What are the Most Innovative New Product Awards?
The 8th Annual Most Innovative New Products Awards recognizes the best and most innovative introductions of candy and snack items in nine prestigious categories. One winner across all categories will be named Best in Show!
All item submissions are rated by an elite panel of top retailers and industry food experts that represent 85% of the U.S. buying power.
Top nominees are showcased onsite and winners are revealed during a special standing-room-only ceremony at the opening of the 2019 Sweets & Snacks Expo in the Discovery Theater! All submissions are promoted in an online gallery after Expo for the following year.
Interested in submitting your product to the 2019 Most Innovative New Product Awards?
Visit the Exhibitor Dashboard to register your products:
Criteria for product submissions
Product evaluations are conducted by a carefully selected panel tasked with taste-testing items submitted along with judging the innovation, quality of packaging, and go-to-market potential. Each criteria is weighted based on overall importance:
- 40 – Innovation
- 35 – Taste
- 15 – Packaging
- 10 – GTM (sale-ability)
New this year! Enter the same product in more than one category – more ways to promote your brands! Plus, this year there will be enhanced regcognition of the Small Business Innovator award winner as well as runner-ups!
Companies can submit up to 7 products in the following nine categories:
- 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 21.
Cost for Product Submissions
While there is not a deadline for entry, the submissions will be closed when all the slots are reserved:
- By 4/16: $175 per submission
- By 4/30: $225 per submission until 4/30
- After 4/30: $300 per submission after 4/30
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! All nominees will be featured in a special showcase located in the west lobby during the show and on the Expo website until the following year.
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 Main Concourse – room 471. Samples should be shipped with your booth shipment 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 20th you may forfeit the opportunity for judging.
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. Please use the suggestions below to determine how much product to supply for judging.
- 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 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.**
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 to congratulate you and 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 Discovery Theater in Skyline Hall on opening day in a special ceremony. If you are nominated please have an executive representative present at the 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.