Indiana Convention Center — The Sweets & Snacks Expo, the first convention held in the city of Indianapolis in 18 months, opened with jubilation Wednesday morning and a welcome by both Indianapolis and Indiana dignitaries.
“Well look at us, we’re back in business,” NCA President & CEO John Downs told an excited crowd gathered for the ribbon cutting ceremony. “It means so much to all of us in these two great categories, sweets and snacks, to be back in a live, in-person trade show,” he said.
He noted that while Covid had kept the industry apart for 16 months: “We all know chocolate, candy and snacks bring us together.”
Downs was joined by Ferrero U.S.A., Inc. President & CEO and NCA Chairman Paul Chibe, who encouraged everyone to enjoy being back together at an in-person event.
“This week is all about celebrations, getting together and celebrating the best and most innovative chocolate, candy and snack products in the world,” Chide said. “It’s all about the people here who make, sell and distribute these amazing products. And on behalf of the NCA, the 460 exhibitors, the nearly 2000 retail attendees and hundreds of brokers suppliers, I want to wish you a very warm welcome and thank you.”
When Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb took the stage, he joked: “You had me at candy.”
On a more serious note, however, the Governor said: “It’s another example that hope is not out there on the horizon — hope is right here in our capital city, it’s in the heart of the heartland. To bring the this first trade show here to our capital city, we just could not be more proud.”
Special guest Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett also welcomed guests, especially first-time travelers since the pandemic.
“For some of you, perhaps it’s the first trip you’ve taken in a long time. If that’s the case, I am very glad you have chosen Indianapolis as your first destination. Our city is happy to share this return with the NCA and all their guests. Welcome to Indianapolis and we hope you enjoy your stay,” Hogsett said.
Ed Seibold, Fannie May Confections, Inc. vice-president of sales and business development and chairman of the Sweets and Snacks Expo returned the gratitude. “Thank you for the great Hoosier hospitality. It’s great to be in this wonderful city,” he said before wishing the assembled attendees and exhibitors to a successful show. CS&T