Food Business News - June 12, 2018 - 28



Sweets & Snacks 2018
New products challenge consumer perceptions
of indulgence and snacking
CHICAGO - Cauliflower, chickpeas and lentils are among the somewhat surprising
ingredients that cropped up in new products at the Sweets & Snacks Expo. Other
launches featured intense flavors such as
bourbon vanilla or blackberry habanero.
Such products challenge perceptions of
treating and snacking, said Susan
Whiteside, vice-president of public relations and marketing communications,
National Confectioners Association,
which sponsors the annual event.
"Our idea of treating and snacking is changing," Ms. Whiteside said.
"Millennials' definitions of what a snack
is and what a meal is are different than
a generation before them, let alone two
or three generations before them, what
their grandparents would have viewed
as a snack or as a treat. Retailers are
recognizing that their consumer needs
are shifting and changing and that they
have to have a lot of choices to satisfy
their shoppers and to make the shopping
experience unique and fun."
Nearly 18,000 industry professionals gathered at McCormick Place in Chicago May 22-24 to view the latest innovations from more than 800 exhibiting


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companies. The event featured five acres
of candy and snack products, curated to
showcase emerging industry trends, Ms.
Whiteside said.
"In the always popular category
of new takes on old favorites, caramel
and coconut seem to be where it's at this
year," Ms. Whiteside said. "Those are
perennial classics."
Examples at the show included
vegan coconut caramels in flavors

The marriage of flavors into a single product
was popular at this year's Sweets & Snacks


such as ginger rum, Thai iced tea and
Vietnamese coffee. A line of caramel
marshmallows from Vosges Chocolate
included blood orange hibiscus, roasted
walnut pecan, black salt coconut nib and
alderwood smoked salt varieties. Toasted
coconut added a tropical twist to indulgent brittles and biscuits.
Sophisticated flavor profiles featured in new snacks included fire-roasted hatch chile, sun-dried tomato, rosemary and garlic, and maple syrup.
"Unique flavor is the name of the
game," Ms. Whiteside said, citing as examples a ginger lime milk chocolate bar
and a banana rum premium snack mix.
Flavor was a key driver in new twoin-one snacks introduced at the show.
An example came from the Kellogg Co.,
Battle Creek, Mich., which launched
Cheez-It Duoz, a mix of caramel popcorn
and cheddar crackers.
The Popcorn Factory, a business
unit of, Inc., unveiled a new brand called Kettle Krave,
which pairs two flavors of kettle corn
in one bag. Varieties include buffalo
wing with creamy ranch, maple with
bacon, cracked pepper with sea salt,
June 12, 2018

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