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    Retailer Forum Joins 2015 Sweets & Snacks Expo

    GetGo VP of Merchandising Steve Boomershine will take part in panel.

    CHICAGO — The Sweet & Snacks Expo announced a new feature for this year’s event. A Retail Impact Forum will showcase top retailers offering their industry perspectives on the current economic climate, major snacking and lifestyle trends, and evolving demographics in three short, high-impact briefings.

    The forum will be held Wednesday, May 20, and hosted by Michael Sansolo of MorningNewsBeat.com. The event will offer The NPD Group's Darren Seifer discussing consumer snacking behaviors as part of a balanced diet, and FCB/RED President Tina Manikas sharing insights on how retailers can manage split efficiencies between millennials and boomers, while a panel of retail executives from leading companies provides real-time feedback and commentary.

    The retailer panelists will consist of:

    • Peter Whitsett, executive vice president of merchandising and marketing at Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Meijer Inc.;
    • Joanie Taylor, director of consumer affairs and community relations at St. Louis-based Schnuck Market Inc.; and
    • Steve Boomershine, vice president of merchandising at Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle’s GetGo fuel station/car wash/convenience store concept.

    "The new, unique format is a hybrid of TED-style talks and SportsCenter models incorporating 20-minute micro-sessions that promote lively discussion on the subject's 'real word' impact for consumers, shoppers, retailers and the manufacturer community," explained Tim Quinn, Sweets & Snacks Expo committee chairman and vice president of trade relations for Mount Olive, N.J.-based Mars Chocolate North America.

    The 2015 Sweets & Snacks Expo, presented by the National Confectioners Association (NCA), will take place May 19-21 at Chicago's McCormick Place. NCA is a Washington, D.C.-based trade organization representing the $35-billion U.S. confections industry.

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