While this year’s Sweets and Snacks Expo at McCormick Place was an amazing experience, the plethora of booths and the miles and miles of new products can no doubt make it hard to remember which new treats really shined.

Have no fear! The 2013 NCA's Most Innovative New Product Awards are here to help. They not only narrow down the list of amazing new confections to the best and brightest, they also were likely chosen by you.

That’s because all the retail and wholesale trade customers had an opportunity to select one winner in each of the eight categories at the Most Innovative New Product Awards showcase, set up during the Expo.

Television reporter and food marketing expert Phil Lempert acted as a facilitator to guide the collaborative process of the panel to reach an agreement of five nominations in each category.The nominees were originally chosen by, “a panel of experts made up of retail customers, food industry icons and trend experts,” according to information on the NCA  website. Those experts helped the NCA narrow down the field from more than 200 entries to the final 40 nominees.  

The nominees were then able to display a “Most Innovative New Product Awards” Star at their booth throughout the show to let everyone know they were in the running.

In the end though, only a few could walk away with the coveted title of, “Most Innovative New Product” in their category. Drum roll please...

The winners are: Innovation Award Winner


  • Kit Kat Minis, The Hershey Co.

Non chocolate

  • Coffee Thins, Tierra Nueva Fine Cocoa

Sweet snacks

  • Handmade Marshmallow & Rice Cereal Confectionery, Sprinkle It On

Salty Snacks

  • Pomegranate Pistachios, Sahale Snacks



  • B.A.’s Fire Corn, Real Jalapeno Popcorn, Fire Corn Popcorn/Pop Gourmet

Novelty / Licensed

  • Tabasco Bottles, Jelly Belly Candy Co.


  • Russell Stover S’mores BIG BITE Bar, Russell Stover Candies, Inc.

Gourmet / Premium

  • Hammonds’ Milk Chocolate Red Velvet Cake Bar, Hammonds Candies


Candy Industry offers its most sincere congratulations to all the winners!