More than 300 new products were submitted for the National Confectioners Association’s 2018 Most Innovative New Product Awards, and the winners were announced May 22 during the 2018 Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago.
The awards—sponsored by data research firm IRI—recognize the best and most innovative introductions in snacks and candy in nine categories: gum and mints; novelty and licensed; seasonal; sweet snacks; salty snacks; savory snacks; nonchocolate; gourmet and premium; and chocolate. Products are judged on innovation, taste, packaging and go-to-market ability.
“Historically, innovation has driven about 7% of the growth in confections,” said Larry Levin, executive vice president of consumer and shopper marketing for IRI, Chicago. “New products spark excitement for the consumer and generate more opportunities for treating.”
The awards included a Best in Show, as well as the new Ruby Award for Supplier Innovation, which was given to a supplier for an innovation that doesn’t quite fit the packaged snacks and candy set—yet.
Click through for all the winners and nominees.