Top Sweets

Favorite confectionery, snack product introductions reflect industry trends

CHICAGO -- For the third year in a row, buyers at the Sweets & Snacks Expo used scanners to track their interest in new items in the ever-expanding New Product Showcase. Most of the top products scanned at the 2010 expo, held this past May in Chicago, followed the hottest trends in the confectionery and snack segments.

"New and innovative products are the lifeblood of our industry. In fact, 25% of annual confectionery and snack sales are attributed to products introduced in the past two years. The Sweets & Snacks Expo was designed to be the best resource to discover [image-nocss] the hottest and most profitable new products around," said Larry Graham, president of the National Confectioners Association (NCA) which sponsors the event. "Finding new products is the No. 1 reason people attend the show. In calculating the retailer scans' in the New Product Showcase, we are able to track trends in new product development to provide valuable insight to trade customers and manufacturers alike."

The majority of new products in the Showcase fell into at least one of the seven emerging trends as identified by the NCA earlier this year including: chocolate covered everything, twisted traditions, up in the air, REAL good, galloping gourmet, fresh-n-flavorful, and dark and dreamy.
More than 13,000 products and companies were scanned at the 2010 ExpoPO. The top 10 confectionery products highlighted an on-going trend in kid's novelty items with half of the top scanned items fitting into this category. Another surprise is the comeback of lollipops in new shapes and flavorsthree types were featured in the top 10 and another four included in the top 25 scanned items.

Look for these honorable mentions on shelves soon: BobblePops and PodPops from NARIN; Burstin Berry Blow Pops from Charms; and lollipop cream swirls with soft centers from the Original Gourmet Food Co.

As retailers strive to meet the needs and demands of their shoppers, gourmet and healthier choice items have reached new levels of popularity, a fact reflected in the scans. Some of the stand outs in the top 25 included Natural Vines from the American Licorice Co.; Cherry Raisinets from Nestle; and Belgian Chocolate Thins from Royal Chocolates.

Top 10 scanned confectionery products at the 2010 Sweets & Snacks Expo: Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Mini by The Hershey Co. Jelly Pop from Decoria Co. Ltd. Jumbo Push Pop by Bazooka Candy Brands. Pop Rocks Chocolate by Pop Rocks Inc. Dark Chocolate Acai Blueberry and Goji by Brookside Food Ltd. Snow White Gift set from Pez Candy Inc. Disney licensed items by Imaginings 3 Inc. M&M's Pretzel by MARS Chocolate North America ICEE Fizzing Lollipops by Koko's Confectionery & Novelty Cocktail Classic jelly beans by Jelly Belly Candy Co.
Top five scanned snack products at the 2010 Sweets & Snacks Expo: Chocolate Covered Candy Coated Kettle Corn by Kimmie Candy Co. Freeze Dried Fruit Snacks by Crunchies Food Co. Biscotti Crisps and Seasoned Nuts by Sahale Snacks Nutorious Nut Confections by Nutorious Silly Seeds by Sunflower Food Co.

"Each of the most popular scanned products reflect one or more of NCA's top seven confectionery and snack trends for 2010," added Graham. "Based on the interest level verified by customer scanning reports at the Sweets & Snacks Expo, we can expect to see them stocked at retail locations soon."