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Citing the tremendous growth and innovation taking place within the confectionery and snack industry over the past five years, the Washington, D.C.-based National Confectioners Association (NCA) is expanding its annual Sweets & Snacks Expo with the introduction of Skyline Hall. More than 130 new companies will occupy the new hall at the 2016 expo, with exhibiting companies expected to increase by nearly 20 percent.
"The Sweets & Snacks Expo has become the industry's proven destination where attendees gain the best access to the companies, products, people and insights they need to grow their business," said Barry Rosenbaum, expo chairman and president of Hicksville, N.Y.-based Nassau Candy Distributors Inc. "Managing the growth of the expo over the past several years has allowed us to deliberately and carefully plan for additional exhibit space, new educational offerings and more networking opportunities."
Situated across the concourse on the same level as the West hall in Chicago's McCormick Place, the expo's longtime venue, Skyline Hall will not feature only more exhibitors, but also the latest emerging industry trends as part of the expanded "Innovation Avenue."
The hall will also be home to a second knowledge center, specializing in tracks on snacking, specialty trends, and the latest consumer and shopping trends, along with the Most Innovative New Products Awards showcase and ceremony. Show attendees can visit the showcase, which highlights the top 45 new items considered by the expo’s Taste Panel to have the potential to become best-sellers, and then vote electronically via the event app on their favorite entries.
The 2015 expo hosted 16,000 industry professionals from nearly 90 countries, showcasing 630 companies. In 2016, more than 750 exhibitors are expected to attend the May event. Registration for the expo opens in December.