The 2014 Sweets & Snacks Expo, sponsored by the National Confectioners Association, continues to expand its status as a global resource for products, innovations and insights.
The Expo, to be held May 20-22 at Chicago’s McCormick Place, promises to be the most successful in the event’s 18 year history, boasting a sold-out show floor with a double-digit waitlist and participation from exhibitors from the U.S. and around the world. Companies from 23 countries have secured booths or pavilions on the show’s floor.
“Last year, the Expo hosted a sold out show to an audience of more than 15,000 qualified industry professionals,” commented NCA President Larry Graham. “For the fourth year in a row we experienced significant growth in not only floor size but also number of attendees; this is a proven trend reflecting the value that our event and NCA provide to the industry.”
Most impressive was a 10% increase in overall Expo registration. In addition,12% of Expo visitors traveled from outside of the U.S. The show experienced double digit international participation with more than 90 countries attending.
“The power of U.S. brands around the world is truly harnessed at the Expo which serves as a destination for global confectionery and snack markets to come together,” added Tim Quinn, Expo chairman and vice president, trade development, Mars Chocolate North America. “Our attendees know not to overlook the selling power of sweets and snacks. Globally, sweets and snacks are a $416 billion category and collectively they grew 3% in 2012— twice the pace of overall store sales at only 1.5%.”
More than 6,000 confectionery and snack trade customers registered to attend, representing key distribution channels like grocery, convenience, and mass as well as niche and specialty outlets. The Expo is the only venue that represents all of the major U.S. distribution channels of candy and snack products in one location.
In 2014 the show will welcome back the Brazilian, Chinese, German, Ecuadorian and Mexican pavilions and will also host the European Confections pavilion for the first time.
In addition to the expanding the international presence at Expo, NCA has also increased its global efforts in the past year. In hosting reverse trade missions and partnering with Euromonitor and Planet Retail on e-learning opportunities, NCA has established itself and the Sweets & Snacks Expo as open for international business.
The Expo also offers several features and amenities that make it easier for international attendees to explore both on and off the show floor, including a new product showcase, a floor plan that highlights export-friendly companies and a guided retail tour.
The Expo is uniquely positioned to present the newest products from around the world, including those from a number of renowned international companies like Allie & Rose from Australia; Pure Chocolate Ltd. Laima from Latvia; Candy People and Scandi Baker from Sweden; Klingele Chocolade NV and Noble Chocolates from Belgium; Freddi Dolciaria S.p.A., Elledi S.p.A. and Biscotteria Tonon from Italy; Vergani Secondo S.p.A. from Spain; SweetLife AG from Switzerland.
The Expo will also provide customers with access to Turkish, Israeli and Russian products, such as Cagla Chocolate, Danglobal Ltd., Signal_M Fine Chocolates and POBEDA Confectionery.
As in years past, the Expo will host the International Welcome Lounge adjacent to the show floor where translators and representatives can answer questions, offer concierge services and assist in making global visitors comfortable and productive during their visit.
In a challenging economy, it is apparent by its continued growth that the Sweets & Snacks Expo provides the vital tools, insights, innovations and resources that the industry values and why the Expo is billed as the confectionery & snack industry’s most successful, world class event.
The 2014 Expo is the ideal venue to connect with industry professionals from around the world and to discover international products and trends that will set retailers apart from the rest. Make plans to attend by visiting www.sweetandsnacks.com.