In the hustle and bustle of daily work, it’s easy to forget why we do what we do.
Completing orders and keeping plants running — or making sure store shelves are filled — are never-ending tasks. In Candy Industry’s case, deadlines are always looming.
But a good reminder of the experiences we create, sell and promote came in the form of the Kids Choice Awards, held this week during ECRM’s Candy Planning: Christmas & Halloween event at the Hilton Chicago.
After putting on special “candy buyer” badges and getting a crash course in the industry from Paul Minger, v.p. of business development for Haribo America, about 30 young people from the Union League Boys and Girls Club touched, tasted and voted for entries in the non-chocolate, chocolate and novelty categories.
Minger asked the group to evaluate each entry’s appearance and taste before selecting their favorites, a job the kids took very seriously. It was a blast to watch them work through each category. They didn’t hold back in their judgments — or in showing their joy.
After counting the ballots, the following products rose to the top.
Best Chocolate: Flipz Minis Milk Chocolate Covered Pretzels, Star Brand North America/DeMet’s Candy Co.
Flipz Minis are a sweet and salty, rich and crunchy snack that’s sure to please the youngest — and most discerning — consumers.
Best Non-Chocolate: Airheads White Mystery Bites, Perfetti Van Melle, Inc.
These chewy, bite-sized pieces come in a mix of flavors, but without the signature Airheads colors, consumers get a surprise each time they pop one into their mouths. They’ll be available starting in May.
Best Novelty: Baby Bottle Pop with Popping Powder, Bazooka Candy Brands
Like the original Baby Bottle Pop, consumers can dip a baby bottle-shaped lollipop into sweet powder, but in this product, the powder offers a mouth-tingling pop. They’re available in four flavors: Blue Raspberry, Strawberry and Watermelon. This product also won Candy Industry’s and ECRM’s 2017 Buyer’s Choice Award.
It goes without saying that the kids had many fun and tasty products to judge, and seeing their reactions in person underscored the importance of their feedback. And, with help from ECRM, it was great to have a chance to brighten their day. It certainly brightened mine.