The 2021 Sweets & Snacks Expo will feature educational opportunities that give attendees access to category specialists who will discuss the latest on industry performance, trends and consumer behavior.

“If we have learned anything from the pandemic shopping environment, it is that we need to be flexible to meet our shoppers where they feel most comfortable,” said John Downs, president and CEO of the National Confectioners Association. “The education tracks presented at the Sweets & Snacks Expo will provide insights on the impact of the pandemic, as well as content to help you navigate the shifting retail landscape and evolving consumer needs. From inspiration that will help you delight your shoppers to ideas for growth, these educational opportunities can help you stay on the cutting edge.”

The educational tracks will include:

Consumer & Shopper Trends
View the entire Consumer & Shopper Trends Schedule here.

Shoppers have more choices than ever before. They balance existing retailer and product preferences with emotional, functional and lifestyle needs to navigate an increasingly complex and omnichannel shopping experience. This track explores the shifting retail landscape and shopping habits of these evolving shoppers and gives insight into how to win them in the aisles, online, on their phones and wherever else they shop.

The track includes 11 total sessions. 

One session in the track, “Taste of the Future: Rising Flavor Trends in Candy & Snacks," will be presented by Kelli Heinz, V.P. of marketing and industry Affairs, Bell Flavors & Fragrances. 

Another session, "Generational Snacking After COVID-19," will be presented by Darren Seifer, food and beverage industry analyst, The NPD Group.

Retail & Category Trends
View the entire Retail & Category Trends Schedule here.

New products, packaging and merchandising methods are changing the shopper’s retail experience in-store and online. This track traces the impact of COVID-19 on retail and category trends, provides a roadmap to the latest category innovations and outlines how companies can maximize these growth opportunities to increase sales and improve the shopper experience.

The track includes eight total sessions. 

One session, "Driving Data-Driven Growth During COVID-19 and Beyond," will be presented by Charles Guilbeau, v.p. of consumer understanding, Ferrero North America. 

Another, "The Physical Store: New Realities, New Opportunities," will be presented by Joe Lampertius, president, ChaseDesign and Peter Cloutier, v.p. of growth and strategic partnerships, ChaseDesign.

Business Disruption
View the entire Business Disruption Schedule here.

What will be the next big idea to revolutionize the confectionery and snack industries? This track explores what’s next in candy and snacks, including how COVID-19 and topics like cannabis and sustainability are transforming how we shop and eat.

The track includes four total sessions. 

One session in this track, “The Future of Cannabis & CBD in Confectionery Products,” will be presented by Chris Walsh, CEO, Hemp Industry Daily; Tish Pahl, Esq., Olsson Frank Weeda Terman Matz PC.

Another session, “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: A Journey Not a Destination,” will be presented by Sarah Alter, president and CEO of Network of Executive Women.

About Sweets & Snacks Expo

The Sweets and Snacks Expo is slated to be held June 23-25, 2021 at the Indiana Conventions Center in Indianapolis, Ind. The event also will feature a pre-show day June 22 that includes a Supplier Showcase and Innovation Awards.

The annual trade show will feature new product launches, business-building solutions and merchandising innovations, bringing together qualified candy and snack retail professionals and company representatives who showcase the latest in candy and snack products. 

The event is sponsored by the National Confectioners Association. Learn more at