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CHICAGO — Registration is open for the 2015 Sweets & Snacks Expo, which will take place May 19-21 at Chicago's McCormick Place and already boasts a sold-out show floor.
Last year's expo set an all-time record in volume of confectionery and snack products, featuring more than 650 companies, and increased exhibitor participation for the fifth consecutive year with more than 3.5 acres of product innovation.
This year, the show floor square footage has again been expanded to accommodate more new exhibitors, and more than 16,000 industry professionals are expected to attend.
"Each year, the show continues to thrive and break standing records while reaching new milestones," said Tim Quinn, Sweets & Snacks Expo chairman and vice president of trade development for Hackettstown, N.J.-based Mars Chocolate North America.
New features this year will include:
- The Knowledge Series, which promises to help attendees "gain more insights beyond the show floor," according to Quinn.
- The Retailer Impact Forum, during which experts will provide industry perspective on the current economic climate, the health-and-wellness mega trend and the nation's shifting demographics in three short briefings, followed by a panel of channel executives, ranging from grocery to online, to offer perspective on how these market, consumer and shopper trends affect retailers and the category.
- The Specialty New Product Showcase, which gives manufacturers a single place to exhibit their new organic, premium or gourmet candy and snack items.
Returning features will include the Industry Buzz Network Reception; Sweet Insights Theater, consisting of knowledge-building sessions live on the show floor; and the Specialty Market, with 88 companies providing access to hundreds of one-of-a-kind, upscale, free-from and organic-style products.
Among the scheduled speakers at the 2015 Sweets & Snacks Expo are Larry Levin of IRI Worldwide, and political commentator Bill O’Reilly of Fox's "The O’Reilly Factor."
The Sweets & Snacks Expo has been sponsored for the past 18 years by the National Confectioners Association (NCA), the major association representing the entire confectionery industry.