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NEW YORK -- A host of supplier companies were honored in this year's Convenience Store News Best New Products contest. Judges from the editorial staffs of CSNews and several of its sister retail trade publications scored entries in different categories based on product innovation, appropriateness to the convenience store market, and, where appropriate, flavor.
The winners were selected from dozens of products introduced into the c-store market between June 2004 and June 2005 and sent to CSNews' offices as official entries this past summer. Presentation of the awards will be held during the NACS Show in Las Vegas on Nov. 15. The winners by category were:
Launched in December 2004, Hershey's Take 5 bar offers consumers a unique eating experience by blending five favorite snacking ingredients for the first time ever -- pretzels, caramel, peanut butter, peanuts and Hershey's chocolate.
Ice Cream/Frozen Novelties
Dove Chocolate, from Masterfoods USA, takes the premium chocolate to a whole new level -- 32 degrees, to be exact. The new pints of Dove superpremium ice cream are loaded with chocolate chunks and topped with a rich layer of chocolate ganache.
Perennial winner Anheuser-Busch Inc. does it again with its introduction late last year of BE, beer infused with caffeine, guarana and ginseng. BE offers a lightly sweet and tart taste -- a mixture of beer and new flavors for adult consumers to enjoy.
Hershey scores again as it enters the snack segment with its Hershey's Snack Barz, bringing the highly recognized names of Hershey's, Reese's and S'mores to a whole new category.
Meat snacks continue to thrive in the post-Atkins world and Pioneer Snacks continues to innovate and spice up the category, making this the second win in a row for the company. This year's winner was the company's Road Ready Red Hot Fired Up! Smoked Sausage in the plastic container.
A whole new taste sensation packaged with a successful brand won the award for Brain-Twist Inc.'s latest beverage concoction -- Cinnabon Caramel Nut Latte. Now the taste and aroma of those irresistible Cinnabon cinnamon rolls have been captured in a cold coffee drink with caramel and nut flavoring.
This past March Camomile Laboratories Inc. introduced a more convenient form of soap for travelers -- Soapetals soap strips. Larger than breath freshener strips, but with the same concept: individual doses carried in a personal pocket dispenser.
The new Cleret Auto Scrape n' Squeeq is a clever combination ice scraper and squeegee for removing ice, frost and dew from automobile and truck windshields and side door mirrors. Its clever ergonomic design allows the user to get stubborn ice, with a minimum of effort, while the squeegee portion is the perfect size for clearing dew from sideview mirrors and rear windows.
Best Kids' Product
Kandy Kastle's new lineup of novelty candies includes Lightning Bugs, bug-shaped gummi candy that lights up with the help of “magical tongs.” Kids will love these outrageous novelty candies, and at 99 cents retail, the price point is just right.
Bistro-to-Go Triple Wedges, Marketfare Foods' blend of high-quality meats and healthy wheat bread in a hearty sandwich, satisfy appetites in a convenient and delicious way. Offering one-third more than the typical sandwich, Triple Wedges come in Chicken Salad, Tuna Salad, Ham & American cheese and Turkey & American cheese.
As flavored cigars continue to proliferate, Altadis U.S.A. goes to the head of the class with its Black & Blue Super Aromatic Pipe Tobacco Cigars. Black & Blue expands upon the flavored trend with an obvious twist: aroma.
Coors Brewing Co. takes two basics of summer -- beer and ice -- and brings them together in its Coors Light Cooler Box, a case of 18 plastic bottles of Coors Light in a container ready to be filled with ice and carried off to the beach, party or wherever adults are looking to enjoy some ice-cold beers.