Exhibitors Turn Up The Heat At The Sweets & Snacks Expo


McCormick Place — From chips to gummies to marshmallows, there’s no shortage of spice at this year’s Sweets & Snacks Expo. Many manufacturers are rolling out their versions of spicy products to tap into this growing consumer trend.

Nutradried Food Co., LLC launched Moon Cheese crunchy cheese sticks in spicy Kick It Up A Nacho and Yum Inferno. Marketing Manager Bridgette Kovacevich said the company learned through its research that spicy was a strong trend among consumers.

“We reached out directly to consumers and they wanted heat, they wanted spicy,” she noted.

Moon Cheese crunchy cheese sticks are made with 100 percent mozzarella cheese. Bags contain three ounces and have an SRP of $4.99.

Jodi Ogle, of Chef Bobo Brand, Inc., said the company focuses its innovation on spicy offerings. 

The Kellogg Co. debuted two spicy flavors of Pringles potato crisps: Scorchin Sour Cream & Onion and Scorchin Chili & Lime. Canisters holding 5.6 ounces of product feature the Pringles character with smoke coming from his ears and a flame background. 

For Chef Bobo Brand, Inc., spicy offerings come naturally for the company, whose CEO Brian Park is from Korea. Vice-President of Marketing Jodi Ogle explained that whenever there is innovation at the company, spice is mandatory. 

“It’s part of our CEO’s culture so it’s always in his arsenal,” she said of Park.

Bobo’s latest spicy launch is Friendly Grains Ancient Grain Crisps in bacon habanero. The round crisps come in bags containing 3.5 ounces and have an SRP of $2.99.

Another spicy salty snack making its debut this week is Jalapeno White Cheddar popcorn from Harkins Popcorn & Snacks (Booth 20118). 

The product is available in four- and 10-ounce bags and has an SRP range of $3.99 to $4.29. Harkins Sales Manager Roy Mason said it was important the company offer a product to leverage the consumer trend of mixing flavors and the growing interest in spicy at the same time.

“We’re seeing the spicy trend growing across multiple categories, even outside of salty snacks,” he pointed out.

This can be seen on the show floor in confectionery items including gummies and marshmallows.

Seen in this year’s Featured Product Showcase are Spicy & Sweet Marshmallows from Yummallo LLC. Co-Founder David Walker said the company purposely put the word “spicy” first in the product’s title.

“You expect marshmallows to be sweet so we really wanted to highlight the spicy profile of the product,” he explained to Candy & Snack TODAY. “You’re seeing so much in this sweet/heat trend and it’s here to stay.”

The marshmallows pack 5.25 ounces per bag and carry an SRP of $2.99. 

Also spicing up the show floor are Chili Chews Strawberry Bites, a combination of sweet, sour and spicy flavors from Chili Chews (Booth 20234), a company founded during the pandemic. Chili Chews gummies also come in peach and watermelon varieties. 

Another spicy gummi option at the show this week is Food Fight Co., LLC’s Carolina Reaper Roulette Spicy Gummy Bear Game Challenge (Booth 20302). The dice game features a small board with numbers one through six. There are five sweet bears and one Carolina Reaper spicy bear in each pack. The company encourages players to catch the reaction of the contestant who eats the spicy bear and post it on social media.