Ok, even though this is my fourth time at the Sweets and Snacks Expo rodeo, I’m still totally psyched to go to McCormick Place again this year! The thrill is still real, people. I mean, how can you not get a sugar rush just thinking about it?

In anticipation of the largest U.S. candy show there is all year, we’ve compiled a HUGE Expo Preview section in this issue and online. With more than 50 different featured products, you are sure to find at least a few items you’ll want to taste test at McCormick Place. They’re listed alphabetically by company name, from Anastasia Confections to YumJunkie, so you can scan the whole list before your plane even lands at O’Hare (or Midway) and know exactly which booths you want to stop by.

One of the perks of my job is that most of the featured companies sent me samples of their products so that I can taste them before the show. Ya, I know, I’ve got a sweet gig. The point is, getting all those samples beforehand has helped me sort through all those choices and pick a couple of personal favorites. So, while all the products are sweet to eat, the ones listed below really stood out to me. Without further ado, here’s my Top 3 favorite products from our Sweets and Snacks Expo preview section.


3. Kimmie Candy Co.’s Salted Caramel Chocorocks.

Pretty much everything you need to know about this candy is right there in the name. Salted caramel? Check. Choco? Yes, it does have a nice chocolate base. And as for Rocks? Well, the pieces are shaped like little rocks. Actually, they look more like little golden nuggets, but whatever.  They come in a long 3-oz. re-sealable tube, which makes them a great treat to grab on the go.  


2. Kane Candy’s Chocolate Dessert Cups

I know, I know. This isn’t a typical candy aisle product, but it’s little cups made of chocolate, and that’s candy enough for me. I admit I was a bit skeptical when I first got these because I thought the gimmick might outweigh how much effort they put into actually making the chocolate. Thankfully, I was totally wrong — the chocolate is delicious! I ate a bunch of them plain, and then my mom and I cut up some strawberries and topped them off with whip cream in the cups for an awesome after-dinner treat. Aside from dark chocolate, they also come in white chocolate variety, so, you know, options.


1. Justin’s All-Natural Squeeze packs and 10-packs

First, the squeeze packs. These awesome packages are anything but ordinary peanut butter. With delicious flavors like maple almond butter and chocolate hazelnut butter, they’re great on bread, fruit or all by themselves.

Plus, they’re from Justin’s, known for their delicious milk and dark chocolate peanut butter cups that actually rival Reese’s, so you know they’re going to be good. Justin’s is also releasing a 10-ct. bag of the both the milk and dark cups for all your bulk candy needs.


So there you have, that’s some of the products I’m most excited about at this year’s Expo! There are way more products than these that I love, so be sure to read through the entire Expo preview section to find your next favorite candy.

 And of course, don’t forget to stop by Candy Industry Magazine’s booth 2325 and say hello while you’re there!