Confection Connection: Sweets & Snacks Expo Predictions
Posted June 24, 2021
It’s finally here, and boy do I mean finally. After a year and a half of no work travel, Indianapolis is welcoming the Sweet & Snacks Expo in person. Not over Zoom, not virtually, but a bonafide, real, awaken the senses event.
I’m peering into my crystal ball for this one, because for the first time ever, I can safely say that my expectations of what the new tradeshow normal will be flipping back and forth. On the one hand, I’m predicting a huge turnout of excited attendees and vendors clamoring to taste and showcase, respectively, the creations spawning out of the past year of way too much time on their/our hands. On the other hand, my quarantined mind of solace sees a muted show with a fair amount of attendees, but still those who are cautious about all the unknowns. Here’s what we do know, based on what show organizers (the National Confectioners Association) have released.
- It’s the first time this Expo will be held in Indy, a departure from the usual location in Chicago. The NCAA tournament was held there in March, so the city has already had its test run of large-ish events.
- The NCA predicted more than 2,250 retail attendees in May — I’m curious to see if that many will walk the show’s floor.
- Trends expected include smaller pack sizes of fewer than 200 calories; tropical flavors like pineapple and coconut, taking everyone to the beach via the senses; mixing and matching of fruity, tart, sweet and salty combinations; and spices galore like chili, sriracha, jalapeno and habanero.
- Holiday bonanza, otherwise confectionately known (see what I did there) as “destination retail.” As if the big four sales seasons — Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween and Winter — weren’t big enough in the sweets and snacks world, the NCA sees even further opportunities for “candy moments,” especially with consumers venturing into celebration mode.
As for me? I can safely say that I am pumped like a 5 year old on Pixie Sticks. I am ready to walk the floor, smize my way through the (hopeful) crowd and taste test some really cool innovative treats that I’ve been reading and dreaming about via computer screen. I want to see it, taste it, smell it and then write about it. And, oh it’s gonna be so sweet.
Tags: candy, chocolate, confectionary trends, National Confectioners Association, snacks, sweets, Sweets & Snacks Expo, tradeshows
CATEGORY: Brightly Creative