Criteria for product submissions
Product evaluation is conducted by a carefully selected panel who will taste-test items submitted along with judging the innovation, quality of packaging, and go-to-market potential. Each criteria is weighted based on overall importance:
- Sale-ability – go-to-market potential
Submissions will be judged in nine category segments:
- gum & Mints
- novelty/licensed (candy & snacks)
- gourmet/premium (candy & snacks)
- seasonal (candy & snacks)
- salty snacks
- sweet snacks
- savory snacks
The Awards will be extensively promoted in pre-show marketing, on the Expo App and website and in a post-show press release. The nominees will be highlighted and the winners will be unveiled in special ceremony in the Discovery Theater opening morning, Tuesday, May 23.
About The Panel
The panel features a wide range of experts including leading candy and snack buyers. It will consist of a mix of retailers, wholesalers, trade media and food industry experts who evaluate more than 300 products before the Expo.
How It Works: The Panel nominates five items in each of the nine segments. If you receive a nomination, you should feature the award trophy proudly in your booth! (use nominee award image here).
Bringing Products to the Show
Please bring your products onsite with you and hand carry to our tasting room. The room is located in McCormick Place West one escalator level up from the show floor – room 471. All products are due on Monday, May 22 by 11:30 am.
Up to 30 small samples/tastings for each product entry are needed for our panel and press members. For example, we will cut a regular sized candy bar into 4-6 pieces for the tasting. We will also need a few extra packaged items to display in the showcase and to feature during press events.
Individual candy or snack bars – regular and shareable/king sizes – One 12 to 24 count box per product submission
Stand up pouches of candy and/or snacks > 3.5 oz – 10 pouches per product submission
Bags of snacks/chips/pretzels > 3.5 oz – 6 bags per product submission
Pegged candy/snacks > 3.5 oz – 6 bags per product submission
Mini or fun sized candy and snack items – two bags total if there are at least 20 ct. per bag
Novelty – 2 complete for display plus enough product for 30 small groupings
**Please do not deliver cases of items as they will not be accepted.**
Samples should be shipped with your booth shipment or hand carried, and may not be sent in advance. The judging room opens at 8:30 am for you to deliver your products – if your products are not received by 11:30 a.m. on Monday May 22nd, you may forfeit the opportunity for judging.
The judging panel will nominate five products in each category on Monday afternoon. If your product is nominated, your company contact will receive an email or phone call from NCA staff on Monday evening (May 22nd) to congratulate you and alert you that your nominee award trophy will be placed in your booth before the show opens on Tuesday.
The nominated products will be featured in the showcase with the winners during the Expo. The winners in each category will be announced in the New Product Showcase on opening day in a special ceremony.
Please note that there are no refunds on entries and your products cannot be returned to you. NCA may require confirmation of the product introduction date and the categories selected. Note that products, packaging, or prototypes are not guaranteed to be returned after judging.