The Sweets & Snacks Expo, wrapping up this week in Chicago, announced the slate of winners in its annual Most Innovative New Product Awards. The awards recognize the year’s most innovative confectionery and snack products and honor the companies that make them.

“Recognizing and celebrating innovation in the confectionery and snack categories is a vital part of our show, because innovation is the key driver of the industry in terms of setting trends and appealing to consumers,” says John Downs, president and CEO of the National Confectioners Association (host organization of the Sweets & Snacks Expo). “These new products, brand collaborations, and flavors enhance consumers’ celebrations, holidays, and daily routines, and they ensure that candy and snacks continue to play an important role in the lives of people around the world.”

Retail leaders representing 85% of the buying power for the confectionery and snack categories served as judges across the 13 categories that comprise the Most Innovative New Product Awards. More than 300 candy and snack products were submitted for judging and the winners were displayed in the Featured Product Showcase at the Sweets & Snacks Expo. The products submitted for the awards were developed over the last year and will be available to consumers in the coming months.

The Most Innovative New Product Award Winners are as follows:

  • Best in Show: Chunk Nibbles, Apple Cinnamon Chunk Nibbles
  • Small Business Innovator: Jackson’s Chips, Farmhouse Ranch Sweet Potato Chips made with Avocado Oil
  • Chocolate:’s Chocolate, Mexican Hot Cocoa Bites
  • Non-Chocolate Candy: Shenzhen Amos Sweets & Foods Co., LTD, 4D Fruit Gummy Juicy Burst Strawberry
  • Gum & Mints: Perfetti Van Melle USA, Inc., Mentos Fruit Mints with Vitamins, Cool Fruity Mix
  • Salty Snacks: Big Dipper Food Company, Peanut Butter Caramel Coated PopCrunch
  • Sweet Snacks: Tru Fru LLC, Parfait Poppers: Nature’s Raspberries Frozen Fresh in Greek Yogurt & Granola
  • Meat Snacks: PepsiCo Foods, Jack Link’s Doritos Spicy Sweet Chili Flavored Beef Jerky
  • Savory Snacks: Truly Good Foods, Henrietta Said Ancho Kimchi Flavored Peanuts
  • Novelty/Licensed: Shenzhen Amos Sweets & Foods Co., LTD, TastySounds RecordableLollipop Peach Nectar
  • Seasonal: Hawaiian Host LLC, Strawberries & Cream White Chocolate Macadamias
  • Gourmet/Premium | Candy: Tru Fru LLC, Nature’s Strawberries Hyper-Dried Fresh in White & Dark Chocolate
  • Gourmet/Premium | Snack: Oh Snap! Pickling Co., Cranberry Sweeties