7 intriguing snacks from the 2021 candy show
Major candy and snack marketers and newcomers had a chance to show off their products this week, when the industry's trade show returned after a 25-month hiatus.
The Sweets and Snacks Expo is the first major food industry trade show put on in more than a year as COVID-19 restrictions ease and business travel slowly resumes.
Hosted by the National Confectioners Association, this year’s event in Indianapolis welcomed some 800 attendees and more than 450 exhibitors. It's a substantial decrease from the 15,000 attendees and 800 exhibitors in Chicago in 2019, but a step toward normalcy after last year’s event was canceled.
The trade group honors some of the most innovative new products at each expo. Here are some of the winners, plus a few other standouts from the show:
Sweet Snacks: TruFru LLC – Nature’s Strawberries Hyper-Chilled Frozen Fresh in White Chocolate & Milk Chocolate
Chocolate-covered strawberries are usually reserved for special occasions, but TruFru is making the case for enjoying this treat every day, from the freezer. Fresh strawberries are dipped in two layers of chocolate.
Chocolate: Hershey Co. – Reese’s Big Cup with Pretzels
Reese's has been adding new iterations of its iconic peanut butter cups for years. This version fuses the classic candy with a favorite salty snack. It’s sweet, salty, crunchy, and, of course, double the size of a normal Reese's cup.
Seasonal: Candy & Snacks: Ferrara Candy Co. – Nerds Candy Corn
Taking home the prize for the most innovative seasonal candy is Nerds Candy Corn. It’s a soft chew inside wrapped in a neon-hued Nerds casing—and an argument for combining two seemingly incompatible candies.
Best in Show: Ferrara Candy Co. — Nerds Gummy Clusters
Taking home "best in show" is another Nerds combo product. This one brings together a gummy center and an outer layer of crunch.
Vidal – Chili Peppers and Spicy Mangos
These new gummies, shaped like chili peppers and packed with a spicy core, are a new take on the classic blend of flavors. Vidal also offers spicy mango gummies, perhaps reminiscent of mango sprinkled with seasoning such as Tajín.
Bush’s Best – Bean Chips
Bush’s bean chips are one of the newer high-fiber, high-protein, gluten-free snacks aimed at those who want to feel a bit better about their savory indulgences. They come in five flavors from spicy nacho to sour cream and onion.
Sonoma Creamery – Pork Rind Cheese Crisps
The Keto craze continues in snacking. Sonoma Creamery has been selling cheese crisps for a few years. Now, it has a version that combines cheese and pork rinds in three flavors: cracked black pepper, cheddar, and chipotle.