The National Confectioners Association (NCA) created the All Candy Expo, now known as the Sweets & Snacks Expo, to bring manufacturers, retailers and wholesalers together. Since its debut 20 years ago, the Expo has become the nation’s largest venue for the introduction of new confectionery and snack products.

“The Sweets & Snacks Expo has evolved into the candy and snack industry’s premier destination for showcasing new products, ideas and business solutions to strengthen the category,” said Barry Rosenbaum, chairman of the Sweets & Snacks Expo and president of Nassau Candy Distributors. “I’m proud to say I’ve been there since the beginning and look forward to what the next 20 years have in store.”

The first Expo was held in 1997 at Chicago’s Navy Pier, featuring 210 exhibitors. In 2010, NCA changed the name to the Sweets & Snacks Expo to include the wider range of products available and to meet the demands of retailers and wholesalers.

At the 2016 Expo, there was a 22 percent increase in exhibitors from 2015. The show featured more than 760 exhibitors and welcomed 17,000 industry professionals. More than 25 speakers were featured in standing-room only sessions, and an additional show floor theater was added.

The 20th Sweets & Snacks Expo will be held at McCormick Place in Chicago from May 23 - 25 in 2017.