A Reimagined SNAXPO18

SNAC International's Annual Trade Show Brought over 1350 Industry Leaders to Atlanta, GA Last Month

April 11, 2018

SNAC’s annual trade show brought over 1,350 of the industry’s leading snack manufacturers, marketers and suppliers from 28 countries to Atlanta last month for two days of networking and learning. SNAXPO18 showcased the industry’s newest innovations with a full equipment trade show and an all-new Innovations Hub.

More than 300 industry professionals and over 30 exhibitors participated for the first time, making SNAXPO18 one of the most highly attended by first-time participants in recent years. The exhibit hall featured 160 exhibitors showcasing the latest innovations in ingredients, processing equipment, packaging supplies, quality control technologies and more. 


Rob Sarlls, President and CEO, Wyandot, Inc. said, “SNAXPO is a tremendously efficient way to get everybody together. We’re talking all the ingredient suppliers, equipment companies, software companies, and industry peers I don’t see often enough; they are all here under one roof. SNAXPO also has all the educational sessions and opportunities to talk about international business. We are increasingly bringing more of our people to SNAXPO each year and they feel like they are getting a lot done while they’re here.” 

Other show highlights included:


With an eye on the future of an expanding snack category and a shifting consumer demographic, SNAXPO’s educational agenda helped prepare industry executives to compete and win.

New and Emerging Snack Trends
Sally Lyons Wyatt, IRI, kickstarted attendees’ inventive thinking with her “New and Emerging Snack Trends” presentation. Lyons Wyatt encouraged snack manufacturers to innovate products around lifestyle trends, leverage packaging to communicate points of differentiation, adopt a channel strategy that achieves broad distribution, develop and enhance flavor combinations, and look to food service for emerging trend inspiration. View a full recap here, and access the slides here (SNAC member login required).  

Dr. Jonah Berger: How Products and Ideas Catch On
Closing out the breakfast session was best-selling author Dr. Jonah Berger who talked about the power of social influence on decision-making and purchasing decisions. Berger challenged the audience to get better at spotting influence and understanding how to use it to achieve organizational objectives. “In a host of different domains, from what we buy, to what we do, 99.9% of our decisions are shaped by other people,” said Berger. “Whether we are designing new products, or trying to figure out these new consumer trends, we need to understand how people’s peers are influencing them.” Dr. Berger is a Marketing professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, and best-selling author of Contagious: Why Ideas Catch On. View the Tuesday General Session photo album here.

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SNAXPO18 Keynote Speaker Rob O’Neill Inspires Audience
Rob O’Neill, Former SEAL Team Six Leader, Naval Special Warfare Development Group, and New York Times Best-Selling Author shared lessons learned on perseverance, teamwork, and quick decision-making from his more than 400 combat missions across four theaters of war.  One of the nation’s most decorated veterans, O’Neill lives by the mantra “never quit.” O’Neill said, “Put your head down, keep moving forward no matter what, and never quit.” View the Wednesday General Session photo album here.


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State of Global Snacking: Trends, Growth, and Channel Disruption
So much of the snack market’s success is based on impulse consumer purchases. However, the commercial landscape is changing, and more people are shopping for food online while traditional retail stores are rethinking how they attract customers. How will this affect the global snack market?  According to Euromonitor, 18% of savory snack dollar sales in the U.S. were through c-store and forecourt retailers in 2017. Growth in these convenience channels increased 25% from 2012 to 2017, and 68% of savory snack purchases at c-stores were unplanned.  Read the full recap. Click here for the presentation (SNAC member login required).

Snack Industry Regulatory and Legal Update 
SNAC International’s Legal Counsel, Martin Hahn, Hogan Lovells, LLP, provided an overview of the state of regulatory affairs in Washington, D.C. and the potential impact on snack manufacturers. Unpredictability and a reluctance to change were the overall themes of the session. Specifically, lowering sodium intake has been communicated as a priority, but the reduction guidance remains in draft form and the scientific consensus is lacking. The compliance deadline for the updated nutrition facts panel has been delayed to 2020, a date that has not been officially finalized. Slack fill cases are the latest craze. And California’s Prop 65 continues to pose challenges to all food and beverage manufacturers who sell products in California. He ended the session by stressing the important work done by SNAC International and encouraged the industry to stay committed to working with government to find solutions. Click here for the complete slides (SNAC member login required). View photos from the educational sessions and trade show floor here.


