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CHICAGO -- Nearly three months before the event begins, the the 2011 Sweets & Snacks Expo, to be held May 24-26 in Chicago, Ill., has sold out both the Gourmet Marketplace and the inaugural Innovation Alley with the main show floor having only a handful of exhibiting spaces left, the company reported.
Boasting the biggest show floor in eight years, the Sweets & Snacks Expo, sponsored by the National Confectioners Association, is the largest confectionery, cookie and snack show in the Americas and will feature nearly 500 companies showcasing the most confectionery and snack products at one time, in one place, the company stated.
"Many factors are behind the continued strength of our annual event," Michael Rosenberg, EXPO Chairman and president and CEO of The Promotion In Motion Companies Inc. said in a released statement. "We are seeing renewed consumer confidence in the economy and our committee along with NCA's staff continue to find new and innovative ways to grow the EXPO. Just four years ago, we welcomed snack companies to our show and we are proud to say that now 40 percent of our exhibitors feature snack products."
The following new and popular events at the show include:
• New! – EXPO Mobile App – Sponsored by The Hershey Co., this tool is available for most smart phones and the Web. It is custom designed to enhance the 2011 EXPO experience making the event more efficient, interactive and fun.
• New! - Innovation Alley – Start-up companies new to the industry have a dedicated area on the floor to display some of the most innovative ideas in the marketplace.
• An expanded Gourmet Marketplace - already sold out.
• Connection Café - a hip, buyer-friendly rest stop on the show floor where attendees can regroup and not only recharge themselves but also their phones, laptops and PDAs.
• New! – Individual electronic product scanning in the New Product Showcase. With individual scanning of products in the showcase, no potential "best seller" will be overlooked.
• Buyers' Choice Best New Concept award program - Customers vote for their favorite new products and merchandising solutions at the start of the show and awards for the most popular picks are announced on-site.
Since candy and snacks are the most responsive food categories to display treatment, the Retail Solution Center has become a popular attraction at the EXPO, and is an area for retailers to source the latest fixtures, displays and services from the top names in the industry. For the third year in a row, the Magic of Merchandising Display Gallery located on level 3 outside the show entrance, offers ideas and award winning solutions that worked for other retailers.
Additionally, the Gourmet Marketplace addresses the double digit sales growth in this hot confectionery and snack category. The marketplace, occupying prime real estate on the show floor, features a variety of specialty products in every segment from premium and upscale to fortified, all natural and organic.