This article was originally published on reverb, Drake Cooper’s reflections on advertising, creativity, and trends. Read more.

Top 10 Products at NACS

I recently attended the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) trade show in Las Vegas. Every year the NACS show brings together convenience retail industry professionals for four days of learning, networking and fun. The convenience store industry sales have seen rapid growth over the last decade as consumers seek out more on-the-go food and beverage options. U.S. convenience stores sales are $204 billion annually and combined with motor fuels sales of $491.5 billion, overall store sales are $695.5 billion and growing.

Each year, retailers from around the world come to the NACS show expo to find new ideas, products and services to help strengthen their business. After attending NACS and walking the show floor for a few days, here is my list of top 10 new consumer packaged good products seen at the show:

#10 Wild Berry and Tropical Flavor Mash-Ups Skittles

Flavors include Skittles Wild Berry flavors mashed up with Skittles Tropical flavors.

Skittles Flavor Mash-Ups

#9 Oscar Mayer’s P3 (Portable Protein Pack)

Protein and energy boosting snacks are all the rage. This is a great snack for adults and kids..

Oscarmayer

#8 Redd’s Wicked Apple Ale

MillerCoor’s Redd’s franchise is the fastest growing brewer in the flavored malt beverage category. Wicked Apple launched about a month ago and is an apple-flavored ale with an 8% alcohol-by volume kick. The launch timing on this product is perfect, right before Halloween.

Red Wicked

#7 Superfruit Starburst

Raspberry pomegranate, strawberry superfruit, passionfruit punch and blueberry acai. The thought of chewing one makes my mouth water!

Starburst

#6 Energems

Bite-sized, hard-coated gems that contain caffeine, B vitamins and a unique energy blend. Similar to an energy drink, just in a chewable candy-like form.

Energems

#5 New Kettle Popcorn

New Sriracha flavor is the latest trend, everything you love about this hot sauce in a bag of popcorn. A combination of chili, garlic and vinegar, made with all natural ingredients.

Kettle Chips

#4 V8 Protein Bars

Campbell’s is now leveraging their V8 brand to provide on-the-go nutrition with V8 protein shakes and protein bars. Smart idea.

V8 Protein

#3 Pepsi True and #2 Coca-Cola Life

The cola wars are alive and well. It’s all about offering lower calories without chemicals; both products contain stevia, a plant that is native to Paraguay that has leaves with intense natural sweetness. Young women – particularly mothers – are saying no thanks to diet soft drinks because they don’t like the chemicals in them. As a result, mid-calorie brand such as Coke Life and Pepsi True have tapped into the millennial women market. The labels are both green, just like the stevia plant itself.

Coca-Cola Life and Pepsi True

Coca-Cola Life was launched in Argentina in June 2013 and is just now starting to make its’ debut in the U.S. It contains 36% fewer calories than a regular Coca-Cola.

Shortly after Coca-Cola announced its’ rollout of Coca-Cola Life, Pepsi announced the launch of Pepsi True. Pepsi True contains 40% fewer calories than a regular Pepsi.

#1 STRONG KIND Bars

These new bars offer savory, bold flavors with 10g of protein packed in each one. KIND announced an unexpected strategy behind their new product line, this time targeting men.

Flavors include: roasted jalapeno, honey smoked bbq, honey mustard and thai sweet chili. I sampled them at the show – they were excellent and would taste great with a bite of cheese. What a smart idea for KIND to extend their product offering into the savory snack category. These bars offer a healthy alternative to chips or crackers in the mid-afternoon.

Strong Kind bars

Which product is your favorite?