Chocolate Industry

Sweets & Snacks Expo 2022 kicks off summer with a show of strength

Even a pandemic cannot prevent Expo from taking place. Last year it was one of the few trade shows to take place in North America, albeit under very reduced circumstances and in a different city (Indianapolis).

As 2022 marks the 25th Sweets & Snacks Expoeanniversary, it returned to its spiritual home in Chicago after a two-year hiatus (the show was canceled in 2020) and had nearly 700 exhibitors, with more than 110 exhibitors in the Supplier Showcase section – and generating $21 million in income for the coffers of the city.

Expo producers, the National Confectioners Association (NCA), said this year the event drew just under 16,000 attendees and covered 4.5 acres of candy and snack innovation at the McCormick. Chicago Center.

Almost hitting pre-pandemic numbers so soon is an impressive recovery for a sector that the NCA said generated $36.9 billion in retail sales in 2021 and is expected to reach $44.9 billion in retail sales. 2026.

The confectionery industry in the United States employs nearly 58,000 workers in more than 1,600 manufacturing plants in all 50 states – and the Expo is its flagship event, attracting exhibitors from abroad as well.

As National Candy Month rolls around throughout June, last month’s Expo highlighted plenty of seasonal trends with S’mores-flavored treats – and everything you need for sweets. prepare – taking over this summer and throughout the year. All that could be s’morified was, said NCA spokeswoman Lauren O’Toole Boland, candy bars and popcorn chocolate bunnies and Rice Krispies cookie treats.

More S’mores

S’mores are a campfire treat in the United States and one of the variations that ConfectioneryNews has previewed in the past is Stuffed Puffs, which generated a lot of interest at Expo with their unique brand of stuffed marshmallows. of solid chocolate designed not to melt – even around a campfire

Other Expo trends we noted this year include:

  • Flavor intensity:​ Salty, sweet or increase the spiciness? There’s something for anyone looking for a more intense flavor in their favorite treat. Watch out for extreme flavors: amp up that sour flavor, inject some spiciness into your candy, or go for the spiciest fry.
  • Newstalgia:This year it’s all about ‘newstalgia’ – fresh and innovative takes on the classics you know and love. It’s a treatment like you’ve never experienced before.
  • All about options:Everyone treats and snacks a little differently, which is why confectionery and snack companies offer a range of package sizes and product types to suit every occasion.

Watch the video to get a taste of this year’s Sweets & Snacks Expo!

A little history of the Sweets & Snacks Expo

Originally known as the “All Candy Expo,” the first show was held in 1997 at Chicago’s Navy Pier and featured 210 manufacturing exhibitors.

In 2001, the All Candy Expo moved to the Lakeside Building in Chicago’s McCormick Place to meet a growing demand for exhibit space from the world’s leading confectionery manufacturers. Later the show moved to West Hall and eventually expanded to the Skyline Ballroom as well.

In 2007, the All Candy Expo began using the slogan “It’s all about sweets and snacks”, foreshadowing the future of the show, and welcomed its first snack exhibitors. In 2010, the name of the event was officially changed to Sweets & Snacks Expo.