On Oct. 19-21, the National Confectionery Sales Association held its 113th annual Candy Hall of Fame induction weekend in Tampa, Fla. Induction into the Candy Hall of Fame is a huge honor for candy industry professionals, much like induction into a sports-related hall of fame. This year, Candy.com was lucky enough to attend!
Nominated by their peers, Candy Hall of Fame members come from all walks of the candy industry: brokers, sales personnel, manufacturers, retail buyers, wholesalers, industry suppliers, retail confectioners, and others allied to the industry.
It’s pretty spectacular to sit amongst leaders of major candy companies like Jelly Belly, Ghirardelli, Mars, Hershey’s, Atkinson Candy, Necco, Goetze’s, Just Born, Brown & Haley, Ferrara Pan, Ferrero, Haribo, Promotion in Motion, Spangler, Smarties, etc.
The generations of candy history that is shared over the weekend is mind-blowing, as is the genuine collaboration between companies and competitors for the good of the industry.
2012 Candy Hall of Fame Inductees
This year, 12 confectionery professional were inducted into the NCSA’s Candy Hall of Fame, including (Standing from left in photo above) Fernando F. Pujals, Fernando C. Pujals & Bros., Inc.; A. Robert Fortunato, Sledd Co.; David G. Onorato, The Hershey Co.; P. Timothy Quinn, Mars Chocolate North America; Paul D. Minger, Walgreen Co.; Philip J. Shankman, Shankman & Assoc., Inc.; Pierson Bob Clair III, Brown & Haley. Seated from left: Anthony M. Rufrano, Maxim Manufacturing & Marketing; James S. Bourne, Hilliard’s Chocolate System; Judith K. Cooley, The Hershey Co.; James M. Finelli, The Promotion In Motion Cos., Inc.; and John H. Pola, Jelly Belly Candy Co.
Also during this weekend event, top confectionery and snack product introductions in six categories, were honored. Product nominations across six categories came from candy and snack buyers, brokers and suppliers, and were narrowed down to 30 items by a panel of industry experts. Each nominated product offers significant innovation and/or sales potential to the candy and snack categories.
The winners in each of the six categories were:
1. Chocolate: – Air Delight Kisses and Bars, The Hershey Company
2. Licensed/Limited Edition: Crunch Girl Scouts Line, Nestle USA, Inc.
3. Non-Chocolate: Jolly Rancher Crunch ‘N Chew, The Hershey Company
4. Snacks: Brownie Brittle, Sheila G Brands, LLC
5. Premium/Gourmet: Dark Roca, Brown & Haley
6. Seasonal: M&M’s White Chocolate Candy Corn, Mars Chocolate North America
Congratulations to the Class of 2012 and to the new product winners. Special thanks to the NCSA and its executive directors, Steve Forester and Teresa Tarantino, for hosting this special event. We had a ball!
Here are a few shots of the celebration …
The “After Hours” party on Sat. Oct. 20 was sponsored by The Hershey Company. Chocolate was plentiful!
Lunch on Clearwater Beach with wonderful candy industry friends (from left) Hans Becher, Ferrara Candy Co., Inc.; Mark Lozano, TNA North America; Jen Harmon; Sheryl Godwin, Godwin Associates; Gloria Becher, Bobbie McMichael; Joe Melville, Candy.com; Wayne Godwin, Godwin Associates; and Eric Atkinson, Atkinson Candy Company.