Key Insights from the 2017 Sweets & Snacks Expo Knowledge-Building Sessions


Jenn Ellek, 202-534-1440,

Washington, D.C. (July 10, 2017) – Industry professionals in attendance at this year’s Sweets & Snacks Expo were provided with 20 educational sessions that delivered the latest research, data and trends driving shopper behavior in the candy, snack and specialty categories. Year after year, NCA’s Sweet Insights program at Expo continues to facilitate an environment where attendees learn the latest category solutions from the industry’s most impactful speakers.

Below are some of the key insights from several of the dynamic sessions:

“The Last Mile, equipping and enabling the store associate will be the defining truth separating winners from losers in the retail space.”
Scott Duby – VP of Global Consumer Industry, IBM
What IBM is Seeing in your Shopping Future

“Consumers’ “balanced” diet is driving the top dollar growth categories.”
Sally Lyons-Wyatt – EVP & Practice Leader, IRI Worldwide
Snacks 2017: State of the Market

“There is a driving new desire for little affordable luxuries or hand-crafted items. Sweet snacking experienced growth on par with better-for-you snacks.”
Darren Seifer – Food Industry Analyst, NPD
What Do Shoppers Really Want?

“Snacking is a behavior, not a category. Small treats are not new, but have become increasingly important as consumers look toward creating more balance in their diets.”
Lynn Dornblaser – Director of Innovation and Insight, MINTEL
Unlocking Growth in Candy and Snacks

“Success at retail will come to those that master the five Ds: data, differentiation, decentralization, digital and delivery.”
Jon Kramer – VP of Enterprise Marketing, WestRock, Inc.
Realities at Retail: Insights on the Emerging Retail Environment and its Impact on Candy and Snacks

“A brand’s traditional retail strength does not automatically translate to success at Amazon.”
Nathan Rigby – VP of E-Commerce, One Click Retail

“90 percent of product launches fail to meet critical milestones due to a number of reasons such as lack of assortment and other determining factors.”
Larry Levin – EVP of Consumer & Shopper Marketing, IRI Worldwide
Confectionery 2017: State of the Market

“Shoppers’ disillusionment is grounded in a lack of respect by retailers.”
Kristine Martinek – Retail Strategy and Shopper Insights Consultant, WSL Strategic Retail
How Mediocrity Undid American Shopping

To view the entire educational slate from this year’s Expo, visit Many of the knowledge-building sessions from the Sweet & Snacks Expo will go further in-depth during NCA’s digital learning series, Unwrapped. The series is currently in progress and runs every other Thursday at 1 p.m. EDT. To learn more and register, please visit

The 2018 Sweets & Snacks Expo will be held May 22-24, 2018 at Chicago’s McCormick Place and is more than 90 percent sold out.

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About the National Confectioners Association (NCA)
The National Confectioners Association is the trade organization that advances, protects and promotes chocolate, candy, gum and mints, and the companies that make these special treats. As the leading association for the $35 billion U.S. confectionery industry, NCA educates the public to help ensure that it understands and appreciates the unique role that chocolate and candy can play in a happy, balanced lifestyle. Confections are produced in all 50 states, creating jobs for approximately 55,000 workers in more than 1,000 manufacturing facilities across the country. More than 400,000 jobs in agriculture, retail, transportation and other industries rely in part on the sale of confections for their livelihood. For every one job that is created by confectionery companies, another seven are supported in related industries. Learn more about the “Power of Sweet” at, or follow NCA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About the Sweets & Snacks Expo
Sponsored by the National Confectioners Association, the Sweets & Snacks Expo is the confectionery and snack industry’s most successful, world class event. It is unrivaled in new product launches, business building solutions and innovations in merchandising. 17,000 qualified professionals attend with global presence from 90 countries. More than 800 companies displaying more than 4 acres of candy and snack products participate in the Expo. The event is held each May at Chicago’s McCormick Place.


Unwrapped education series