Established more than 30 years ago in France, Product of the Year (POY) currently operates in over 40 countries with the same purpose: Guide consumers to the best products in their market and reward manufacturers for quality and innovation.

This year, better-for-you and confectionery category winners chosen by more than 40,000 consumers in the United States included the following: Toffifay by Storck USA in sugar confections; Oreo Chocolate Bar by Mondelez International in candy bar; and Elevation by Millville High Protein Bars from Aldi in the better-for-you category.

“Product of the Year answers an essential question: ‘With so many new product launches and product claims, how do I find the best?’ explained Mike Nolan, POY’s ceo. “This year, a record number of products entered to compete for the winning spot in their respective categories. With the help of 40,000 consumers nationwide, we are excited to champion these winners as they have achieved that validation. Product of the Years’ distinctive red seal of approval continues to help shoppers find the best new products on the shelves and give the winners a well-earned competitive advantage.”

Each year POY accepts entries from consumer packaged goods that demonstrate innovation and were launched within the previous year. Entered products are then placed into specific categories such as food, beverages, personal care, household care, etc. with a product then being chosen as a winner in its category through a nationally representative online study conducted by Kantar TNS.

Mike Sager, the marketing manager for Storck USA’s Toffifay, shared his delight in winning the sugar confections product innovation award.

Toffifay has been enjoyed around the globe for many years, and we’re excited to bring this indulgent, multi-textured treat to U.S. consumers,” he said. “Hazelnut is a growing flavor trend in the U.S., and Toffifay delivers a highly unique eating experience with its whole roasted hazelnut, chewy caramel cup, hazelnut cream and drop of chocolate.”

In the chocolate bar category, Mondelez International’s Oreo Chocolate Candy Bar earned recognition as the only chocolate candy filled with OREO cookies and cream. The combination of rich, creamy chocolate on the outside, combined with crunchy OREO cookie pieces and smooth cream on the inside impressed the voters.

And within the better-for-you segment, ALDI-exclusive Elevation by Millville High Protein Bars lived up to its name by containing 20 grams of protein and 13 vitamins and minerals in each bar. The bars come in Mint Chocolate and Chocolate Peanut Butter flavors.