“Junior candy buyers” from the Boys & Girls Club of Las Vegas selected their favorite confections from those submitted by exhibitors at ECRM’s Candy Annual Planning Event last month, naming three winners in the 2010 Kid’s Candy Choice awards.

By Deborah Cassell

More than 70 kids ages 8 to 13 from the Boys & Girls Club of Las Vegas sampled products from 25 manufacturers at ECRM’s recent Candy Annual Planning event as part of the organization’s third annual Kid’s Candy Choice awards. For the second year in a row, Candy Industry and Retail Confectioner sponsored the competition, which invited confectionery exhibitors to enter new products for taste-testing by the “junior candy buyers.”

Before sampling the submitted sweets, the kids learned a little bit about the confectionery industry fromCandy Industry’sexecutive editor, Deborah Cassell, who gave them a category overview. She was followed by Print Cates, director of franchise operations for Powell’s Sweet Shoppe, who talked about being a professional candy buyer and took the children on a video tour of one of his stores. Finally, the kids were asked to survey the room full of submissions before choosing five products to sample. Choices included everything from tubs of cotton candy to baseball bats filled with bubblegum. Sour flavors, chewy textures, products that came with stickers or games and items contained in reusable packages were among the kids’ favorite entries. 

To that end, participants awarded first place to Farley’s and Sathers Candy Co., Inc. for its Trolli Big Bold Bears Gummi Candy. Second place went to Schuster Products for its Ginormous Silly Swirl Bubble Gum. Innovative Candy Concepts took third with its Too Tarts Smart Choice All Kidz Blend

The winners were announced during the lunch hour on Sept. 28, where representatives from each company were given plaques in recognition of their achievement. Each company also received free advertising from Retail Confectioner in the form of a full-page print ad (first place) or Web/eNewsletter ads (second and third place). The next Kid’s Candy Choice awards competition will take place during the 2011 Candy Annual Planning event. For more information, contact Maria Di Franco, ECRM marketing director, at mdifranco@ecrm.marketgate.com.

And the Winners Were...  

From left to right: Mike Sprinkle, v.p. of sales, and John Leonardo, senior brand manager, accepted the ECRM 2010 Kid’s Candy Choice award on behalf of Farley’s and Sathers Candy Co., Inc. for its first-place win for Trolli Big Bold Bears. Candy Industry’s publisher, Kris Collins, and executive editor, Deborah Cassell, as well as Cony Glaser, ECRM’s v.p. of grocery, handed out the award, which was voted upon by more than 70 children from the Boys & Girls Club of Las Vegas during the ECRM Candy Annual Planning event.

Schuster Products took second place in the 2010 Kid’s Candy Choice awards for its Ginormous Silly Swirl Bubble Gum. Company President Steve Schuster (second from left) was on hand to receive the award.

Too Tarts Smart Choice All Kidz Blendfrom Innovative Candy Concepts came in third in the 2010 Kid’s Candy Choice awards, accepted by (from left to right)Bob Morgan, v.p. of sales; Sandy Webb, executive assistant to the president; Armand Hammer, president & ceo; and Dan Pryor, director of national sales.