Mexican-Style Candy Wins Big at the Sweets and Snacks Expo 2017

The original taste of the Mexican-style candy set its mark this year at the largest candy convention in the USA. Nerds Lucha Grande – Mango Chile and Guava sweet snack, was recognized as winner on the list of the 2017 Most Innovative New Product Awards by the National Confectioners Association (NCA).

Inspired by the fun and vibrant world of Mexican Wrestlers, “Luchadores”, Nerds Lucha Grande – Mango Chile and Guava, has a bold tropical flavors and fiery personalities. It’s a tangy crunchy candy that will go head to head in your mouth with a punch of flavor.

The delectable award winners – including those for Best in Show and the newly added Small Business Innovator – represent the most creative, innovative and fun products that the industry has to offer.

The awards were announced during the Sweets and Snacks Expo 2017 that took place this week in Chicago.

The winners were selected from nearly 370 new product award entries across nine candy and snack categories: chocolate; non-chocolate; sweet; salty; savory; novelty; seasonal; gourmet/premium; and gum & mints.

Related: The Hershey Company Awarded for Diversity

Product submissions were rated based on four weighted criteria: taste, packaging, innovation and go-to market feasibility.

“The amount of innovation and creativity we have seen over the past six years of the award’s existence has gotten more sophisticated and highly competitive,” said John Downs, president and CEO of the National Confectioners Association.

“Any product nominated during this process should be very proud. Submissions continue to grow by double digits each year which points to the important role innovation plays in the candy and snack categories.”

The judges presented the first Small Business Innovator Award to Montreal-based Buddah Brands Company for Hungry Buddah Probiotic Coconut Chips in Cheeky Chocolate.

This inaugural award recognizes companies with net sales under $500,000, giving them the opportunity to shine and gain recognition amongst with well-established peers.

This year’s Best in Show award went to The Hershey Company for Reese’s Crunchers.

The candy winners are:

Sweet Snacks: Nestlé USA – Nerds Lucha Grande – Mango Chile and Guava

Chocolate: MARS Chocolate North America – M&M’s Caramel Chocolate Candies

Non-Chocolate: Jelly Belly Candy Company – Jelly Belly Krispy Kreme Gift Box

Salty Snacks: The Daily Crave – Gouda & Romano Cheese Quinoa Chips

Savory Snacks: Snyder’s-Lance, Inc. – Wholey Cheese! / Mild Cheddar

Novelty/Licensed: Ferrara Candy Co. TROLLI SOUR BRITE DIP’N CRAWLERS

Seasonal: Ghirardelli Chocolate Company – Ghirardelli Chocolate Strawberry Bark

Gourmet: Las Olas Confections and Snacks – Anastasia Coconut Cashew Crunch Dark Chocolate Drizzle

Gum & Mints: Ferrero USA, Inc. – Tic Tac Gum Freshmint