Trade Show Executive magazine has named the Sweets & Snacks show, which will run May 19-21 next year, to its 100-member list of ‘largest and most accomplished trade shows in the country.’
Past speakers have hailed from major confectioners including Mars Wrigley and Hershey, to research firms like Euromonitor, Mintel and IRI, as well as key retailers such as Walgreens. Technology companies – namely, Google and IBM – have also led seminars at the show.
“The show’s exceptional atmosphere of candy and snack category learning and collaboration is exclusive to the Sweets & Snacks Expo and cannot be replicated elsewhere,” NCA president and CEO John Downs. “During the Sweets & Snacks Expo, speakers are able to present their research, insights and predictions on a world-class stage in front of thousands of industry leaders eager to expand and improve their companies and our shared industry.”
In 2020, the NCA has an eye toward technology: e-commerce and consumer behavior on online platforms, the implications of click-and-collect services at grocery stores and other frictionless checkout and delivery systems. The tech thread also reaches shelves themselves through new merchandising ideas and aisle reinvention.
The group is also seeking presentations focused on flavor trends, both in the US and around the world, as well as seasonal and novelty concepts. How important is licensing to manufacturers and retailers, for instance? How challenging – or rewarding – is buying local? What should the industry expect as consumers continue to shift toward snacking and away from regular indulgences? What about transparency, emotional connections, and sustainability?
As Carly Schildhaus, public affairs manager at NCA, told ConfectioneryNews: “The topic list we put together is intended to be a thought starter for prospective speakers. We know that e-commerce, the seasons and demographic insights are all very popular with show attendees, but we are also challenging applicants to bring fresh ideas to the table.”
Speakers should be prepared to present complex information - supported by relevant facts and research - in ‘plain language’ in an effort to arm decision makers with evidence and recommendations. Ultimately, the information should ‘drive category expansion.'
Those selected will receive complimentary admission to the show and promotion in marketing materials. Speakers will also be featured in the Expo’s Unwrapped webinar series, reaching hundreds more attendees throughout the summer.
The NCA will accept applications through August 30, 2019.