TAMPA, FL -- The National Confectionery Sales Association honored this year's top new candies and snacks at its annual banquet on Oct. 15 in Tampa. Product nominations across six categories, chosen for their innovation and sales potential, came from candy and snack buyers, brokers and suppliers. A panel of industry specialists selected the winning 30 items.
In the chocolate category, the winner was Snickers Peanut Butter Squared from Mars Chocolate North America. Four other products received NCSA Certificates of Achievement: Hershey's Drops from Hershey Co.; Chocolate Dips made by Jelly Belly Candy Co.; the Skinny Cow line by Nestlé USA Inc.; and giant- and bite-size Turtles from DeMet's Candy Co.
The winner in the licensed and limited edition category was M&M's Star Wars Lightsabers from CandyRific LLC. Certificates were awarded to Icee Squeeze Candy from Koko's Confectionery & Novelty; Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs boxed set from Pez Candy Inc.; Collectible Giant Tootsie Roll Pops by Diversified Licensing Group LLC; and Mars' Twix Coconut.
Natural Vines from American Licorice Co. won the non-chocolate category, followed by certificate winners Ice Breakers Frost from Hershey, Marionberry Licorice from Lucky Country Inc., eFrutti Bear-Rings by Mederer USA, Inc. and 5 React Gum made by Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co.
The premium and gourmet award went to Cacao de Chuao Origins from Chuao Chocolatier. Certificates were awarded to Ovation Cappuccino by SweetWorks Inc., Black Salt Caramel bars from Vosges Ltd., 70% Cocoa Almond Brittle Intense Dark produced by Lindt & Sprüngli (USA) Inc., and Intense Dark Sea Salt Soiree from Ghirardelli Chocolate Co.
In the snacks category, the winner was Orchard Bars from Liberty Orchards Co. Inc., with NCSA certificates going to Hummus Chips made by Simply 7 Snacks LLC, Buffalo Blue Cheese Pretzel Combos from Mars, Flavor Roasted Cashews produced by Yumnuts Natural; and the Seasoned Nuts line from Sahale Snacks Inc.
Juicy Oozers Gummy Vampires from Ferrara Pan Candy Co. Inc. won in the seasonal category, and certificates were awarded to Chocolate-Covered Raspberry-Flavored Marshmallow Peeps hearts from Just Born, Inc., Rudolph Lip Pops by Imaginings 3 Inc., Dueggs Spring Edition from Madelaine Chocolate Co. and Mary Jane Wicked Mix by New England Confectionery Co. Inc.
The National Confectionery Sales Association, formed in 1899, promotes confectionery products. Along with the annual new product awards, the association administers the Candy Hall of Fame, founded in 1971, and recognizes lifetime career achievements in the confectionery industry.