Our MBD Team recently was a part of the 17,000 people who attended the Sweets & Snacks Expo held May 23-25 in Chicago.
We browsed the aisles of 800 confectionary and snack exhibitors, which felt like Candyland for business people. The industry continues to grow, as 200 companies were first-time exhibitors this year!
Innovation is always on point at Sweets & Snacks. This year, Extra (famously known for gum) launched their “chewy mints”, and Tic Tac (famously known for mints) launched gum! M&M’s showcased their new M&M Caramels. Reese’s launched their cookie filled peanut butter cup. We were particularly excited about our client Red Vines’ new Made Simple Twists (only 5 simple ingredients) and their new Birthday Cake flavored Twistettes!
Many companies launched sweets with a kick! Starburst Sweet Heat, Sweet Heat Skittles, Jolly Rancher Hotties, and Warheads Extreme Heat Worms all debuted at the show.
In the snack space, companies continue to come up with snacks to intrigue…so much for new flavors of potato chips. Manufacturers are ditching the russet potato and moving toward snack bases such as lentils, sweet potato, quinoa, legumes, nuts, peas, and more!
Greater transparency in the industry continues to be a theme, even in this industry. Candy will never be healthy…but what if it becomes more honest? By 2022, half the NCA’s individually wrapped products will be 200 calories or less, and 90% of their best-selling treats will have calorie information on the front of the package.
Thanks to all who were at the show this year – we look forward to seeing these trends continue to unfold and we’re already excited for the show in 2018!