Four years ago the All Candy Expo officially rebranded itself as the Sweets & Snacks Expo® and welcomed snack companies to exhibit. In that time, snack company's participation at the expo has grown. The most substantial growth was seen from 2010 to 2011 when there was a 16 percent increase in the number of companies featuring snack products exhibited at the expo.
The 2012 Sweets & Snacks Expo®, sponsored by the National Confectioners Association, will be held May 8 to 10, 2012 at Chicago's McCormick Place. The expo holds the honor of being the largest confectionery, cookie and snack show in the Americas featuring more than 540 companies showcasing three and a half acres of confectionery and snack products at one time, in one place. The expo serves as a one-stop-shop for retailers and wholesalers looking to discover new products and trends in the industry.
"Snack products coupled with confectionery items are the fastest-growing powerhouse in the grocery store," commented Tim Quinn, expo chairman and vice president of trade development for Mars Chocolate North America, in a prepared statement. "During this challenging economy, retailers are looking to the strength and staying power of candy and snacks to stabilize sales and increase profits. In 2011 alone, these categories accounted for 9 percent of all store sales and experienced a phenomenal 11 percent increase."
Here is a listing of just a handful of snack companies and their products that will be exhibiting at the 2012 Sweets & Snacks Expo®:
- Beer Nuts, Inc. - Beer Nuts® Bar Mix
- Cloverhill Bakery - Danish Cinnamon Rolls
- ConAgra/National Pretzel Co. - Orville Redenbacher's Gourmet Popping Corn
- Diamond Foods - Kettle Brand Potato Chips
- Jack Link's Beef Jerky - Jack Link's Beef Jerky
- Kellogg Co. - Nutri-Grain® Bars
- KIND Healthy Snacks - KIND® Fruit & Nut Bars
- Kraft Foods - Oreo, Ritz, Chips Ahoy and Nabisco
- Mrs. Fields Branded Retail - Mrs. Fields® Cookies
- Oberto Brands - Oh Boy! Oberto® Beef Jerky
- Old Dutch Foods - Traditional Potato Chips
- Popchips - Popchips® Original
- Popcorn Indiana (formerly Dale & Thomas Popcorn)
- Snyder's-Lance, Inc -.Snyder's of Hanover
- Stauffer Biscuits - Animal Crackers
- Tillamook Country Smoker - Tillamook Country Smoker Natural Style Jerky
- UTZ Quality Foods - Zapp's Potato Chips
- Walkers Shortbread - cookies
- Wise Foods - Wise® Chips
"While we are thrilled with the quick adoption of snacks by our EXPO visitors, it is important to remember that confectionery products continue to be a proven sales driver on their own garnering more than $30 billion in U.S. retail sales in 2011 alone," commented NCA President, Larry Graham, in a prepared statement. "Candy and snacks combined have the buying power of $79 billion in U.S. retail sales each year."
"Most Americans snack up to four times a day and since consumers are shopping and eating in more than dining out, it is vital that retailers offer a wide variety of items and options to customers. The EXPO is the best destination for candy and snack professionals to source new and innovative products and keep ahead of the trends," added Quinn.
Visit the rebranded “Most Innovative New Product Awards” showcase and get exposed to the most popular, hand-selected up-and-comers. Product nominees in this new awards showcase are taste-tested by a panel of industry-wide experts with retailers casting the final votes live on the show floor.
Sponsored by The Hershey Co., the expo mobile app is available for virtually all smart phones. It is a custom-designed, native application that will function anywhere on the show floor even without wifi service. To download, search your app store for "SSE12" or "sweets expo".
Back by popular demand, “innovation alley” is a dedicated area on the show floor tjat features start-up companies new to the industry displaying some of the most innovative ideas not yet in the marketplace.