Chicago — The 2013 Most Innovative New Products were revealed to an expectant crowd this morning at the Sweets & Snacks Expo.
Jelly Belly Candy Co.’s Tabasco-licensed jelly beans in containers resembling the hot sauce bottle won in the novelty/licensed category, while Kit Kat Minis from The Hershey Co. took top honors in the chocolate category. The most innovative salty snack was Sahale Snacks, Inc.’s Pomegranate Pistachios.
The gourmet/premium category winner was Hammond’s Candies, LLC for its Milk Chocolate Red Velvet Cake bars. Russell Stover Candies, Inc. was recognized for its S'mores Big Bite bars in the seasonal category and marshmallow sugar cones from Sprinkle It On were the top sweet snack.
Tierra Nueva Coffee Thins earned the non-chocolate award, and Fire Corn Popcorn/Pop Gourmet Popcorn LLC’s popcorn made with jalapenos was voted most innovative savory snack.
The eight winners were chosen from among 40 finalists selected by a panel of industry experts, including buyers from a cross section of trade classes. The awards honor novel ideas, concepts and products in the candy and snack categories, taking into consideration packaging, go-to-market potential, taste and innovation, according to the NCA.