All Candy Expo, Confections, Candy, Cookies, Snacks, National Confectionery Association, Larry Graham, Vending, Vending Machine
CHICAGO -- All Candy Expo continues to add options and new exhibitors, and trade show organizers say the 2009 program will be bolstered by the fact that confectionary products are proven performers during tough economic times.
Sponsored by the National Confectionery Association, All Candy Expo, which now also showcases cookies and snacks, will be held from May 19 to 21 here at McCormick Place. More than 450 companies are expected to exhibit, and 100 of those are first-time exhibitors.
"Retailers know that even in a troubled economy, they can increase their bottom line by displaying candy and snacks items," said NCA president Larry Graham. "In 2008, despite the economic challenge of the past year, U.S. sales of confectionery items increased by 2.2%."
Combined, the confectionery, snack and cookie categories make up a $300 billion industry worldwide, the association reports. More than 2,000 new confections and snacks are introduced annually.
Making its debut at this year's exposition is the Retail Merchandising Solution Center, an area for retailers to source the latest fixtures and displays from the top names in the industry. The center also will also host the Magic of Merchandising Display Gallery, where showgoers can get a close-up look at the display ideas and solutions that leading retailers are currently using to boost sales.
The Gourmet Marketplace will be expanded and occupy prime real estate on the show floor. It showcases leading specialty products in every segment from premium and upscale to fortified, all-natural and organic products. Sales in the gourmet category are growing by more than 20% annually, NCA said.
This year's educational program at All Candy Expo is designed to keep industry professionals ahead of the curve on hot-button issues and identify opportunities within the confectionery and snack industries. It consists of nine sessions. One will examine the economy's impact on confectionery and the future of snacking. Others will cover new product trends, changing consumer habits and better-for-you snacking, among other topics. A full education overview can be found online.
With export sales up over 21% in 2008, All Candy Expo organizers say they are pulling out all of the stops to connect with the international buyer community. In addition to a fully staffed, onsite lounge, international participants will get a sneak preview of the show on Monday, May 18, at the Confectionery Export Extravaganza. Here they will meet representatives of confectionery manufacturers whose products are exported worldwide. International attendees will also have an opportunity to go on a retail store tour and learn how U.S. retailers merchandise to their customers.
Visitors from 70 countries are expected to attend this year's show. According to NCA, more than 5,000 pre-qualified buyers from 60 different countries attended the 2008 exposition.
Visit allcandyexpo.com for more information.