Sweets & Snacks Expo Adds New Award Geared Toward Small Businesses



Washington, D.C. (March 2, 2017) – The Sweets & Snacks Expo, hosted by the National Confectioners Association, has announced many new features including a new award for the 2017 Most Innovative New Products Program. The Small Business Innovator Award was added after retailer and attendee feedback indicated that there was a need to recognize smaller companies.

Specially designed to highlight companies with net sales of $500,000 and under, the Small Business Innovator Award provides an avenue for those incubating companies just starting in the industry with an opportunity to shine and gain recognition along with well-established companies.

Now in its sixth year, submissions for all of the Most Innovative New Product Award categories are now being accepted. The awards highlight the most innovative ideas, concepts and products the industry has seen this year. With an average of 300 item submissions every year, the awards provide exhibiting companies a tremendous opportunity to showcase their new products to the more than 17,000 Expo attendees.

“Innovation continues to be at the heart of what Project 7 seeks when developing new products,” commented Tyler Merrick, founder of Project 7. “Having been fortunate enough to be nominated and win a Most Innovative New Product Award has helped with the success of our products tremendously. We were able to utilize the recognition the award brings with top retailers from across the country including Target and Starbucks. Having a new category for small business innovators is an invaluable asset for smaller companies to gain visibility.”

In addition to the Small Business Innovator Award being introduced, award submissions, nominees and winners will all be recognized in different ways, including:

New Showcase location – center of activity on the concourse
Now centrally located next to the Expo’s New Product Showcase – the award nominees and winners will be featured in an eye-catching, tech-savvy display that attendees “can’t-miss” just outside the show floor entrance.

Awards ceremony now kicks off the 2017 show opening
This year, the Sweets & Snacks Expo kicks off with a mimosa toast revealing and celebrating the nine 2017 segment award winners including the Best in Show award.

View and visit all 45 nominees inside the Expo app
Attendees will have access to all 45 panel-recommended new product nominees across nine segments on their device during Expo. App users will be able to take a walking tour of the industry’s hottest, trendiest and newest items, making it even easier to track down the next best seller. No other event offers this feature.

Access to all 300+ product submissions by visiting the gallery on the Sweets & Snacks Expo website
After Expo, all registrants will have access to all 300+ products submitted into our awards program. This will allow attendees to continue treasure-hunting and building the strongest-selling item assortment even after the show closes.

The Most Innovative New Product Awards will continue to serve as an evaluation tool for new products hitting store shelves as expert evaluator panel consists close to 85 percent of the U.S. buying power, representing a wide range of industry executives across all leading channels impacting the confectionery and snack industries. Companies that submit an entry receive direct feedback from the taste panel judges following the Sweets & Snacks Expo.

Submissions for the Most Innovative New Product Awards are now being accepted at the Sweets & Snacks Expo website. The deadline to submit products is April 7.

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About the National Confectioners Association (NCA)
The National Confectioners Association is the trade organization that advances, protects and promotes chocolate, candy, gum and mints, and the companies that make these special treats. As the leading association for the $35 billion U.S. confectionery industry, NCA educates the public to help ensure that it understands and appreciates the unique role that chocolate and candy can play in a happy, balanced lifestyle. Confections are produced in all 50 states, creating jobs for approximately 55,000 workers in more than 1,000 manufacturing facilities across the country. More than 400,000 jobs in agriculture, retail, transportation and other industries rely in part on the sale of confections for their livelihood. For every one job that is created by confectionery companies, another seven are supported in related industries. Learn more about the “Power of Sweet” at CandyUSA.com, or follow NCA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About the Sweets & Snacks Expo
Sponsored by the National Confectioners Association, the Sweets & Snacks Expo is the confectionery and snack industry’s most successful, world class event. It is unrivaled in new product launches, business building solutions and innovations in merchandising. Nearly 17,000 qualified professionals attend with global presence from 90 countries. More than 760 companies displaying more than 4 acres of candy and snack products participate in the Expo. The event is held each May at Chicago’s McCormick Place.

For immediate release
Contact: Jenn Ellek, 202-534-1440, [email protected]


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