Product of the Year USA, the largest consumer-voted award for product innovations, has announced its 2016 award winners, and three candy and snack companies are among the winners.

Each year --  based on a survey conducted by consumer research firm TNS -- Product of the Year selects winning products through the votes of more than 40,000 consumers.

Products launched within the previous year are taken as submissions and placed into 29 categories, with one product named the winner of each category based on the TNS survey. Product winners tend to outperform category sales performance by 38.1 percent.

Product of the Year was established 29 years ago and operates in 42 countries with the goal of guiding consumers to the best products on the shelf, while also rewarding manufacturers for quality and innovation.

"Consumers are looking for quick, in-and-out experiences in stores when making their everyday household purchases," says Rich Fryling, managing director, Product of the Year USA. "The red Product of the Year Award seal lets shoppers know that over 40,000 fellow consumers prefer the winning products over the competition."

This year, the winners for snacks, sugar confections and chocolate are:

Snacks: Gold Emblem Abound Unsalted Pistachio & Almond Blend

Gold Emblem Abound

We think pistachios and almonds are two of nature’s tastiest gifts, but even better when paired together. Gold Emblem Abound Unsalted Pistachio & Almond Blend is naturally delicious, easy to snack on without those pesky shells, USA-grown and meets the American Heart Association criteria for heart-healthy food per 1 oz. serving.

Sugar Confections: SweeTARTS Soft & Chewy Ropes


A pioneer in taste innovation, SweeTARTS delivers the original flavor combination of delightfully sweet and delicately tart. SweeTARTS Soft & Chewy Ropes takes the classic flavor fusion a step further—creating bendable fun that’s licorice and SweeTARTS all in one. Chewy with a fruit-punch filling, SweeTARTS Soft & Chewy Ropes explode with a mouthwatering maze of texture and taste that makes candy lovers go crazy, without the use of artificial colors and flavors. (3.5-oz. Share Pack)

Chocolate: M&M'S Crispy Chocolate Candies


They’re back! In 2015, M&M’S Crispy Chocolate Candies returned to shelves for the first time in a decade, after countless pleas from fans. They feature a delectable, crispy center covered in rich, creamy milk chocolate, enclosed in a colorful candy shell. This delicious treat contains only 180 calories per pack and delivers the crispy, crunchy texture that consumers seek in a snack!

The full list of winners can be found on the Product of the Year website.