Monday afternoon couldn’t have been sweeter for Sweeter Cards (PPAI 810735, S1). The upstart supplier was the runaway winner of The Pitch, promo’s version of The Voice mixed with Shark Tank.

In the second annual competition, an exclusive to The PPAI Expo, seven supplier participants had three minutes to win over a panel of veteran distributor judges as well as the audience, a packed Mandalay Bay Convention Center ballroom.

The St. Louis-based company – which can be found this week in Booth 1017 – presented its flagship product, a fully customizable greeting card and chocolate bar, all in one. Woman-owned and employing adults with disabilities, Sweeter Cards and founder Stacy Stahl convinced all four judges to turn their chairs in approval, and took 55% of the audience vote.

“It was incredible,” Stahl said. “I was so shocked. And to win both, my heart exploded.”

The Winning Formula

The most talked-about experience at The PPAI Expo 2023, The Pitch was a hit with the crowds again this year. Live attendance was easily double that of the debut showing, with the event moving from Tuesday morning to Monday this year as a capper to education sessions at The PPAI Expo Conference.

Speaking of the judges, all four of last year’s respected industry distributors returned for 2024 – Amanda Clay, MAS, president and co-owner of Walker-Clay; Danny Rosin, CAS, president and co-owner of Brand Fuel; Memo Kahan, CEO of PromoShop; and John Vo, MAS, owner of Whoopla. Also returning for The PPAI Expo 2024 was host Anji Corley.

Along with Sweeter Cards, the competitors included:

  • HPG (Booth 2216)
  • Hirsch (Booth 2627)
  • (Booth 3965)
  • Threadfast (Booth 4837)
  • EZRI (Booth 5667)
  • Flyga (Booth 5846)

Everybody Wins

Judges loved the story behind Sweeter Cards and the feeling a client company would be able to give to product recipients. Rosin commented that the product’s impact far exceeded its price point.

Stahl may have been Monday night’s big winner, but the hundreds of distributors in the audience took away something valuable from the experience as well.

“It was motivating,” says Roy Johnson, CAS, managing director of Royel Marketing. “It got everyone involved. It’s also a great way to get informed about some of the things you’ll see on the Expo floor.”