I have in front of me a small bag of a trail mix type of concoction. On the bag it proudly proclaims, "Award Winning Snack". First of all, there's a missing hyphen. (It should be "Award-Winning Snack" since "Award-Winning" is a phrasal adjective. The snack won an award. The award isn't winning a snack.)

But what award is it? There is no mention of it on the bag or on the company's web site, so I called them. (Update: I checked again a few weeks later and now it says so.) The product won the 2006 Automatic Merchandiser Reader's Choice Product of the Year for Salted Snack of the Year. Automatic Merchandiser is the magazine of the vending industry, and you can check out the complete list of winners. It's not clear to me what the criteria are. Are people in the industry voting for the snack they personally like best? The one they most admire? The one they would most like to stock? I don't know.