ECRM Kids Choice Award


Candy manufacturers and sellers have a tough audience in grocery, convenience and other retail buyers, but the true test comes from an even more discerning crowd: Children.

Candy companies participating in ECRM’s Candy Planning: Christmas and Halloween event, held at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas this week, put some of their best products up for the Kids Choice Awards, hosted by ECRM and Candy Industry Magazine.

After donning special badges and getting a crash course in candy buying from the ubiquitous Print Cates, national sales director for Jack’s Wholesale Candy and Toy, young people from the Boys and Girls Club of Southern Nevada touched, tasted and voted for entries in the non-chocolate, chocolate and novelty categories.

Watching the kids try the candy -- particularly the novelties -- was the best part. They were so animated, especially as they moved through the categories. And they certainly didn’t hold back in their judgments.

Courtesy of

Courtesy of

After counting the ballots, the Atlantic Candy Co. rose to the top.

Best Novelty: Toy Box, Atlantic Candy Co.

The Toy Box combines two of children’s favorite things: chocolate and surprises. A round, patented plastic capsule separates collectible toys from gluten-free, non-GMO chocolate. The Safe-Capsule design has been approved by the Federal Drug Administration. Toys include sea creatures, as well as cats and dogs under the name Pocket Pets.

After the voting, Cates led the group in an acapella version of “Candy Man.” Then the kids bounced out of the dining room and back to their buses.

But before they left, I overhead one of the children saying, “I’m really glad I went on this trip.”

Having the chance to see familiar faces and meet many new people through ECRM’s speed-dating-style gatherings, I, too, am glad to have been “on this trip.”


[Originally written by Alyse Thompson for Candy industry Magazine]