The Best Candy Events of the Year

POSTED ON NOVEMBER 18, 2021   |   BY JOSH ROTHSTEIN

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The global pandemic of 2020 caused some major disruptions to the expo industry, but as we seem to be coming out of the worst part of COVID-19, events are finally being scheduled again! If you’re searching for the best candy events of the year, then we have some good news for you! Redstone Foods has over 55 years of experience in the candy industry, and we just so happen to know some of the absolute best events for candy shop owners, candy manufacturers, and snack food enthusiasts alike!

*All of the events on this list happen annually, but we’ll focus on the ones occurring in 2022. Some of these have already announced the dates for their events in 2023 and beyond.

No matter what part of the candy industry you are in, whether you’re in manufacturing, marketing, distributing or even selling products to consumers, it’s always a good idea to grow your connections, while staying ahead of new products and trends that emerge within your industry.

Attending live events are a great way to get your brand or business exposed to a variety of new concepts, opportunities, networks, and potential customers. Whether you’re looking for ways to enhance your business contacts or just build your own personal, professional expertise attending expos, tradeshows, conventions, or conferences are a great springboard to expansion. This is especially true if you’re new to the candy or snack foods industry. But even the most seasoned multi-million-dollar corporations can benefit from attending or showcasing at these events.

To better understand what makes each one unique, look at the four distinct types of events that are coming up: expos, conferences, trade shows and conventions.

What is the difference between trade shows, expos, conferences, and conventions?

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  • Expo – An exposition, or “expo” can be both a small or large-scale event where organizations from a niche industry come together to showcase their goods and services. Attending an expo to promote your business is a great way to explain and illustrate your products and their features to other businesses that may be interested in working with you. Since an expo is like a trade show, you may want to set up a booth to let people sample your products or demonstrate current business developments.

  • Trade Show – Similar to an expo, trade shows are a gathering of companies from the same or similar industries to demonstrate their newest product and service offerings. These are a great way to find new clients or potential business partners.

  • Conference – Conferences are typically education-based events where people in a certain industry gather to learn new business developments or hear about best practices from successful individuals in the industry. Presentations by key-note speakers are commonplace at this type of event.

  • Convention – Conventions are like large-scale meetings. These are a great way to network within your industry in a formal community experience. It’s a good idea to set up a display booth that will grab people’s attention or provide a memorable experience. You’ll get plenty of opportunities to meet like-minded people within your industry and explore your company’s true potential.

Now that we have the explanations out of the way, let’s take a look at some of our favorite candy industry events!

The best candy industry events happening in 2022

Sweets & Snacks Expo (May 23-26, 2022) – McCormic Place, Chicago, Illinois:

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The Sweets & Snacks Expo is celebrating its 25th year in 2022! The event is focused on bringing endless product innovations, insights and industry connections to thousands of attendees. Hundreds of candy manufacturers will debut new products at the expo with partners from big name-brands to up-and-coming businesses who are new to the confectionary industry. Attendees arrive from all around the globe to see these new product offerings and garner insights from industry experts who speak about upcoming industry trends that can help you stay ahead of the competition.

Registration is free to approved vendors and merchants. This helps with the expo’s vetting process. This is valuable because you’ll be certain that attendees are truly members of the confectionary and snack industries who are looking to do business at the show.

Redstone Foods has exhibited at this event since the beginning and it is a fun experience for us each and every year. Keep an eye on our social accounts for more information about this fun and exciting event!

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Here's a couple of photos from our time at the Sweets & Snacks Expo in 2021!

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The Summer Fancy Food Show (June 26-28, 2022) Jacob Javits Convention Center, New York City, New York:

The Specialty Foods Association has been hosting their Summer Fancy Foods Show since the 1950s. In the early years, the event was planned around selling Christmas candy and specialty food products for the upcoming holiday season. Until the COVID-19 pandemic, Redstone Foods had attended every Summer Fancy Food Show since the very first one in 1953.

The Summer Fancy Food Show boasts a huge assortment of tens of thousands of specialty food and beverage products from over 2,400 exhibitors from 50 different countries. Each aisle of their showroom floor promises a new variety of edible delicacies for you to discover. This year will also feature the debut of their new direct sales/purchases program. Fancy food makers can sell directly to buyers with registered accounts in their Infinite Aisle platform. At this event you can see, smell, taste and purchase – all in one place!

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Retail Confectioner’s International (July25-29, 2022) David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania:

Retail Confectioner’s International has been facilitating connections between candy makers and suppliers for over 100 years. Their annual event features an industry expo, coupled with various educational sessions, confectionary tours and plenty of networking opportunities.

This event is focused on both small and large-scale manufacturers. Exhibitors include candy makers as well as equipment suppliers, packaging materials manufacturers, and ingredient sourcing distributors. Though this annual gathering is their premier event, RCI provides year-round support for confectioners and their suppliers with tools and resources to help them grow their business.

Learn more at: www.retailconfectioners.org

ISM – International Sweets and Biscuits Fair (January 30 – February 2, 2022) Cologne Exhibition Centre, Köln, Germany:

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The largest trade fair in the world for confectionary snacks, ISM represents the entire industrial supply chain. From manufacturers, ingredients suppliers, vendors and distributors, ISM is the premier offering of trademark confectionary and snack items anywhere in the globe. This trade fair features various educational segments from industry leaders from around the world, exploring consumer trends and product theme areas. Be sure to visit their new products showcase, where brands can present their newest products and innovations. There is also a special area for start-ups who have been founded within the last 5 years, allowing even the smallest brands a chance to be seen. ISM has over 1,800 exhibitors from all over the world.

Redstone Foods has attended in the past and many of our partners, suppliers and vendors attend regularly.