2018 Sweets and Snacks Expo shaping up to be the best yet

2018 sweet and snacks expo

Confectioners from all over the world are set to exhibit at the Sweets and Snacks Expo in Chicago, America, and this year’s edition seems to be the biggest to date.

Confectionery and snacks from more than 25 different countries will be on display at the 2018 Sweets & Snacks Expo – the largest number of countries ever to showcase products at the trade show. Hosted by the National Confectioners Association from May 22-24 at McCormick Place in Chicago, the 2018 Expo will house four acres of widespread product innovation, welcoming more than 850 exhibitors.

The 2018 event will welcome seven international pavilions, with Belarus making its Sweets & Snacks Expo debut. Returning international pavilions include Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Mexico and Turkey.

“The Sweets & Snacks Expo continues to be a business value worth traveling for as visitors from around the world are able to discover the newest and most innovative candy and snack products,” commented Barry Rosenbaum, Expo chairman and president of Nassau Candy Distributors, Inc. “As our global presence continues to grow, the Expo is the only destination to find solutions that exceed shoppers’ expectations and drive category sales.”

To accommodate international attendees, the International Welcome Lounge, located just off the show floor, will be where translators and representatives can answer questions, offer concierge services, and assist in making visitors comfortable and productive during their visit.

A global overview of the state of the candy and snack industries, a customized floor plan highlighting export-friendly companies, a guided retail store tour and the new product showcase are just some of the amenities offered to international guests.

The Sweets & Snacks Expo curates the newest and most innovative products for retail attendees, enabling them to confidently anticipate what shoppers want, and stay ahead of the competition. International companies exhibiting for the first time include: Grand Belgian Specialties NV from Belgium, GPR Import & Export Sdn Bhd from Malaysia, OSHON from India, Riverside Natural Foods from Canada, Sobranie LLC from Russia, Svila Trading LTD. from Bulgaria, Sweetory from South Korea, and Topgum Sweets Industries, Ltd. from Israel.

Sell out

Booth space for the 2018 Sweets & Snacks Expo is sold out. This is the first time in the trade show’s 21-year history that it has sold out so early in the year, with all space being sold by early January 2018.

“The high demand to be a part of an event focused on providing new and innovative product and category solutions speaks for itself,” Rosenbaum commented.

“Manufacturers exhibit because they want their product seen by 90 percent of the candy buying market and 75 percent of the snack buying market. The Expo is curated specifically to address retailers’ business challenges with products, merchandising practices and marketing solutions for meeting shoppers’ needs and stimulating growth. No other event delivers the breadth of new and innovative sweets and snacks, the latest industry trends, and so many opportunities for driving business success.”

Although a waitlist has been created for potential exhibitors, registration for retailers and wholesalers to attend the Sweets & Snacks Expo is now open.

Educational tracks

In addition, the 2018 Sweets & Snacks Expo is pleased to announce its educational tracks for this year’s multifaceted program. The tracks, grouped around the themes of How We Shop, How We Eat, and How We Work, will explore consumer behaviors and trends in treating and snacking. Hosted by the National Confectioners Association, the 2018 event will host more than 20 educational sessions addressing various topic areas for the confectionery, snack and specialty categories.

“We know our educational program is a big part of what makes attending the Sweets & Snacks Expo a great business decision for retailers,” Rosenbaum said. “This year’s lineup promises to deliver actionable insights to help attendees gain a competitive edge, anticipate trends and find solutions that address their specific challenges and needs.”

How We Shop sessions will focus on shopper behaviors and patterns as they relate to confectionery and snack products. Featured sessions include:

  • State of the Market: Candy and Snack
  • Engaging Treats and Snacks Shoppers Across the Path to Purchase
  • Bricks and Clicks Retail: From Enemies to Allies

How We Eat sessions will explore consumers’ decisions on evolving treating and snacking patterns, and how consumption is changing across different demographic groups. Featured sessions include:

  • The Snacking New World Order
  • The Why Behind What We Buy
  • On-the-Go Snacking: Omni-channel Implications for In-Store Shopping

How We Work sessions focus on how we collaborate as an industry to stay relevant with today’s shopper. Featured sessions include:

  • Power Pitch III: Lessons for Buyers and Sellers
  • Driving Profit Through Balance at the Front End
  • What’s Next in the Rise of Female Entrepreneurs and Leaders


Also, the Sweets & Snacks Expo is pleased to announce the category and retail thought leaders who will help attendees discover the “Multicultural Opportunity in Treats and Snacks” during an education session at the event. The panel will discuss the latest insights related to key demographic segments that are driving the candy and snack categories.

The panelists include a mix of confectionery, retail and demographic experts. The featured panelists are:

  • Jim Dudlicek – Editorial Director, Progressive Grocer
  • Jeff Hancock – Sales and Marketing Manager, Jewel-Osco
  • Leslie Johnson – Assortment Manager – Snack, Wawa, Inc.
  • Don Longo – Editorial Director, Convenience Store News
  • Jaime Enrique Parra – Executive Director Multicultural/Hispanic Consulting, Winston Weber & Associates

“We’re thrilled to have such a high-caliber group of individuals join us in Chicago as we explore how the candy and snack categories are impacted by various demographic segments,” Barry Rosenbaum added. “The content of this panel discussion, along with insights from more than 20 other educational sessions at the Expo, will drive category growth and provide shopper intelligence.”

About the Sweets & Snacks Expo

Sponsored by the National Confectioners Association, the Sweets & Snacks Expo is the confectionery and snack industry’s most successful, world-class event. It is unrivaled in new product launches, business building solutions and innovations in merchandising. 18,000 qualified professionals attend with global presence from 90 countries. More than 850 companies displaying more than 4 acres of candy and snack products participate in the Expo. The event is held each May at Chicago’s McCormick Place.

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