Opinion
Sweet Talk

The Expo's sugary luster doesn't dull

Experience has not dulled excitement for upcoming Sweets & Snacks Expo. Instead, it has served to heighten the anticipation.

May 3, 2012
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Crystal Lindell

Crystal Lindell, 
Associate Editor

I wish I could tell you that a year and a half at Candy Industry magazine has made me too cool to get excited about the NCA Sweets and Snacks Expo and the subsequent bounty of samples associated with the event. 

I also wish I could tell you that walking the miles and miles of Expo floor somehow aligns the universe, making it possible to try everything without simultaneously losing the ability to zip up my jeans; or that, when eating calories solely because of work, the body doesn’t absorb them.

Alas, I’ve learned that none of those things are true. The Expo samples are too tempting to ever lose their sugary luster; walking the show floor does not qualify as a legitimate workout; and calories always, always count.

But gaining wisdom isn’t always depressing. With another year of experience in the confectionery industry also comes a more seasoned approach to covering the Expo, something which I’m sure our readers will appreciate.

And, you’ll already find a prominent example of this in our Expo product preview section. Specifically, we’ve organized all the product previews by booth number, so it can act as your personal map for maneuvering the massive show floor. And just in case you're looking for a specific company, you can check out our alphabetical list, which links to each respecitive company's featured products. 

Last year, the products were organized by category, i.e. chocolate, non-chocolate, snacks, etc. But I have since realized it’s much more beneficial for those trying to navigate all the hoopla if the preview layout more closely resembles the actual Expo layout. So now, as you walk through the 200’s, you’ll be able to easily scan the list of products we’ve featured in that row and quickly assess where it’s best to spend your time.

Of course, among the booths you’ll have to be sure to stop by is 1071, where you’ll find Candy Industry. Stationed next to Enstrom’s — don’t forget to check our neighbors out as well — we’ll be showing off our newly redesigned www.candyindustry.com website.

But if that’s not enough to draw you in, we’ll also be raffling off a deliciously tempting Fannie May gift basket, and giving away cards that spotlight our new home online, while also providing you with a coupon for Fannie May.

As for the rest of the Expo floor, our extensive preview section makes it clear that many wonderful companies will be exhibiting during the event. We know it’s hard to see every single one though, so here’s a few companies that perhaps weren’t on your radar screen and should be:

Booth 700: Don’t let the all theAngry Birds at Healthy Food Brands’ booth scare you away. The company is marketing a full line of gummies and fruit snacks based on the popular smartphone and tablet application, and if they’re anything like the game, they’re sure to be addicting.

Booth 1113: Here you’ll find a Hello Kitty line by Taste of Nature. Hello Kitty has turned out to be one of those trends everyone thought was a fad but ended up becoming an enduring cultural icon. Personally, I think it’s all the pink. Regardless, there’s no doubt this is a candy line that would leap off the shelves.

Booth 1685: Webb Candy will be showing off its Edible Candy Number Birthday Candle. The top is for the wick, while the bottom is fully edible. In other words, there’s now a way to sell sugary candy to people who just bought a sugary cake.

Booth 1687: Oogie’s Gourmet Popcorn will feature its Oogie’s Original Kettle Corn. Kettle Corn is one of those snacks that’s delicious no matter how you make it, but Oogie’s has taken it the next level, with its all-natural version.

Make sure you look to our full Expo preview section for a more complete guide to the new products slated to be on display, all of which are surely worthy of your attention.

As for me, this year I’m going to make a conscious effort to remind myself that I only need to try each treat once. Unless, of course, it’s dark chocolate with sea salt, because the dark chocolate totally makes that candy healthy. Right?

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