CHICAGO -- Fourteen new products were given awards, the first ones ever presented by the Biscuit & Cracker Distributors Association here, following the National Food Distributors Association conference held last month in Palm Springs, Calif.
The BCDA noted that the cookie selection "displayed an abundance of good quality, but indicated the trend toward fewer healthy and low-in-fat options for the consumer," said Margaret Laport, executive director.
"In the snack category, specifically potato chips, judges noted the introduction of several new and interesting flavor combinations, as well as new advancements in packaging," she added. Judges also commented on the promotion of community service displayed on product packaging, which indicated portions of profits being donated to charities. Laport said the judges suggested the companies specify the charity and the percentage of the profits, to truly capture the consumers' attention.
All products submitted in the contest were introduced during 1999 and are distributed to supermarkets through the BCDA's direct-store-delivery distributors. Products were judged on the basis of their uniqueness, taste, appeal, convenience and healthy or indulgent characteristics.
Joseph's Lite Cookies (Sante Fe Farms Chocolate Mint Cookies), Deming, N.M.; and Schaffer, Clarke & Co. (Carr's Chococcines), Elmhurst, Ill., both won first place for different segments in the cookie category. Greek Gourmet Ltd. (Bolero Vanilla Wafer Sticks), Hingham, Mass.; and U.B. North America (Delacre Belgian Collection), Mount Laurel, N.J., took second place. Delacre Crescendo; Walker's Shortbread (Millennium Collection), Hauppauge, N.Y.; and Barbara's Bakery (Nature's Choice Espresso Bean Biscotti), Petaluma, Calif., all won honorable mention.
In crackers, first place in non-wheat snack went to Venus Wafers, Hingham, Mass., for its entire line of Haute Cuisine. Venus Wafers also won honorable mention in the wheat-snack category for its Gourmet Seasoned Deli Crackers.
In snacks, first place awards went to Kettle Foods, Salem, Ore., for its Tortilla Chips -- Sweet Brown Rice & Black Bean; to Clif Bar, Berkeley, Calif., for its Luna Chocolate Pecan Pie flavor nutrition bars; and again to Kettle Foods, for its Salt & Pepper Krinkle Cut Kettle Chips. Honorable mention went to Keystone Food Products, Easton, Pa., for its Cheese Puffy Corn extruded product, and to Barbara's Bakery, for packaging of its Onion Zings.