The best promo makes lasting connections, and multi-sensory gifts like food help make memories that stick. Suppliers now offer a smorgasbord of edible (and drinkable) options, but this year, distributors were especially drawn to sweet treats on the show floor. Here are a few of their favorites:

Madeline Hardy, senior account manager for Texas-based Whitestone Branding, says the chocolate-covered potato chips from Wisconsin-based Maple Ridge Farms “took the crown” as the best thing she tasted during The PPAI Expo.

“The chocolate covered potato chips are the winner in my mind because of the great mix of sweet/salty, and because they are not your typical promotional snack giveaway,” Hardy says. “It also doesn’t hurt that the ladies at Maple Ridge are always an absolute delight to work with.” 

wooden gift box with chocolate-covered potato chips

These Dark Chocolate Potato Chips are crispy, rippled potato chips covered in rich dark chocolate and sprinkled with pink Himalayan sea salt, made in the USA and packaged in a sustainable wooden box. Price includes your custom imprint on the lid as a firebrand or in one of four colors. Certified kosher and drop shipping available.

Maple Ridge Farms / PPAI 114165, S8

Drew Davis, owner of Denver-based Specialty Incentives, loves the wide selection of flavors and shapes in gummy candies available through HPG’s SugarSpot brand. The line includes classics like Swedish fish and gummy bears, as well as fun fruits like green apple, pineapple and pink grapefruit, plus unusual flavors like prosecco and unique animal shapes like pink flamingos and butterflies – all of which can be gifted individually or in kits, or combined with a themed promotion for added sweetness.

fruity gummy candy gift assortment

The assortment of flavors in this Fruit Cocktail Sweetie Box is reminiscent of a fresh fruit salad, with 1.3-oz. taster packets of strawberry, watermelon, peach and cherry gummies, all packaged in a petite, sleek box. (Also available in a brandable drawstring satchel bag.)

HPG / PPAI 110772, S11

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Walter Kurt, president of Three K Consultants in Houston, was especially taken with the samples at the Dirty Cookie booth. “The Nutella one is amazing,” he says. “I actually don’t think there is one flavor that’s not delicious!”

chocolate chip cookies stuffed with Nutella

Timeless flavor meets gooey texture in this Chocolate Chip with Nutella Stuffed Cookie. The sweet and salty edge of the chocolate chip cookies, stuffed with the rich Nutella spread, is the perfect staple for a sweet and simple dessert. Order by half dozen or dozen and get creative with digital decoration on products and packaging. All products are certified kosher.

Dirty Cookie / PPAI 814973, S1

Shyloh Rhodes, brand development and recognition specialist at California-based Arnolds for Awards found plenty of inspiration with Fairytale Brownies. “She had so many good ideas, like 17 different ways that I can sell her brownies,” Rhodes says. 

custom gift box and individually wrapped brownies

Choose from a variety of colorful gift boxes like this Custom Celebration Box to fill with six to 48 individually wrapped treats. Handcrafted in small batches, these certified kosher brownies, blondies and cookies are available in 12 flavors (plus seasonal and sugar-free options) and three sizes: full, sprite (half) and bite-size. Free logo message cards are included on custom orders with no setup fee, and worldwide shipping, drop ship and fulfillment programs are offered.

Fairytale Brownies / PPAI 317978, S5

Renee Holmes, sales coordinator with North Carolina-based Brand Fuel, says she couldn’t stop thinking about this “TO. DIE. FOR.” Cinnamon Walnut Coffee Cake. Made with farm-fresh eggs, pure bourbon vanilla, sour cream and crunchy walnuts, plus a cinnamon streusel added to the center and the top of the cake, the decadent cake weighs almost two pounds and serves 10-14. It comes in a silver gift box tied with a white satin ribbon foil-stamped with your imprint in one of seven colors.

pound cake with silver gift box and logoed ribbon

“As I made my way through the booth sampling all the goodies they had to offer, this cake stole the show. Literally, the whole show,” Holmes says. “I thought about it the rest of the day and had to practice some restraint to not go back for another slice!”

Maple Ridge Farms / PPAI 114165, S8

John Corrigan and Jonny Auping contributed to this report.