The 2021 Sweets & Snacks Expo, held June 22-25 in Indianapolis, has officially wrapped, but for those who couldn’t make the show, we offer a look at the Most Innovative New Product Awards winners, which recognize candy and snack products in 13 categories—from chocolate and nonchocolate to best in show.
Gum and Mints: Mentos Gum Paperboard Bottle
Perfetti Van Melle’s Mentos Pure Fresh Gum in a paperboard bottle delivers on the company’s commitment to environmental responsibility. The new bottle is certified recyclable and contains instructions for recycling. It holds 80 pieces of gum and comes in Fresh Mint and Spearmint flavors. The new bottle is expected to be available on U.S. retail shelves in the first half of 2022.
Salty Snacks: Wonderful Pistachios No Shells Sea Salt & Vinegar
The Wonderful Co.’s No Shells Pistachios now come in a Sea Salt & Vinegar flavor, with packaging that touts the salty snack as a plant-protein offering. The pistachios are California-grown. Wonderful owns, cultivates and harvests more than 75,000 acres of pistachio and almond orchards in California.
Sweet Snacks: Nature’s Strawberries Hyper-Chilled Frozen Fresh
From TruFru LLC, Nature’s Strawberries feature strawberries that have been frozen fresh, dipped in white and milk chocolate, and then hyperchilled to lock in flavor and nutrition, the company says. The sweet snack contains 90 calories per serving.
Novelty/Licensed: Harry Potter Back Pack Clips with Mystery Flavor Pez Candy
Pez Candy is known for its novelty items, and new this year are Harry Potter Back Pack Clips with Mystery Flavor Pez Candy. Each pack includes one mini Harry Potter Pez dispenser with clip and one mini Hermione Granger dispenser with clip, as well as six packs of Pez Mystery Flavor Candy.
Seasonal: Nerds Candy Corn
Ferrara Candy Co.’s Nerds Candy Corn offers an updated twist to the traditional fall snack. Coming this July, each piece of Nerds Candy Corn features a candy-flavored shell and a soft and chewy fruity center. Each piece contains a center with two flavors and two colors, a hallmark of the Nerds brand, the company says.
Gourmet/Premium – Candy: Nature’s Pineapple Pina Colada Hyper-Chilled Fresh
TruFru LLC makes the Most Innovative New Product Awards list again with its Nature’s Pineapple Pina Colada offering, which features frozen fresh pineapple dipped in white chocolate and coconut, and hyperchilled fresh. The variety contains 70 calories per serving.
Gourmet/Premium – Snacks: The Original Ultra-Premium Puff Corn
The Original Ultra-Premium Puff Corn from Crack Corn is a premium puffed corn snack that touts no kernels and no hulls. The small-batch offering is made with 100% locally sourced Ohio premium puff corn. It is naturally gluten-free.
Best in Show: Nerds Gummy Clusters
Ferrara Candy Co. took the top prize with its Nerds Gummy Clusters, which have a sweet and gummy inside and a tangy and crunchy outside. Available in the Nerds Rainbow flavor, the Gummy Clusters are available nationwide in five sizes: 3-ounce value peg bag (SRP $1); 3-ounce theater box ($1.29); 3-ounce share pack ($1.89); 5-ounce peg bag ($2.49); and an 8-ounce standup bag ($3.49).