NCA Opens 2013 Sweets & Snacks Expo Registration

CHICAGO -- Registration has opened for the 2013 Sweets & Snacks Expo, scheduled for May 21-23 at Chicago’s McCormick Place. The National Confectioners Association (NCA), which sponsors the annual trade show, said the 2013 expo is poised to be the most successful in the event’s 17-year history, with exhibit space sales nearly at capacity five months in advance of the show.

Several big-name items including Frito-Lay’s Cracker Jack and Unilever’s single-serve frozen novelties will make their debut at this year’s expo.

“Seven years ago, when the NCA board decided to incorporate snacks into the expo, the thought was to increase the opportunities and efficiencies of those already attending,” NCA President Larry Graham explained. “By adding respected brands like Cracker Jack, as well as new categories like ice cream, the expo has become now, more than ever, a retailer’s one-stop-shop for candy and snack needs in a growing variety of product categories.”

The show’s Most Innovative New Product Awards will once again serve as the launch pad for more than 200 all-new confectionery and snack products into the marketplace.

The event will also offer distinguished keynote speakers and educational content from acknowledged experts, including:

  • Duke University’s Coach K, who has led the men’s basketball team to four NCAA championships, on leadership;
  • Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist George Will on the current political climate and how this affects industry businesses;
  • Dina Howell, CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi X, on evolving from category- to solution-based strategies to boost brand connections with shoppers; and
  • Leon Nicholas, director of retail insights for Wilton, Conn.-based Kantar Retail, on the state of the confectionery and snack industry.

Additionally, this year’s expo will host more international exhibitors than ever before, adding an Ecuadorian pavilion and welcoming back the Brazilian, Chinese, German and Mexican pavilions.

“It has become increasingly important that our industry continue to expand our markets to include other countries and regions,” noted Tim Quinn, expo chairman and vice president of trade development at Hackettstown, N.J.-based Mars Chocolate North America. “The global marketplace provides an area of growth opportunity going forward, and our expo is the place to connect with manufacturers from around the world to discover international products that can set retailers apart from the rest.”

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