The snack industry should plan on attending or exhibiting at SNAXPO 2012, March 16-19, in Phoenix at the Phoenix Convention Center. Hosted by the Snack Food Association, this exciting diamond anniversary (75th year) snack event will provide opportunities to network with snack food industry professionals from around the world, learn the latest and greatest trends and technologies and hear interesting speakers, such as former Arkansas governor and best-selling author, Mike Huckabee.

There’s still time to register or exhibit at SNAXPO 2012, March 16-19 at the Phoenix Convention Center in downtown Phoenix. This is SNAXPO’s 75th annual exhibition and conference so it promises to be exciting. Whether your company is a startup or a multi-national corporation, a strong presence at SNAXPO will let customers see you as a category leader, committed to their success and dedicated to advancing the snack food industry.

Here are highlights of the educational sessions, an exhibitor list and agenda details.

According to the Snack Food Association (SFA), show sponsor, exhibiting at SNAXPO 2012 will provide unmatched exposure to more than 1,500 domestic and international snack food management professionals, actively looking for new equipment, innovative technology, new ingredients, products and services that will help them achieve greater efficiency and profitability for their companies.

The educational programs and exhibit schedule are tailored to create opportunities for suppliers to meet contacts face-to-face, create sales leads and explore future business opportunities. Show hours do not compete with other events.

SFA also says that SNAXPO will be a full equipment show that will create opportunities for extensive, one-on-one meetings with snack food professionals, including owners, executives and buyers, so additional interactions with customers multiply by attending general sessions, evening functions and special entertainment events.

Uniting top management, qualified buyers and key decision-makers throughout the snack food industry involved with potato chips, tortilla chips, cereal snacks, pretzels, popcorn, cheese snacks, snack crackers, meat snacks, pork rinds, snack nuts, party mix, corn and pellet snacks, fruit snacks, snack bars, granola, snack cakes, cookies and many others, the show will kick off on Friday, March 16 with registration open at 8 a.m. to 7:30 pm., with committee and board meetings, a Latin American Educational track, welcome receptions and a “welcome to Phoenix” opening party at Phoenix Historic Heritage Square at 7 p.m.

Because SNAXPO will be held in the midst of the U.S. presidential primary election, Saturday will include a general session and keynote delivered by Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas governor, best-selling author and 2008 presidential candidate. Huckabee will present, “The Pursuit of the Presidency and the Perfectly Insane American Process,” in which he will give his insights on and experiences in the American political system. Huckabee’s address, sponsored by Bryce Corp., Memphis, Tenn., will headline a comprehensive program of industry experts and educational sessions designed to give executives and suppliers a competitive advantage in today’s rapidly changing marketplace.

On Sunday, a State of the Industry Report will update visitors on the latest industry trends, snack food sales data and consumer insights for the major snack food categories. Presented in partnership with SymphonyIRI, this annual discussion provides important facts and figures that are a must for everyone in the snack food industry. Learn about the many industry developments during 2011 as well as trends that can be expected in 2012.

Martin Hahn, a partner at Hogan Lovells US, LLP and general counsel at SFA, along with Joseph Levitt, also a partner at Hogan Lovells US, LLP will discuss “The Food Safety Modernization Act: What Snack Food Manufacturers Need to Know.” Signed into law on January 4, 2011, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) represents a transformation for food safety in America, bringing a new focus on prevention by shifting the focus of federal regulators from responding to contamination to preventing it. For the first time, the FDA has a legislative mandate to require comprehensive, prevention-based controls across the food supply. Experts in food industry law and regulation, Hahn and Levitt will review the implementation of the law, how it is affecting the snack food industry and what snack food manufacturers need to know to comply with the statute.

And of course, show visitors will have a chance to see more than 200 exhibitors from virtually every segment of the industry who are expected to occupy more than 100,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space with new products and services, materials and technologies, finished goods, ingredients, flavorings, seasonings, packaging equipment, processing and lab equipment, computer systems, promotions, transportation, publications and warehouse among others. Exhibitors enjoy special promotional considerations, including a preview of their exhibit (booth description) and a link to their company website on SFA’s member webpage.

In addition, SNAXPO’s 12th annual Latin American Program will be presented by SFA (completely in Spanish) on Friday, March 16. The program will offer a chance to meet snack food industry executives from Latin America and discuss issues affecting the Latin American snack food market. The event is open free to full SNAXPO registrants. Contact SFA for separate registration fees.

Morning educational sessions will precede the show opening on Saturday, March 17, and Sunday, March 18.

Hotel rooms are still available so lock in at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown, which is steps away from the Phoenix Convention Center and features tremendous mountain views.

Explore SNAXPO online to learn more about the jam-packed program. For more exhibitor and attendee information, travel arrangements, registration links and program updates, visit Or contact David Walsh, Snack Food Association’s coordinator of member services, at 703-836-4500 ext. 213, or for more information.