The Sweets & Snacks Expo began on Tuesday, May 21 at Chicago’s McCormick Place, where the newest innovations in confections and snacks, as well as a dazzling array of classic favorites, will be presented to more than 15,000 candy and snack professionals attending the show.
Hosted by the National Confectioners Association, this year’s show continues to demonstrate the role chocolate and candy can play in a happy, balanced lifestyle, and the wide variety of options that consumers have when it comes to treating and snacking.
“The Sweets & Snacks Expo provides the opportunity for retail success stories, both for products from new companies and new products from established companies,” John Downs, president and CEO of National Confectioners Association, said. “We are thrilled to see many returning exhibitors, as well as welcome hundreds of new exhibitors attending their first Expo.”
Attendees at the 2019 Sweets & Snacks Expo can expect:
- More than 800 exhibitors, including 200+ first time exhibitors.
- 350 of the hottest new candy, snack, flavor, product, and packaging innovations on display in the New Product Showcase. Look for trends in packaging innovation with options in smaller pack sizes, as well as flavors inspired by popular beverages, integration of unusual ingredients and new takes on classic favorites.
- The Most Innovative New Product Awards, sponsored by IRi. These awards recognize the most creative ideas, concepts, and products in candy and snacks in nine different categories, along with a Best in Show and a Small Business Innovator award. More than 300 submissions have been taste-tested and evaluated by a panel of retailers and experts.
- A newly re-designed Destination Retail experience which highlights the latest technology and merchandising solutions driving shopper engagement and, with its new design, demonstrates how stores can create even greater appeal as a destination for consumers.
- A full curriculum of 25 cutting-edge learning opportunities including Discovery Theater sessions on the show floor sponsored by Barry Callebaut. Topics include consumer behavior, flavor trends, e-commerce, and the future of the retail experience.
“With hundreds of innovations, insights and ideas to transform the world of chocolate, candy and snacks, the Sweets & Snacks Expo is the most important annual event in the industry,” Carly Schildhaus, NCA spokesperson, said. “Sweets and snacks manufacturers have always been at the forefront of defining outstanding consumer experiences, setting trends, and delivering a wide variety of options and choices. That excitement and the vibrancy of the category come to life on the floor of the show each year.”
The Sweets & Snacks Expo also offers numerous networking sessions throughout the show to encourage connections between attendees.
The Sweets & Snacks Expo also highlights the industry’s Always A Treat Initiative, a five-year commitment by America’s leading chocolate and candy companies to provide consumers with more information, options and support as they enjoy their favorite treats.
The companies who signed onto the commitment in 2017 have agreed to make measurable changes to increase consumer options and information by 2022, including a wider variety of pack sizes containing 200 calories or less per pack and a promise to print clear calorie information on the front of 90 percent of their treats.
“Consumers are embracing the unique role that chocolate and candy can play in a happy, balanced lifestyle,” Schildhaus said. “We are leading the charge in providing more information, more options and more support for consumers to make informed choices.”
The Sweets & Snacks Expo will continue until May 23rd.