Four years ago the ALL CANDY EXPO officially rebranded itself as the SWEETS & SNACKS EXPO and welcomed snack companies to exhibit. In that time, snack company's participation at the EXPO has grown. The most substantial growth was seen from 2010 to 2011 when there was a 16 percent increase in the number of companies featuring snack products exhibited at the EXPO.

The 2012 SWEETS & SNACKS EXPO, sponsored by the National Confectioners Association, will be held May 8-10 at Chicago's McCormick Place. The EXPO holds the honor of being the largest confectionery, cookie and snack show in the Americas featuring more than 540 companies showcasing three and a half acres of confectionery and snack products at one time, in one place. The EXPO serves as a one-stop-shop for retailers and wholesalers looking to discover new products and trends in the industry.

"Snack products coupled with confectionery items are the fastest-growing powerhouse in the grocery store," commented Tim Quinn, EXPO Chairman and VP of Trade Development for Mars Chocolate North America. "During this challenging economy, retailers are looking to the strength and staying power of candy and snacks to stabilize sales and increase profits. In 2011 alone, these categories accounted for 9 percent of all store sales and experienced a phenomenal 11 percent increase."