The upcoming Innovation Avenue event from the NCA will help turn new-to-industry products into household names.
A number of the industry’s newest candy and snack entrepreneurs are slated to showcase their featured products at the 2016 Sweets & Snacks Expo’s Innovation Avenue. The event, a destination for up-and-coming products and companies, is scheduled to take place May 24-26 at Chicago’s McCormick Place.
“As a new company, we wanted the exposure that being in Innovation Avenue has to offer,” said Joey Chuckel, chief marketing officer of Lake Country Candies, which produces candy raisins. “Our founder, John Barker, grew up eating candy raisins. After the candy was not available for seven years, John decided to bring the candy back to the market place.”
Lake Country Candies will join several other companies in Innovation Avenue, which is comprised of up-and-coming startups, new to the industry. Past Innovation Avenue participants include successful multi-million dollar brands, including Sheila G’s Brownie Brittle and Project 7, whose products are now found at well-known retailers such as Walmart and Target.
Hosted by the National Confectioners Association, Sweets & Snacks Expo attendees represent 90% of the buying power in the candy category and 75% of the buying power in the snack category.
“Our goal at the Sweets & Snacks Expo is to have attendees try our Candy Raisins because of their unique taste that is hard to describe,” added Chuckel. “Candy Raisins are popular in southeast Wisconsin, but they have not been exposed to the rest of the marketplace.”
Innovation Avenue will be located inside the Expo’s new Skyline Hall, which will also be home to the Most Innovative New Products Awards showcase and ceremony as well as the Discovery Theater, with presentations focused on innovation and snacking.
The 2016 Sweets & Snacks Expo will set an all-time record in volume of confectionery and snack products with more than 720 companies showcasing nearly four acres of product innovation.