Record Number of Start-Up Entrepreneurs to Exhibit at Sweets & Snacks Expo’s Innovation Avenue

Record Number of Start-Up Entrepreneurs to Exhibit at Sweets & Snacks Expo’s Innovation Avenue

WASHINGTON – The 2017 Sweets & Snacks Expo (May 23-25, Chicago, IL), hosted by the National Confectioners Association, will welcome 20 burgeoning candy and snack companies to Innovation Avenue, areas on the show floor dedicated to start-up companies who are just launching their confectionery and snack businesses. The concept was introduced in 2011 to allow Expo attendees to view some truly unique products and ideas.

“Several exhibitors have taken advantage of the platform Innovation Avenue provides to launch successful products,” commented Barry Rosenbaum, Expo chairman and president of Nassau Candy Distributors, Inc. “Having the highest number of Innovation Avenue exhibitors since its inception is further proof that the candy and snack categories continue to be on the forefront of innovation.”

The 2017 Innovation Avenue will feature:

  • Brooklyn Cookie Company, LLC
    Makers of Just Meringues!, fun, indulgent, naturally gluten-free, kosher cookies that are memorable. Available in three flavors: chocolate chip, cafe latte, and red raspberry pizzazz. These flavors are bold! All ingredients are organic/natural, gluten-free, kosher, & Fairtrade certified. (Booth 7034E)
  • Cotton Cravings Organic Confections
    Tempt your wild side with heavenly puffs. Blow your mind with outrageous flavors. Indulge your taste buds with a guilt free treat. Created by a pediatrician for an all-natural experience. Her secret recipe will leave you craving more! (Booth 1296F)
  • Diamond K Sweets & More LLC
    Fudge O’Bits®: 2015 Sweets & Snacks “Most Innovative Specialty Gourmet Product” Nominee. Made from scratch with a supremely delicious blend of 100% chocolate. The company carefully hand-stir their decadent products so they turn out excellent every time. Better Ingredients, Better Fudge! (Booth 1296H)
  • DiMario Foods
    DiMario Foods was founded upon the belief of bringing our family’s artisanal recipes to you. They have been crafting Italian delicacies for generations. When you indulge in a DiMario product, you will experience over a century of pride and tradition. DiMario takes great satisfaction in using simple ingredients to craft quality, gourmet products. (Booth 1296E)
  • Genius Jerky
    Genius Jerky is a start-up ultra-premium artisan jerky company offering two launch flavors for active families, South Korean BBQ & Honey Habanero. Genius Jerky only uses the finest ingredients to include top quality grass-fed and grass-finished beef, premium spices, real honey, and roasted garlic. Eat Genius, Think Genius! (Booth 7034A)
  • Good-N-Twisted
    Inspired by some of your favorite cocktails such as: lemon drop martini, pina-colada, and strawberry daiquiri; we use quality ingredients and premium spirits to produce our “twisted” booze cake. They are individually portioned, packaged, and ready to eat out of the jar; with a 90 day shelf life and can be stored at room temperature. (Booth 7034B)
  • Kettle Fudge, LLC
    Kettle Fudge specializes in handcrafted gourmet artisan fudge, currently making over 150 different flavors. Kettle Fudge is available in a variety of styles. The company can private label and custom design a flavor profile to meet almost any ones special request. (Booth 7034F)
  • KitsitrA LLC
    KitsitrA LLC is a quirky cookie shop that focuses on gluten free and vegan gluten free cookies that are out of this world. They will remind you of your grandma’s cooking. Soft and chewy cookies the way they should be. (Booth 7034K)
  • Lake Country Candies
    Lake Country Candies is a manufacturer of juju and gummies candies. They make Candy Raisins which is very popular in southeast Wisconsin. They also make custom candy in many different flavors and a pectin-based organic candy. (Booth 1296B)
  • Legally Addictive Foods
    Legally Addictive is a small-batch, female-founded snack business based in Brooklyn, NY. Products are made with humor, creativity and incredible taste and flavor pairings. They make the OG Crack Cookie, the cookie made from a cracker, salted handmade toffee & salted chocolate. (Booth 7034C)
  • Maui Crisps
    The most delicious chips you’ve ever had! Maui Crisps is a family owned business in the Hawaiian Islands that was created by accident. Made with USDA Choice beef and sliced paper-thin for crispiness, these select beef jerky chips will set your taste buds a-tingling! (Booth 7034I)
  • Michelle’s Bakery
    Michelle’s Bakery has been a family owned business since 2000. Our products originated from recipes our grandmas used. We bake in small batches to ensure the made-from-scratch taste and quality remain. Once you open and take a bite, it will take you back in time when grandma used to make those special treats. (Booth 1296C)
  • Miggy Foods
    Every bite, ingredient, and moment we share is about fun. Through our snacks, cereals, and other food products we inspire people, young and old, to be happy and enjoy life. We work to make a positive impact in the lives of everyone. (Booth 7034D)
  • Nutrawbar
    What started as a partnership in a small pistachio farm in Central Valley California, soon developed into a mission to create naturally healthy foods without compromising taste, nutrition and quality. Nutrawbar does this by harnessing the natural vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients found abundantly in nature. (Booth 1296A)
  • Pajama Sweets
    We are the industry’s only premium brand of Persian sweets in the American market. Learn how Pajama Sweets is an outstanding asset for upscale stores: the exquisite tastes, unique brand name and logo, and beautiful packaging resonate powerfully. (Booth 7034G)
  • Porta Béla
    Porta Béla chips, simple and clean made with just a few ingredients starting with sliced fresh mushrooms grown on our family farm in Kennett Square Pennsylvania. Superbly crisp and intense, the natural sugars and mushroom flavor are amplified within a simultaneously crunchy and chewy yet airy chip that can, and should be, munched directly from the bag. (Booth 7034H)
  • AgStandard Almonds
    It starts by sourcing local ingredients from growers AgStandard knows and partners they trust while creating seasoning blends from hand-selected herbs and spices. AgStandard focuses on creating a product that tastes great. (Booth 1296D)
  • The Matzo Project
    The Matzo Project introduces carefully made, artfully packaged, legitimately scrumptious matzo to an overlooked and outdated corner of the marketplace. Matzo Project set out to bake a new take on the culturally beloved, but traditionally flavorless cracker. Instead, they got a super-snappy, crazy-versatile snack that goes with every, single thing they have tried to put on it. (Booth 7034J)
  • Treeting Cards By Mayhem Ops Inc.
    It’s a candy-filled evolution! A greeting card, envelope and gift box packed with a sweet treat in an all-in-one cleverly designed grab-and-go package. Created and designed by our 12-year-old CEO, Treeting Cards has redefined the Greeting Card industry capturing the Millennial generation and anyone else looking to add a little more value to a card. (Booth 1296G)
  • WillPOWER Your Day, Inc.
    WillPOWER Your Day, Inc. specializes in exploding flavors! Heart-healthy, protein-rich, plant-based individual snacks. Dry Roasted Mega-Flavor Seeds are fruit-sweetened, or savory veggie flavors, and even dark chocolate + fruit ~ no salt, no oil, no sugar, incredibly delicious. Four-Seed Crunch combines mouthwatering natural sweetness and protein with a perfect crunch. (Booth 7034L)

