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Industry NewsSweets & Snacks Expo: Your Year Starts Here

Sweets & Snacks Expo: Your Year Starts Here


Candy and snack buyers, category managers, merchandisers and other retail executives looking to delight shoppers and win sales agree on one thing: their year starts with the Sweets & Snacks Expo. The show, May 21 – 23 at Chicago’s McCormick Place, inspires attendees with the industry’s greatest assortment of new products, insights and ideas.

Combined, candy and snacks represent $104 billion in retail sales in the U.S., and $453 billion around the world. These dynamic categories score high in consumer interest and innovation, boasting an impressive number of new products each year in the U.S. market. At the Sweets & Snacks Expo, savvy retailers have access to new and undiscovered products, seasonal strategies, and retail and merchandising solutions that turn inspiration into action. 

“The 2019 Sweets & Snacks Expo promises to be the most exciting in the history of the show,” said John Downs, president & CEO of the National Confectioners Association, the trade group behind the long-running and growing event. “We’ve heard that retailers attend our show for three main reasons: finding the classic and new items they need to build the perfect store set, deepening their knowledge of shopper needs, and making connections to expand partnerships in the category. It all comes down to delighting shoppers. When we focus on pleasing consumers, everyone wins.”  

With the consumers of today and tomorrow in mind, NCA has developed an experience perfectly curated to exceed expectations and meet the needs of a variety of attendees:

  • Looking for the hottest new items that will fly off store shelves next season? Check out the New Product Showcase and the winners of the Most Innovative New Product Awards.
  • Trying to build premium confections or alternative snack offerings? The Specialty Marketplace is the spot for discovering the micro and macro trends in specialty candy and snacks items.
  • Want to know what five snack trends you can’t miss for 2019, or gain a better understanding of the fine chocolate consumer? The educational insights offered at the Sweets & Snacks Expo are tailored to address questions about how we eat, how we shop and how we work.
  • Hoping for a more modern approach for front-end or seasonal merchandising? The Sweets & Snacks Expo has you covered with features like Destination Retail and the unveiling of exclusive learnings from a series of in-store retail checkout tests recently conducted.

More than 18,000 industry professionals start their year at the Sweets & Snacks Expo. If you’re looking to boost sales, gain category knowledge, uncover trends, future-proof your store set, or take the next step in growing your business or career, the Sweets & Snacks Expo is for you.

Who Attends?
Everyone who wants to win shoppers and wallets with some of the most profitable, best-selling general merchandise categories on the market today. Attendees include U.S. and international buyers, category managers, merchandisers, operations managers, executives and store owners from supermarkets, convenience stores, warehouse clubs, mass and dollar merchants, drug stores, vending, wholesalers, theaters, specialty, department stores and many others.

Who Exhibits?
Companies of all types exhibit, from the largest multinational firms to boutique and gourmet candy and snack manufacturers. More than 800 companies display more square feet of candy, chocolate, and sweet and savory snacks than at any other U.S. event.

Start Here:

  • Be prepared before you navigate the show floor by visiting the New Product Showcase filled with hundreds of not-yet-released items.
  • Learn from the nation’s most sought-after strategists and category specialists during insights-driven sessions on the industry data, trends and consumer behavior that will help you succeed.
  • Explore the Specialty Market, home to creative, groundbreaking candy and snack makers displaying a dazzling array of the organic, premium, free-from and sustainable products your shoppers want.
  • Visit Innovation Avenue in the Skyline Hall to discover up-and-coming companies introducing never before seen or tasted candy and snack items.
  • Discover innovation and merchandising solutions by exploring thousands of new and exciting products from hundreds of exhibitors, and diving into the technology and solutions served up within Destination Retail.
  • Exchange ideas and inspiration (and a few business cards) with like-minded professionals during the Industry Buzz Networking Reception.

A year’s worth of business in just three days? It’s possible at the Sweets & Snacks Expo, where you can turn inspiration into action and take real steps toward category success.

Your Year Starts Here!
Sweets & Snacks Expo
May 21- 23, 2019
Chicago, Illinois

Sweets & Snacks


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