Confectionery events impacted by coronavirus
Candy industry events such as Western Candy Conference, interpack, PMCA have all been canceled due to COVID-10
A number of confectionery events have been canceled as a result of coronavirus, while others are still moving ahead as planned.
The CDC offered this recommendation for mass gatherings as of March 15, 2020, which appears to impact most industry conferences over the next two months.
"Large events and mass gatherings can contribute to the spread of COVID-19 in the United States via travelers who attend these events and introduce the virus to new communities. Examples of large events and mass gatherings include conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings, and other types of assemblies. These events can be planned not only by organizations and communities but also by individuals.
Therefore, CDC, in accordance with its guidance for large events and mass gatherings, recommends that for the next 8 weeks, organizers (whether groups or individuals) cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States."
We will continue to update CandyIndustry.com and this article as more information becomes available. Please continue to check back for updates.
And anyone who would like to send direct information about how the coronavirus is impacting an event or an aspect of the confectionery industry can email Editor Crystal Lindell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Events that have been canceled due to the coronavirus:
The event was slated to be held March 4-8.
Natural Products Expo West has been officially canceled, and organizers look to bring aspects to the show to Expo East.
Organizers also have created a $5-million fund to support emerging brands significantly affected by the Expo West 2020 disruption.
The event was slated to be held March 18-21.
“Out of consideration for the health and safety of our members, our travel partners, and the wonderful Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Kilohana Plantation teams, our 2020 conference will not take place this spring,” the Board continued. “Our deepest apologies for inconveniences. We send our thanks to Mayor Derek Kawakami for the gracious welcome and our best wishes to the people of Kauai for good health across their beautiful island.”
The event was slated to be held April 20-22.
“On Thursday March 12, 2020, the PMCA Board met in Lancaster and made the decision that the welfare of our members requires that the PMCA Annual Production Conference should not go forward in its traditional format due to the current national COVID-19 crisis,” said Rachel Halkias, administrative and marketing assistant.
However, they are working to reformat the conference into a digital form that will be offered virtually at a yet to be determined time.
“We will advise you as soon as we have more details,” Halkias said.
The event was slated to be held May 7-13, 2020
"The decision was taken in close consultation with our advisory board and sponsoring associations," says Werner M. Dornscheidt, chairman of the board of management of Messe Düsseldorf GmbH. "As their partner, we are currently doing everything in our power to reduce the economic losses suffered by our exhibitors.”
The event was slated to be held May 18-21.
The 2021 event will be held May 24-27 in Chicago.
NCA President and CEO John Downs sent out a letter explaining the decision, citing restrictions on mass gatherings that have been in place in Illinois and Chicago as well as guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“As restrictions and recommendations on mass gatherings continue to build in cities and states across the country, including those issued in the state of Illinois and in guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it became clear that cancellation of the show was the only path forward to protect the well-being of our community,” Downs said. “The cancellation is unavoidable due to a combination of factors including state and local stay-at-home orders and travel bans and restrictions from our member companies, retail partners and other attendee organizations.”
Events still proceeding as planned:
The event is still slated to be held June 15-19.
Retail Confectioners International (RCI) says its Annual Convention & Industry Expo, slated for June 15-19 in Pittsburgh, is proceeding as planned.
In email to members, RCI said the organization is continuing to closely monitor the situation.
Registration will continue with an extended early-bird discount deadline of April 24. RCI will accept cancellations until June 1 with a full refund and no cancellation fee.
Additional coronavirus coverage:
It’s only been about two weeks since the NCA State of the Industry, but so much has changed.
In the last two weeks, we also learned that indeed, Western Candy Conference, PMCA and interpack would not go on as planned. While Western Candy Conference was canceled outright, PMCA is working to offer the event in a digital format, and interpack has been rescheduled for Feb. 25- March 3, 2021.
Beyond conferences, pretty much all travel has been halted. So many confectionery industry professionals spend their lives on the road — and now they are home, with no flights in the immediate future, doing their part to “flatten the curve.”
The stock market also has fallen off a cliff, with Monday, March 16 proving to be its worst day since 1987. And this week, President Donald Trump told the country that he doesn’t expect us to get past all of this until July or August.
July? Or August? We’re going to be enduring this until late summer? How can that be?
It’s hard not to think that this will have a long-term impact on how everyone does business. Will it even be possible to just, “go back to normal” once this all passes? Or will there be permanent changes?
Nielsen has released data on the six stages of consumer behavior shoppers go through during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. While the first three stages listed below offer insight into what’s already started to happen, Nielsen also has released predictions for the final three.
The major takeaway? Online shopping will be hugely impacted by this, and will likely grow in popularity.
Sebastian Garcia-Dastugue, Ph.D., marketing & logistics professor, Florida International University, offered tips for how manufacturers and suppliers can mitigate any issues.
He recommends manufacturers create a list of materials they use, including raw materials, packaging and anything else. Then identify where exactly they are coming from and create a stop-light monitoring system, as in green light for materials that shouldn’t have any issues, yellow for possible issues, and red if they know the material will be delayed.
“Then develop a specific plan for each and try to find alternative sources immediately,” Garcia-Dastugue said. “For example if China is an issue, then if you can buy something from Brazil, from Peru, from any place that has not been affected so much now.”
And then manufacturers should assess it every day.