A month after the 2015 Sweets & Snacks Expo revealed a series of educational enhancements, details on the show's newly created Retail Impact Forum, which will feature top retailers offering industry perspectives on the current economic climate, major snacking and lifestyle trends, and evolving demographics in three short, high-impact briefing, have been released.
To be hosted on Wednesday, May 20 by Michael Sansolo, of MorningNewsBeat.com, the event will offer The NPD Group's Darren Seifer, discussing consumer snacking behaviors as part of a balanced diet, and Tina Manikas, FCB/RED president, sharing insights on how retailers can manage split efficiencies between millennials and boomers, while a panel of retail executives from leading companies provides real-time feedback and commentary. The panel will consist of Peter Whitsett, EVP, merchandising and marketing at Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Meijer; Joanie Taylor, director, consumer affairs and community relations at St. Louis-based Schnuck Market Inc.; and Steve Boomershine, VP of Merchandising at Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle’s GetGo fuel station/car wash/c-store concept.
"The new, unique format is a hybrid of TED-style talks and SportsCenter models incorporating 20-minute micro-sessions that promote lively discussion on the subject's 'real word' impact for consumers, shoppers, retailers and the manufacturer community," explained Tim Quinn, expo committee chairman and VP of trade relations for Mount Olive, N.J.-based Mars Chocolate North America.
The Sweets & Snacks Expo, scheduled for May 19-21 at Chicago's McCormick Place, is presented by the National Confectioners Association (NCA), a Washington, D.C.-based trade organization representing the $35 billion U.S. confections industry. With members in more than 40 states employing about 70,000 workers in more than 1,000 facilities across the United States, NCA aims to advance, protect and promote the confectionery industry.