The world of snacking gathered in Savannah, GA April 1–4 for SNAXPO 2017 at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center.
SNAXPO is SNAC International’s annual trade show devoted exclusively to the international snack food industry. In the SNAXPO exhibit hall, suppliers to the global snack industry showcased the latest equipment, technology, ingredients, products and services available to help snack producers grow their businesses. Over 1,100 snack industry professionals from around the world attended SNAXPO 2017, including over 100 international attendees, meeting with 146 exhibitors on the trade show floor, including 37 first-time exhibitors.
During the event, attendees voted on the SNAXPO Flavor of the Year, which resulted in a tie between Maple Cinnamon Churro flavor from LifeSpice Ingredients and Black Pepper Kielbasa flavor from Savor Seasonings.
SNAXPO unites top management, qualified buyers and key decision-makers from the snack food industry, including producers of potato chips, tortilla chips, pretzels, popcorn, snack crackers, pork rinds and more.
During the event, SNAC International inducted the late Richard King, former president and COO of Utz Foods, to its Circle of Honor. He passed away in September 2016. King oversaw a period of significant growth at Utz. From 1985–2007, sales went from $42 to $314 million, and the company’s truck routes grew from 70 to 1,000. His wife, Estelle King, accepted the honor on his behalf.
SNAC International introduced the Circle of Honor Award in 1994, given every two years to recognize the achievements of snack industry executives who exemplify notable levels of leadership in their companies, the industry and the association.
SNAXPO 2017 offered several informative general sessions, including one from market intelligence firm IRI. Sally Lyons Wyatt, executive vice president and practice leader, client insights, provided a look at the state of the snack food industry during SNAXPO, covering new and emerging snacks in traditional and better-for-you snack segments. She noted that new challenges accompany the increased attention on snacking and are driving growth. These include a wider range of snack flavors and varieties, as well as a high level of transparency. But, she noted, it’s vital to remember that an overwhelming majority of shoppers (91 percent, per IRI), buy snacks based on appealing taste.
Jared Koerten, senior analyst, Euromonitor, presented on “State of Snacking: Lessons Learned from the Global Market.” A key takeaway from the session was the emphasis on the wide and diverse outlets U.S. shoppers are frequenting to purchase snacks above and beyond supermarkets. These include multiple retail and foodservice channels, including convenience stores and specialty grocery stores. Technology is also playing a strategic role in driving the growth of snacking, both via Amazon.com and ecommerce in general, and through the integration of more “click and collect” options. Koerten provided examples of successful integration of technology and shopping from around the world, and how international retail businesses are making it more convenient for people to buy snacks. Koerten noted that Euromonitor has predicted the U.S. savory snacks market will reach $50 billion by 2020, with even faster growth abroad.
Other educational sessions included:
- In “Food Law and Regulation Update,” Martin Hahn, partner, Hogan Lovells US LLC, featured an overview of the state of regulatory affairs in Washington, D.C., including timelines for the new Nutrition Facts panel and mandatory biotech disclosure labeling rules, as well as various aspects of ongoing and potential litigation activity related to the snack industry
- During “The New Outlook for Food Policy in D.C.,” Mike Torrey, principal and founder, Michael Torrey Associates and government affairs consultant to SNAC International, provided an inside look into how the evolving political landscape in Washington under President Trump’s administration could impact the snack industry
- In “Navigating the Nutrition Facts Panel,” Beth Johnson, MS, RD, principal and CEO, Food Directions LLC, offered an interactive session to walk snack producers through a roadmap of the new requirements and how to comply
- In the “Regulatory Developments Affecting the Latin American Snack Industry” session, Ernest Algaba and Hogan Lovells discussed regulatory developments impacting the snack industry throughout Latin America, including recent legislative changes in Mexico.
On the Innovations Stage, presentations were offered by Kerry, Advanced Technology Systems, J.R. Simplot, Dow AgroSciences and Technology Container Corp. and INTL FCStone.
SNAXPO 2017 also saw the installation of a new chairman for SNAC International, Dan Sifer, senior vice president of supply chain for Herr Foods, taking over from Mark Winkelman, president, Better Made Snack Foods.
SNAXPO 2018 will be held from March 10–13, 2018 in Atlanta.
SNAXPO is SNAC International’s annual trade show devoted exclusively to the international snack food industry. SNAXPO showcases the latest equipment, technology, ingredients, products and services aimed at improving snack manufacturer’s operations. For more information, visit http://snaxpo.com.
About SNAC International
SNAC International is the international trade association of the snack food industry representing more than 400 snack manufacturers and suppliers around the world. For more information, visit http://snacintl.org.