May 15, 2024

Schubert North America Wins Innovation Prize, Plus Trends Report from Sweets & Snacks Expo

Schubert North America was named the winner of the 2024 Ruby Award for Supplier Innovation at the 2024 Sweets & Snacks Expo. The award comes in recognition of its development of Cobot tog.519, a collaborative robot designed to work alongside humans – rather than replace them – in a manufacturing or packaging environment.

“The chocolate and candy industry invests heavily in its people and innovation, and new technology that supports both is remarkable and worthy of recognition,” John Downs, president & CEO of the National Confectioners Association, said. “The industry is at its best when suppliers find creative solutions that improve operations, create efficiencies in manufacturing and support employees.”

Created in 2018 to celebrate breakthrough innovations from the supplier community that advance the confectionery industry, the Ruby Award for Supplier Innovation recognizes a National Confectioners Association supplier member company that has developed an innovation in the past year that improves the ability of confectioners to manufacture, distribute, market, and/or sell chocolate and candy.

The award was chosen based on supplier submissions and judged by a panel of industry experts:

  • Francisco (Paco) Tello, Perfetti Van Melle North America
  • Eric Guilford, Spangler Candy Company
  • Mark Schlott, RM Palmer Company
  • Bhavna Ramani, PIM Brands
  • Steve Genzoli, Ghirardelli Chocolate Company
  • Danielle Laubenstein, Hawaiian Host
  • Iris Eshoo, See’s Candies
  • Rachel Sweet, Sweet Candy Company
  • Heather Boggs, Ferrara

Meanwhile, industry experts shared 2024’s top candy and snack trends yesterday on the first day of the Expo:

  • 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 that can brighten any occasion, from the Super Bowl to summer barbecues to Halloween – and everything in between. 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 combined.
  • 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.

More hot products: On the eve of the event, the Most Innovative New Product Awards recognizing products in 12 categories, plus the coveted Best in Show – awarded this year to Nerdy Nuts – Peanut Butter Treat – were also announced.



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