The 2017 Sweets & Snacks Expo is sold out for the fifth consecutive year and will welcome more than 800 companies showcasing four acres of confectionery and snack product innovation. More than 17,000 industry professionals from nearly 90 countries are slated to attend the premier trade show for the candy and snack categories.

To learn more about the Expo, visit

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About the National Confectioners Association (NCA):
The National Confectioners Association is the leading trade organization for the $48 billion U.S. confectionery industry. NCA advocates for an environment that enables candy makers to thrive and works to ensure that chocolate, candy, gum and mints are celebrated for their contributions to culture, society, the economy and everyday moments of joy. The industry employs nearly 58,000 workers in more than 1,600 manufacturing facilities across all 50 states and supports an additional 635,000 jobs in related fields. The U.S. confectionery industry has made a commitment to increasing transparency, providing more portion guidance options and educating consumers about the role of confectionery in a happy, balanced lifestyle. Learn more at or follow NCA on Facebook, X and Instagram.

About the Sweets & Snacks Expo
Sponsored by the National Confectioners Association, the Sweets & Snacks Expo is the confectionery and snack industry’s most successful, world class event. It is unrivaled in new product launches, business building solutions and innovations in merchandising. 17,000 qualified professionals attend with global presence from 90 countries. More than 800 companies displaying more than 4 acres of candy and snack products participate in the Expo. The event is held each May at Chicago’s McCormick Place.