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    Sweets & Snacks Expo Sets New Attendance Records

    Nearly 15,000 see latest product innovations

    The 2012 Sweets & Snacks Expo hosted a global audience of close to 15,000 qualified industry professionals from 70 countries earlier this month at Chicago’s McCormick Place, sustaining a three-year streak of record-breaking growth.

    Sponsored by the National Confectioners Association, the Expo is billed as the largest confectionery, cookie and snack event in the Americas.

    “Without a doubt, the 2012 Expo was our most successful show yet for both exhibitors and attendees,” said NCA President Larry Graham. “For the third year straight, we posted significant growth in both the show size and number of companies. We delivered more than 570 exhibiting companies and 140 new exhibitors to the 2012 Expo – that’s a 15 percent increase from the 2010 show.”

    Occupying more than 142,000 net square feet, and featuring more than three acres of candy and snack products, this was the largest show with the most exhibitors in the EXPO’s 16-year history. In addition, nearly 5,500 candy and snack trade customers registered to attend representing key distribution channels like grocery, convenience and mass, as well as niche and specialty outlets. More international customers and distributors supporting U.S. global export initiatives attended than ever before.

    “Record-breaking growth is just one aspect of our success,” noted Expo Chairman Tim Quinn, VP for trade development of Mars Chocolate North America. “Our event covers so much more than the show floor. The Expo provides many other useful vehicles and opportunities to connect face-to-face with other industry professionals and learn about the latest innovations.”

    New for 2012, the Most Innovative New Product Awards recognized the most innovative ideas, concepts and products in the sweets and snacks marketplace.

    Returning for its second year, the sold-out Innovation Alley featured 10 candy and snack-related startup companies. Some ended the show with orders from the country’s leading retailers and two took away panel taste-test nominations for outstanding product innovation.

    “The cookie and snack categories, added to the Expo four years ago, continued to flourish with nearly 40 percent of exhibitors featuring snack-related products,” commented Expo Vice Chairman Rick LaRue, VP of international sales at Promotion In Motion Cos. Inc. “Candy and snacks offer more new products each year than any other retail category and the Expo gives you the tools and resources to simplify your search for the next best seller.”

    Visit the Expo website to download the Expo app to see show photos, videos, and Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter posts.

    The 2013 Sweets & Snacks Expo will be held May 21-23 at Chicago’s McCormick Place; the show floor already is more than 85 percent sold out.
     

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