Sweets and Snacks Expo under way with hundreds of new products

More than 800 exhibitors have taken their respective places as The Sweets & Snacks Expo opens its doors at McCormick Place, Chicago.

The three-day event running until May 23, is expecting over 15,000 candy and snacks professionals from around the world to attend, with Confectionery Production returning to report on the industry showcase.

Hosted by the National Confectioners Association, this year’s event continues to demonstrate the role chocolate and candy can play in a balanced lifestyle, and the wide variety of options that consumers have when it comes to treating and snacking.

“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.”

As the organisers explained,  350 of the hottest new candy, snack, flavour, 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 flavours inspired by popular beverages, integration of unusual ingredients and new takes on established favourites.

This week will showcase some of the biggest developments in confectionery, with representation from leading companies including Mars Wrigley, Ferrero, Guittard, Jelly Belly, Loacker, Perfetti Van Melle and Mondelez, among many others.

The Most Innovative New Product Awards, are set to recognise 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 behaviour, flavour trends, e-commerce, and the future of the retail experience.

The Sweets & Snacks Expo also offers numerous networking sessions throughout the show to encourage connections between attendees.

The show 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 favourite 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.”

To discover the hottest trends in confectionery and snacks, register for the Sweets & Snacks Expo at SweetsAndSnacks.com/register. To learn more about the Always A Treat Initiative, visit AlwaysATreat.com.

  • Please get in touch with Confectionery Production editor Neill Barston with any show views or product news at [email protected] or via social media @confectionprod

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