Friday, May 25, 2018

Sweets and Snacks 2018

The sweetest show of the year just passed, and as always, it was great fun and so informative.  Thousands of vendors show up in Chicago, displaying their potential wares for the NCA's Sweets and Snacks Expo.

 I've been attending the past few years, and you can see my previous year round ups by searching Sweets and Snacks Expo  (or just clicking right there!)

I love going to the show to find out what's new, to revisit old favorites, and of course, there is some schwag to be had.  I still have a larvae lollipop from a  couple of years ago, waiting for just the right moment of desperate to open it and eat it.

As I did last year, I made a little video slideshow of my time at the expo with my phone, so if you want to take a gander, please do.

Looking at the trends I noticed last year, I'd say that the popcorn and jerky trend is continuing. What seems to be even stronger is the move to natural foods. I noticed a ton of snacks made with natural foods, or natural ingredients being showcased. Organic is big, but I think a lot of companies can't quite justify that move. But using "Real foods" (and promoting that heavily) seems to be very prominent this year.

The presentation of everything is always pretty beautiful, but one of the real attention getters was not particularly beautiful at all.  That was the Lollipoops.  (This year's Larvae?)  It's a lollipop shaped like poop!    I have to say, they tasted pretty good!  Fortunately, none of them were brown.

It's a variation on a theme-- kind of a gross out idea. Toxic Waste and the Ugly Dolls seem to thrive in a similar environment.    (Although both of those are pretty sour, and these are not)

But the idea of it grabbed me, and I'm guessing that they will do pretty well for kids under ten (and maybe adults over 60!)

I also felt like "oldies but goodies" were making a comeback.  Prominent at the show were Pop Rocks, Mike and Ike's, Circus Peanuts, Goldenberg Peanut Chews, a variety of saltwater taffies, and others-- brands and candies that haven't changed particularly and rely on a bit of nostalgia to remember .  I love seeing those old candies and trying to introduce my child to the tastes and memories that those signify for me.

Let me know if you went to the show, and what your favorite candies are in the comments!

Here are a few more things I wanted to comment on.
I thought this was interesting-- jerky that is packaged like chewing tobacco.

Hard-boiled eggs as a snack.  Very interesting idea!

I've always wondered why there wasn't kosher jerky.  Looks like they are heading in that direction!

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