Whether you love chocolate truffles or you have a knack for old-school taffy, there's always a sugary-infused event right around the corner to satisfy your sweet tooth. This was recently the case in Chicago, where the annual Sweets and Snacks Expo touched down to showcase some of the hottest treats on the market.
Retailers and Candy Lovers Visit the Sweets and Snacks Expo
The Sweets and Snacks Expo, which was held at McCormick Place, opened its doors to sugar lovers of all types on May 8 - and Convenience Store News reports that there was a record-breaking attendance on the first day. More than 600 exhibitors were on hand to debut everything from new chocolate bark to candy bar wrappings, which were highly anticipated by vendors in the industry.
Those who visited the expo said that it resembled Candy Land, offering a wide variety of sweets, including cookies and other confectionery snacks. Before the official opening of the event, Mars Chocolate North America held a special presentation to discuss how chocolate has progressed throughout history.
Perhaps the most intriguing part of the expo was the numerous types of sweet treats that made their way to the show floor, coming from various parts of the world. The New York Daily News reports that Middle Eastern, Asian and Mediterranean influences were big at the event. Some of the most popular (yet unusual) ingredients to be found in many of the new treats at the expo included chickpeas and seaweed.
The Sweets and Snacks Expo Goes Healthy
The biggest surprise to many at the Sweets and Snacks Expo was the abundance of healthier options for individuals looking to indulge in treats without putting on extra pounds, according to the Chicago Tribune. For example, Hershey's debuted a chocolate that included 30 percent less fat, which is sure to appeal to dieters. Nut-free and gluten-free foods were also prominent at the event.
Retailers attended the expo to learn of up-and-coming trends that could potentially help them in a business sense, and there were plenty to go around. PackagingDigest.com reports that some of the most popular included two-in-one packaging, economy packaging and downsizing as more people look for "mini" varieties of their favorite candy. More companies also appear to be creating decorative stands for vendors to use in their stores and display these tasty products. Only time will tell which of these trends is here to stay.