convenience with 1850 Horizon Blend, a dark-roasted, liquid-exclusive blend with unique depth and body and a smooth finish that appeals to all kinds of coffee connoisseurs. 1850 Coffee is Rainforest Alliance-certified, produced to meet the highest environmental, social and economic standards.

OCS Equipment

Winner: The J.M. Smucker Co. Select Brew Excellence Compact Touch

Featuring a sleek, modern design with a 7-inch user-friendly screen, Excellence Compact Touch allows users to easily customize coffee drinks prepared with real milk and decadent chocolate. The state-of-the-art Select Brew dosing mechanism delivers consistent, reliable flavor that makes self-serve specialty beverages a cinch. Simplify coffee service and save counter space with the Excellence Compact Touch.

Runner-up: Bevi The Standup 2.0

The Standup 2.0 is Bevi’s internet-connected smart water cooler designed for commercial spaces. The Standup 2.0 enables users to set water temperature, mix 14 different flavors, select carbonation levels and add enhancements to create personalized beverages. The Standup 2.0 is also able to remotely monitor inventory and automatically notify a technician when the machine needs to be serviced or is running low on flavors. It also enables users to control the machine via their phone with no app required.

Micro Market Solutions

Winner: Easy Ice Subscription

An Easy Ice subscription relieves vending operators of the cost and responsibility associated with ice machines. Perfect for micro markets, an Easy Ice subscription is an ice machine rental solution that includes preventive maintenance, repairs and backup ice for an affordable monthly rate. Easy Ice makes sure every ice machine in its fleet is deep-cleaned and inspected by expertly trained technicians and repaired promptly when breakdowns occur. Easy Ice experts can help customers with choosing an ice machine model that fits their needs, preparing sites for ice machine installation, and successfully installing ice machines for maximum performance.

Runner-up: 365’s Stockwell 2.0

365 Retail Markets’ Stockwell 2.0 features spacious, dual-environment and scan-less market technology that houses refrigerated and ambient products while offering consumers a frictionless micro market shopping experience. Stockwell 2.0 offers AI product recognition, eliminating product scanning, as well as PicoMarket compatibility, enabling versatile payment options including tap-to-pay, 365Pay app and traditional credit card payments.

Check out all of these products in the Product Guide.


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