NCA announces start of National Candy Month – and its ‘Big and Bold’ plans for Sweets & Snacks Expo 2024

By Anthony Myers

- Last updated on GMT

John Downs (eft), president and CEO of the NCA, sits with Leonard Hoops president & CEO of Visit Indy, on the Indy 500 car as the Expo heads to Indianapolis in 2024. Pic: NCA
John Downs (eft), president and CEO of the NCA, sits with Leonard Hoops president & CEO of Visit Indy, on the Indy 500 car as the Expo heads to Indianapolis in 2024. Pic: NCA

Related tags Nca Candy Confectionery Chocolate Sweets & Snacks Expo

Basking in the glory of a sell-out Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago in May, the National Confectioners Association of America launches its National Candy Month promotion in June to build on the momentum from the Easter seasonal holiday and keep the sales tills ringing until Halloween.

The NCA established the month-long celebration in 2020 with just 570 stores - by 2022 more than 50,000 stores were participating in summer promotions that showcased the fun and unique nature of chocolate and candy.

This year, the trend continues as the NCA estimates more than 60,000 retail locations will be setting up special displays, offering summer exclusive deals, and promoting the category’s fifth season.

In a statement, the association said: “Chocolate and candy enhance summertime traditions and experiences, like going to the beach, embarking on a road trip, going camping, or enjoying an outdoor concert. These activities are all a fun part of the summer season​.”

A recent nationwide NCA poll of consumers found the following favourite flavours and types of summer treats:

Top 3 Treats

1. Chocolate (S’mores anyone?)

2. Gummi candy

3. Salt water taffy

Top 3 Flavours

1. Watermelon

2. Cherry

3. Strawberry

Chocolate and candy have the uncanny ability to make ordinary summer days extraordinary by elevating shared experiences with friends and family​,” said John Downs, NCA president & CEO. “As we celebrate the special role that these treats play in our lives this June, we also want to highlight the tens of thousands of people who work in our industry every day, creating the magic of chocolate and candy​.”

Sweets & Snacks Expo

The NCA confirmed that almost 18,000 people registered for the 2023 Sweets & Snacks Expo (held last month in Chicago), with more than 800 exhibitors on the show floor. But after making Chicago its home for the past 26 years, organisers needed more space to accommodate the growing waiting list of exhibitors and said both Indianapolis and Las Vegas are the right fit to meet the growing demand for the Expo and enable it to continue providing the innovation, insights and connections that the candy and snack industries want and need.

As we look to the future of this important brand we have built through the Sweets & Snacks Expo, we continue to evolve to meet the needs of our growing exhibitor and attendee community​,” said Downs. “Our new brand is inspired by the unique experiences associated with candy and snacks – the thrill of discovering innovative new products, the sweetness of sharing a decadent piece of chocolate with a loved one, and the always satisfying crunch of a tasty potato chip​.” 

Under a new ‘big and bold’ branding a two-city rotation is planned starting in 2024 with Indianapolis followed by two years in Las Vegas. Attendees at last month’s Sweets & Snacks Expo caught a preview of the new-look Expo with information on the Indiana Convention Center where the where it will be held – and a chance to check out one of the iconic Indy500 racing cars, which was parked on the McCormick concourse in Chicago.

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