Most Innovative New Product Awards

Set the industry on fire with your new products.

The Most Innovative New Product Awards are highly competitive awards that recognize the most innovative candy and snack products and companies for their achievements during the past year.

Product Submission Guidelines

Submission Deadline: May 28, 2021

Products submitted to the Most Innovative New Product Awards must:

  • Be produced after May 23, 2023
  • Be submitted in advance of the show by an exhibiting company
  • Include only one flavor per SKU submitted for judging
  • Include a product UPC

Products submitted to the Most Innovative New Product Awards may not:

  • Be a product prototype or produced outside of the 12-month window
  • Be submitted onsite during the Sweets & Snacks Expo
  • Exceed a maximum of ten (10) entries per company
  • Be submitted for more than one category per SKU
  • Include any merchandising; only a product and its packaging may be submitted

Bringing Products to the Show

Submitted products can be brought to the show on Monday, June 21, 11:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. to the Indiana Convention Center Room 109 or can be shipped in advance. For information on shipping products, contact Mindi Cherry at mindi.cherry@sweetsandsnacks.com.

All products must be checked in by 7 p.m. on Monday, June 21, to be eligible for judging. The Sweets & Snacks Expo is not responsible for products not delivered. No refunds will be given if the products are not received by June 21.

Products and packaging cannot be returned after judging. Exhibitors will not be allowed to switch out flavors or products at check-in.

Cost

  • $225 until May 14, 2021
  • $350 after May 14, 2021

Marketing & Promotion

The Most Innovative New Products Awards winners 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 finalists will be displayed in the Most Innovative New Product Awards showcases.

Be sure to look for the awards winner’s trophy in exhibitors’ booths at the show and in the Show Planner– that is your compass to finding “panel-selected” products!

SPONSORED BY:

Circana

The panel of judges nominates five items in each of the 11 segments:
  • Chocolate
  • Gourmet/Premium – Candy
  • Gum & Mints
  • Non-Chocolate Candy
  • Novelty/Licensed – Candy & Snacks
  • Seasonal – Candy & Snacks
  • Meat Snacks
  • Salty Snacks
  • Savory Snacks
  • Sweet Snacks
  • Baked Goods

Best in Show as well as Small Business Innovator will also be awarded.

All products are judged based upon the three weighted criteria:
  • Innovation – 60 points
  • Taste – 30 points
  • Packaging – 10 points

FAQ

The cost per entry is $400 until April 12. After April 12, the cost to enter is $525. The deadline for new submissions is April 19.

No, the same product cannot be entered into multiple categories. Only one category per SKU is allowed.

Your company can win in multiple categories if it is a different product that is entered.  The same product cannot win or be a finalist in multiple categories.

Only one flavor is allowed per entry.  You may purchase additional entries for additional flavors however, the same product cannot be entered into more than one category.

Category should be selected based on where your product is sold in the store.

Below are basic definitions for each product category.  Please contact Mindi Cherry for further information.

Chocolate
Everyday chocolate.

Gourmet/Premium – Confections
Chocolate and non-chocolate candy products typically found in gourmet or premium sections or specialty stores.

Gum & Mints
Chewing gum and mints in the category of breath freshener.

Non-Chocolate Candy
Everyday candy that is not chocolate. Includes lollipops, hard candy, chewy candy, licorice, caramels, gummy candy, etc.

Novelty/Licensed
Licensed chocolate, non-chocolate candy and snacks of all types, as well as products that have an interactive factor, serve as an accessory or include another unique feature in addition to the confection or snack item.

Seasonal
Chocolate, non-chocolate candy and snacks that are produced for a specific season of the year or holiday. Includes holiday-specific packaging, colors, flavors and/or shapes.

Meat Snacks
Snacks containing meat product or other flavored protein.

Salty Snacks
Snacks that include salt as a main flavor ingredient. Includes chips, nuts/seeds, crackers, pretzels, ready-to-eat popcorn, etc.

Savory Snacks
Snacks that are spicy or highly flavored (e.g., bold, mild, cheesy, peppery, bar-b-que, hot, etc.). Includes chips, nuts/seeds, crackers, pretzels, ready-to-eat popcorn, etc.

Sweet Snacks
Snacks with sweetness as a primary descriptor that include a wide variety of main ingredients other than flour. Includes fruit snacks, marshmallows, snack or protein bars, sweet snack mixes, ice cream and chocolate/candy covered nuts or pretzels, etc.

Baked Goods
Sweet snacks that use baking in the cooking process and likely contain some type of flour as a main ingredient. Includes cakes, pastries, doughnuts, pies, cookies, etc.

All photos and product descriptions must be updated by April 19.

Each submission requires (40) individually packaged or sealed samples for judging samples and three (3) retail packaging samples for display and media use. Samples do not need to be manufactured packaging. Click here for sample photos.  Note: Products and packaging cannot be returned after judging.

Product check-in is on Sunday, May 12, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m and Monday, May 13, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. All products must be checked in by 10 a.m. on Monday, May 13, to be eligible for judging. NCA is not responsible for products not delivered. No refunds will be given if the products are not received by the deadline.

Yes, products can be shipped to the Advance Warehouse to arrive between April 9-May 2 (warehouse is not temperature controlled) or to Show Site at the Indiana Convention Center. Show Site shipments will not be accepted before May 9 (May 10 for refrigerated or frozen storage). We recommend you do not ship via USPS and use UPS, FedEx or DHL.

Please complete this form with shipping and tracking information once shipped. Please note: NCA is not responsible for products not delivered. No refunds will be given if the products are not received by the deadline.

Shipping Labels for Download:

Only the actual product will be placed on display in the judging room and in the MINPA Showcases.

Product check-in is at the Indiana Convention Center in Room 104.

Judging will take place on Monday, May 13, beginning at 11 a.m.

All category finalists and winners will be announced at the Most Innovative New Products Awards Ceremony on Monday, May 13, at 5:30 p.m. in the 500 Ballroom at the Indiana Convention Center.

All MINPA entries will be on display in the Most Innovative New Product Awards Showcase in the Crossroads Lobby outside Hall E. Finalists and winners will be highlighted in separate showcases.