Members of the snack food industry are invited to “Saddle Up for Success” at the 79th Annual SNAXPO Exhibition and Conference, to be held March 19–22 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston. The annual exhibition and conference, sponsored by the Snack Food Association (SFA), Arlington, VA, is considered the world’s premier event for the snack food industry.

The four-day event kicks off on Saturday, March 19, with a reception for new members and first-time attendees from 6–7 p.m. at Hilton Americas-Houston, the 2016 SNAXPO host hotel, which is connected to the convention center via two indoor skywalks. A “Welcome to Houston” opening party will be held from 7–10 p.m. at the same venue.

Sunday, March 20, begins with a plated breakfast from 9–9:45 a.m. in the Ballroom of the Americas at Hilton Americas, followed by opening remarks by Tom Dempsey Jr., CEO of SFA, and Dan Morgan, chairman of SFA and president and chief sales officer of BFY Holdings LLC. Joe Scarborough, lawyer, author, former politician and host of “Morning Joe” on MSNBC, will deliver the keynote presentation from 10:15–11:15 a.m.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11:15 a.m. at the entrance of the convention center’s Exhibit Hall C will officially open the exhibition. Attendees will be able to check out nearly 100 suppliers (at press time) of processing and packaging equipment, food ingredients and other products and services for the snack food industry.

Two concurrent educational sessions will be held on the trade show floor from 3:15–4:30 p.m. A legislative update will be the focus of one session, while a McCormick Flavor Forecast will form the basis of the other presentation.

Also slated for March 20 from 3:15–4:30 p.m. on the trade show floor will be SFA’s Latin American Program, which will be delivered in Spanish. Juan Carlos Hidalgo, a policy analyst on Latin America at the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, Washington, D.C., will discuss economic freedom and competitiveness in Latin America.

Monday, March 21, begins with a plated breakfast from 8–8:45 a.m. in the Ballroom of the Americas, followed by an hour-long presentation. At 10:30 a.m., show-goers can check out the trade show or attend one of three current educational sessions on the trade show floor: “Looking Ahead: Legislation and Regulations Affecting the Snack Industry,” “The Evolving Snack Consumer” or “An Economic Outlook for the Latin American Region,” the second session in this year’s SNAXPO Latin American Educational Track. A networking reception begins on the trade show floor at 3:30 p.m. and concludes at 5 p.m.

Tuesday, March 22, the final day of the SNAXPO 2016, begins with a plated breakfast in the Ballroom of the Americas from 7:30–8:15 a.m., followed by the installation of SFA’s officers at 8:15 a.m. and keynote speaker Jim Donald, former CEO of Starbucks, Haggen Food and Pharmacy, Extended Stay Hotels and two East Coast supermarket chains.

The exhibit hall will be open on Tuesday from 10 a.m.–noon. Following the conclusion of the trade show, attendees can participate in optional indoor skydiving from 1:30–5 p.m. at iFLY Houston-Memorial in Houston. SNAXPO 2016 wraps up with a reception from 7–7:30 p.m. in the foyer of the Ballroom of the Americas, and a closing reception and dinner from 7–11 p.m. in the ballroom.

For more information about SNAXPO 2016, visit, or contact Abby Valentino at or 703- 836-4500, extension 201.