The awards program showcases the most innovative ideas, concepts and products in two of the hottest categories in the store – candy and snacks!
The program received more than 320 product submissions in 2018 – a double digit increase from the year prior. View the 2018 award winners.
Every year the program continues to grow!
Item judging happens the day before the Expo opens by a hand-picked panel of experts comprised of top retailers and wholesalers, trend spotters and even a supermarket registered dietician. The panel’s buying power alone accounts for nearly 85 percent of candy and snack buying sales in the U.S.
The panel features a wide range of experts to ensure all voices are heard, including those of 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.
Based on panel ratings, five products are nominated in each of the nine segments and on the opening day there is a ceremony to announce the winner in each segment.
Winners will be unveiled in a special ceremony in the Discovery Theater (Skyline Hall) on opening morning, Tuesday, May 22 at 10:15am.
The ceremony closes with the announcement of the both the Small Business Innovator and Best in Show Award – the two highest rated new products across all categories.
Many companies who have been past nominees and winners have used the Sweets & Snacks Expo’s awards as springboard to start their business and now operate successful nationally-known brands such as Project7 gum and Shelia’s G’s Brownie Brittle.
You will also be able to view all of the 45 nominated products in the Expo app both as a listing and highlighted on the show floor map – it will be your guide to finding the hottest, newest and trendiest panel-approved products that have the biggest potential to becoming best seller.
How It Works
The Panel nominates five items in each of the nine segments.
- non chocolate
- gum & Mints
- novelty/licensed (candy & snacks)
- gourmet/premium (candy & snacks)
- seasonal (candy & snacks)
- salty snacks
- sweet snacks
- savory snacks
All products are judged based upon the four weighted criteria:
- Taste – 30 points
- Innovation – 40 points
- Packaging – 15 point
- Saleability – 10 points
The Awards will be extensively promoted in pre-show marketing, on the Expo App and website and in a post-show press release.
The panel-selected product nominees will be displayed in the Most Innovative New Product Awards showcase located within the New Product Showcase just outside the show entrance.
Look for the awards nomination trophy in exhibitors’ booths at the show – that is your compass to finding “panel-selected” products!