The show will feature around 810 exhibitors, among which 210 are first-time exhibitors, compared to last year's 765 exhibitors, according to the NCA.
Exhbitor numbers are up 30% increase since 2015 as the NCA expanded into McCormick Place’s Sky Hall for its display of new product innovations in 2016.
The NCA will this year add a Small Business Innovator Award as part of its Most Innovative New Products Program, honoring companies and products that represent innovation and entrepreneurship.
The award winners will be announced at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 23, 2017.
Commitment to health trends
VP of public affairs and communications at the NCA, Christopher Gindlesperger, said the largest trend this year across multiple global confectionery companies is “their commitment around providing consumers an information option and support as it relates to enjoying their treats.”
NCA recently announced a commitment with the Partnership for a Healthier America, aiming for half of individually wrapped products made by the participating companies, including Mars and Wrigley, Nestlé, Ferrero, Lindt, and Russell Stover, to be available in sizes that contain 200 calories or less per pack by 2022.
“This is the first step on our journey to recruit other companies to join us as we work to help consumers manage their sugar intake and ensure that they feel empowered to make informed choices,” president and CEO of the NCA, John Downs, said.
The NCA said, currently 60% of the participating companies’ individually wrapped products contain less than 250 calories per pack, and consumers will soon see more options in smaller sizes in the future.
Gindlesperger added that Hudson Institute will be tracking those companies’ progress, starting with a baseline data from 2016, and it will issue a final report by the end of 2022.
The Sweets & Snacks Expo 2017 will also feature 17 data-driven learning sessions focusing on trends, retail technology, shopper engagement and the state of the market for candy, snack and specialty segments. See HERE for the full program.