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2024’s Top Trends and ‘Most Innovative’ New Snacks

An Assortment of Innovative Candy Snacks

Awards were given to products in 13 categories at this year’s NCA Sweets & Snacks Expo.

The National Confectioners Association highlighted the top candy and snack trends that emerged from this year’s Sweets & Snacks Expo, which featured more than 1,000 exhibitors. According to the association, the top trends that will define the rest of the year are:

  • Enhancing special moments and occasions: Companies are meeting consumers where they want to be met with innovative new products to celebrate the big four seasons and a variety of package size options for any occasion, from the Super Bowl to summer barbecues to Halloween. Candy and snacks enhance special moments, including family traditions, social gatherings and seasonal celebrations.

  • Multisensory experiences: Consumers will be delighted by fun and unique textures and flavor combinations, whether enjoying freeze-dried candy and puffed snacks or a never-before-tasted mix of flavors and textures.

  • Social media stars: Candy and snacks take the spotlight on social media as consumers share their favorite innovations—you can expect the upcoming buzz on TikTok and Instagram to include interactive and gamified products.

The NCA also announced its winners of the 2024 Most Innovative New Product Awards during this week’s expo. Awards were given in 13 candy and snack categories for new products that embodied innovative ideas and standout new concepts.

“With the Most Innovative New Product Awards, we celebrate the innovation that sets flavor and product trends for the confectionery and snack categories, and, in many ways, carries heavy influence across the entire food industry,” said John Downs, president and CEO of the NCA.

The Most Innovative New Product Awards Winners are:

  • Chocolate: Skippy – Milk Chocolate PB Minis

  • Meat Snacks: Chyler’s – Hawaiian Beef Chips – Original with Roasted Garlic

  • Savory Snacks: a tie for

  • Our Home, You Need This – Hot Cheddar Fries

  • 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

Top confectioner brands, including Hershey and Mars, introduced new products at the show this week, including Hershey’s Reese's caramel big cup, new Kit Kat flavors, and Hershey's crunchy waffle cone bars as well as several salty snacks, and Mars launched iterations of favorites in new sizes, including peanut butter M&M’s mega and minis and Skittles Littles.


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