Indiana Governor Tells Opening Crowd To ‘Keep Calm And Candy On’


Indiana Convention Center — Government officials and industry executives kicked off the opening of the largest-ever Sweets & Snacks Expo Tuesday morning. Welcoming the 16,000 attendees and 1,000 exhibitors, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb said Sweets & Snacks jump starts the momentum for the “Summer of Celebration” in Indianapolis.

“This is so unique and so special. I feel like I’m a 3rd grader on Halloween night,” the governor quipped. 

The move from Chicago to Indianapolis has been met with excitement and positivity, NCA President & CEO John Downs told the crowd.

“Indianapolis hosts world class events and we’re so proud and happy to be a part of that,” he said. “It’s a wonderful city and the right city for the Sweets & Snacks Expo. It fits us absolutely perfectly for these two great categories of confections and snacks.”

The show occupies 250,000 square feet of exhibition space to allow companies to dazzle visitors from more than 25 countries. Officials are anticipating a week filled with creativity and enthusiasm.

“I’m excited to be here today to see the innovation from the 1,000 exhibitors,” remarked Tony Jacobs, NCA board chair and president of Bazooka Cos. LLC. “Innovation is the lifeblood of the confectionery category. This category is so important to consumers and it’s important to the economy.”

Jacobs added that the Sweets & Snacks also serves as a “family reunion” of sorts for the industry, aimed at promoting candy and snacks. 

“It gets everybody together. There are small, large, and medium companies from around the U.S. and around the world here. We all come together as one big family to figure out how we grow this category,” he pointed out.

Observing the increase in this year’s show’s size, Greg Guidotti, CMO at Ferrara Candy Co., Inc. and Sweets & Snacks committee chair, said he’s excited to be in the show’s new home.

“This expo is going to be giant. It’s really impressive. We have the space to make an impact and make a difference,” he observed, pointing out the show is expected to bring $12 million in revenue to the city of Indy.

In addition to all of the great things happening on the show floor, Indianapolis Deputy Mayor Judith Thomas encouraged show attendees to check out the city after hours.

“When visitors step outside the convention center, they will enjoy the 500 restaurants and 100 arts and cultural attractions within walking distance,” pointed out Thomas. “Like the NCA, we continue to grow, innovate, and look to the future. This makes a dynamic partnership for years to come.”

Also looking toward the future, Andy Mallon, executive director, Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium, said this year’s venue will keep attendees wanting to come back again for that “Hoosier Hospitality.”

“After this year’s expo, we’re confident you’ll be thinking, ‘What just happened in Indy? It was so easy. Wasn’t that fun? We should just stay right here,’” Mallon noted.