News / Shows

Chocolate Trade show comes to Chicago

National Chocolate & Dessert Show enters its second year at Navy Pier


The National Chocolate and Dessert Show

The National Chocolate & Dessert Show (NCDS) returns to Chicago’s Navy Pier on Sun., Oct. 20 to Tues., Oct., 22 as the nation’s only trade show dedicated to the chocolate and dessert industry.

Exhibitors range from chocolate leaders such as Barry Callebaut and Valrhona to smaller artisan wholesalers such as vegan confections from Desiderio Chocolates and the “Gremlins” from Betty Jane Candies.

There also will be educational conferences led by NCDS sponsors of the National Confectioners Association’s Chocolate Council and the Fine Chocolate Industry Association as well as exhibitors’ top leaders. Topics will include sourcing (Fair Trade vs. organic), consumer trends, business advice, and more.

The event overlaps with the consumer Chicago Fine Chocolate & Dessert Show, which takes place Fri., Oct,. 18 to Sun., Oct. 20. Sunday attendees will have access to the consumer show to gain perspective from small artisan chocolatiers and pastry chefs as well as monitor consumer interests and tastes.

With more than 27 years’ experience organizing events and trade shows, President Mario Pi says there is a need for the show.

“Dessert, in particular chocolate, is a multi-billion dollar industry,” he explains. “But there wasn’t a platform for buyers and operators to get a comprehensive snapshot of the market. Last year’s inaugural show justified the previous 18 months of research that chocolate and dessert requires a focused trade show experience.”

While there are several trade shows where chocolate and dessert can be found, they are typically lost in sea of other products.

“We wanted to make it easy for both foodservice operators and retail buyers to have all the broader elements needed to build a chocolate or dessert program in one place with the focused objectives needed to address the niche industry,” Pi says.

This year’s NCDS also has a strong international presence, including cocoa supplier Cacao San Jose, as well as the Indonesian and Ecuadorian Trade Councils.

Exhibitors will cover every aspect needed to develop marketable chocolate and dessert program such as specialty equipment from Savage Bros. Co., iPad ShopKeep POS systems, as well as access to the portfolio of leading chocolate products from KeHe Distributors.


The Chicago Fine Chocolate show hours: 

National Chocolate and Dessert Show Dates

Chicago Fine Chocolate and Dessert Show (The Consumer Show)


  • Fri., Oct. 18:    3 -8 p.m.
  • Sat., Oct. 19:   10 a.m.-9 p.m.
  • Sun., Oct. 20:  10 a.m.-6 p.m.

The National Chocolate and Dessert Show (The Trade Show)


  • Sun., Oct. 20:  2-6 p.m.
  • Mon., Oct. 21: 2-6 p.m.
  • Tues. Oct. 22: 1-5 p.m.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Candy Industry

Recent Articles by Crystal Lindell

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

A Venetian Carnival, a Jelly Belly sculpture and gourmet chocolates! Oh my!

Candy Industry takes you into the French Pastry’s School For the Love of Chocolate event in Chicago, held Feb. 25.

Candy Industry Magazine

candy may 2015

May 2015

Check out the May issue, featuring products from Sweets & Snacks Expo, how Enstrom's rebranding looks promising, and more!
Table Of Contents Subscribe

Healthier Food Options

A recent Nielsen report shows that consumers are calling for healthier options from food manufacturers. Do you think consumers will actually buy healthier versions of their favorite candy and snacks if they’re made available?
View Results Poll Archive

Candy Industry Store

M:\General Shared\__AEC Store Katie Z\AEC Store\Images\Candy Industry\natural-food-flavors-colora.gif
Natural Food Flavors and Colorants

Although many foods are appealing, and even perceived as natural, in spite of containing synthetic additives, consumer increasingly prefer food products which are fully natural.

More Products

Candy Industry's Kettle Awards

Kettle Awards

Since 1946, Candy Industry magazine has recognized leaders in the U.S. confectionery industry with the highest recognition possible, the Kettle Award. The distinguished recipients have captured this most coveted award by not only excelling within their companies, but by contributing to the greater good of the industry. It’s virtually a who’s who of past and present professionals who have left their mark as confectioners and business mavens. Learn more about the voting process as well as the annual Kettle Awards Ceremony by visiting our Kettle Awards Website


fb40   twitter 40    youtube40    linked   Google+

Clear Seas Research

Clear SeasWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.