On the heels of the National Restaurant Show, Chicago's McCormick Place hosted the Sweets & Snacks Expo (with the theme "Unwrap Innovation") May 21-23.
The show basically was more than three acres of vendors showing (and, in many cases, offering free samples of) their wares. One vendor said that the trend now is toward spicier itemsand that certainly seemed true, with many items now being offered in chipotle and jalapeno flavors (including traditionally sweet treats like brownie crisps).
Among the many standouts were Greek yogurt-covered pretzels and a probiotic blend from Tropical Nut & Fruit; jelina chocolatier, which includes a fair-trade line; Miracle Mint, which claims to provide tasty items that suppress appetites; and the Marshmallow Fun Company, which has blasters and crossbows that shootyou guessed ittiny marshmallows. In addition, older brands such as Utz and Wise have expanded to incorporate some of the latest trends. (Fast fact: More than 5,000 snackand confectionery items are introduced each year in the United States.)
However, there was more than the exhibit. Keynote speakers at forums for business professionals included Duke University men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski ("Victory Through Teamwork and Leadership") and Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist George Will ("How U.S. Politics Can Affect Your Business Decisions"). Photos and text by Andrew Davis
Photo spread here: www.windycitymediagroup.com/gay/lesbian/news/photospreadthumbs.php .