Snacks & Candy

Bold Flavors Earn Top Awards at Sweets & Snacks Expo

Beef Chips, Ramen Popcorn and hot cheddar fries are among product winners
Sweets & Snacks Expo logo
Photography by CSP Staff

Beef Chips, ramen popcorn and hot cheddar fries were just a few of the 2024 Most Innovative New Product Awards (MINPA) winners at the Sweets & Snacks Expo at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis this week.

Recognizing excellence in 13 categories and showcasing the most innovative ideas, concepts, and products across the candy and snack industries, John Downs, president and CEO of the National Confectioners Association (NCA), said this innovation is more important than ever before.

“Through these awards, we recognize the manufacturers, retail partners, suppliers, and brokers who play a role in delighting consumers across the country and around the world,” Downs said.

Beef Chips

Photograph by CSP Staff

This year's meat snacks winner heralds from the state of Hawaii. Chyler's Hawaiian Beef Chips Original with Roasted Garlic took the top spot. The company, which launched in 2004 currently has it products available on Amazon, but hopes to see its products soon hit the store shelves due to an "overwhelmlng reponse" at the Sweets & Snacks Expo, the company told CSP Daily News.

Popcorn flavors hit a new high with this year's salty snacks winner, Nomad Snacks' Ramen Popcorn. Drawing upon the flavors of Southeast Asia, the popcorn snack includes hints of ginger, garlic, sesame, soy, herbs and spices. Produced in California Nomad Snacks also features a chimichurri popcorn and has three new flavors coming out this year as well, the company told CSP Daily News. 

Each year, more than 300 confectionery and snack products are submitted for consideration in categories including Small Business Innovator and Best in Show.

Snacks

Photograph by CSP Staff

This year's savory snacks category had a tie. Our Home, a better-for-you snack family aimed at providing wholesome snacks at a value, won with its Hot Cheddar Fries and PepsiCo Foods' Doritos Dinamita Smoky Chile Queso also shared the spotlight as a winner. Doritos Dinamita Smoky Chile features a queso flavor with a spicy kick, in a new sticks shape. 

Turning to the sweet side, Skippy's Milk Chocolate PB Minis was the MINPA winner in the chocolate category. Hormel Foods' fusion includes creamy Skippy Peanut Butter and rich milk chocolate.

Skippy

Photograph by CSP Staff

Another winner spotted on the Sweets & Snacks Expo trade show floor was from Quest Nutrition, which is a Denver-based company owned by The Simply Good Foods company. The company's strawberry cake frosted cookies, which provides a sweet satisfaction of a sugary bakery cookie with less than 1g of sugar was the winner of the baked goods category.

Quest

Photograph by CSP Staff

This year's full list of MINPA winners are: 

  • Chocolate: SKIPPY – Milk Chocolate PB Minis
  • Meat Snacks:CHYLER’S – Hawaiian Beef Chips – Original with Roasted Garlic
  • Savory Snacks: Our Home, YOU NEED THIS – Hot Cheddar Fries and PepsiCo Foods – Doritos Dinamita Smoky Chile Queso
  • Seasonal: Crazy Candy, Anderson’s Crazy Candy – Peanut Brittle
  • Gum & Mints: Mars Wrigley North America, HUBBA BUBBA – Mini Gum in Skittles Original Flavors
  • Gourmet/Premium | Candy: Lakrids by Bulow – Passionfruit Chocolate-Coated Licorice
  • Baked Goods: Simply Good Foods Company, Quest® Strawberry Cake Frosted Cookies
  • Novelty/Licensed: Amos Sweets Inc., Amos Peelerz – Gummy Banana
  • Non-Chocolate Candy: Amos Sweets Inc., Amos Peelerz – Gummy Mango
  • Salty Snacks: Nomad Snacks – Ramen Popcorn
  • Sweet Snacks: Nerdy Nuts – Banana Cream Pie Peanut Butter Treat
  • Small Business Innovator: Issei – Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberry Mochi Gummies
  • Best in Show: Nerdy Nuts – Avalanche Peanut Butter Treat

The 2024 Sweets & Snacks Expo is sponsored by the National Confectioners Association (NCA). The NCA is the leading trade organization for the $48 billion U.S. confectionery industry. 

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