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SNAXPO18 Latin American Program
Each year, SNAC invites leading snack companies from Latin America to attend SNAXPO to source supplies, network with colleagues, and learn about the latest snacking trends in their region. The enhanced 2018 Latin American Program featured analysis of trends and growth drivers in South America, a discussion about the Creative Link between product development and launch, and insights into the snacking paradigm in Costa Rica. The improved program, as well as the innovative full equipment exhibit hall attracted nearly double the amount of Latin American attendees from 2017, with 110 in attendance last March.

The Creative Link
Sergio Aguirre, Gerente Técnico Corporativo de Negocios Complementarios, Arca Continental, presented the ‘Creative Link.’ Aguirre delivered insights on how to integrate different departments within a company to develop a product, process and service with success. He encouraged attendees to consider sourcing the first step in a product launch – the idea – from many different areas in the company. Although challenging, Sergio emphasized the need to involve the Marketing, Product Development, Engineering, and Plant departments through each step of the process, from creation to launch. 

Snacking in South America
Alfonso De Los Reyes, Research Analyst, Euromonitor International, presented Snacking in South America: Trends and Opportunities. He explored trends, growth opportunities and innovations that are driving the snack market in South America. A key takeaway: consumers in South America are extremely price-sensitive, a major factor in purchasing decisions – even more so than in the US. Reyes also emphasized the importance considering each local market in South America individually, as each country has its own set of unique snacking preferences.

Snacking in Costa Rica
Andres Pozuelo, Owner/President, Alimentos Jack’s provided an overview of how consumers snack in Costa Rica and reviewed potential growth opportunities in other sectors of the Latin American market.  Pozeulo observed that Costa Ricans prefer crunchy textures, and that snack seasonings must closely reflect the flavors of the local cultures. Pozuelo noted that, like in the U.S., snacks in Costa Rica have become an extension of sit-down meals and that consumers are looking for more complex flavors that resemble gourmet foods. View photos from the educational sessions and trade show floor here.  Click here for the slides from the three Latin American sessions (SNAC Member Login Required). 


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SNAC International Installs 2018-2019 Officers and Directors

At SNAXPO18 in Atlanta, SNAC International Business Members unanimously approved a new slate of officers to serve on its Executive Committee, as well as a new class of Directors-at-Large to serve on the association's Board of Directors. SNAC also announced the appointment of its new Chairwoman, Jolie Weber, CEO, Wise Foods.  "SNAC International is pleased to welcome the 2018-2019 class of Board members," said Elizabeth Avery, President & CEO. "The incoming officers and directors represent a diverse cross section of the SNAC membership and the evolving snack category. We look forward to working with Jolie Weber and the new Directors in the coming years. On behalf of the members and staff, we'd like to thank Past Chairman Dan Sifer for his tremendous guidance over the past year." Click here to read the full press release.


Outgoing Chairman Dan Sifer, VP Supply Chain/ Contract Manufacturing, Herr
Foods Inc., passes the gavel to the 2018-2019 incoming Chairwoman,
Jolie Weber, CEO, Wise Foods, Inc.


“Last year I came from overseas to attend SNAXPO and after ten minutes, I said we need to be here. It’s a very focused show and for snacks, it’s the place to be,” said first-time international exhibitor, Niels Van Laer, Area Sales Manager, FAM Stumabo USA, Inc.

Second Annual Flavor Pavilion: Where Global Seasonings Meet Fearless Flavors
The 2nd annual Flavor Pavilion, co-hosted with Snack Food and Wholesale Bakery, featured 12 bold flavor submissions including Chicago style hot dog, hot buttery cinnamon, mango habanero, and more. SNAXPO18 attendees sampled each flavor and voted for their favorite. Congratulations to Kerry for taking home the Flavor of the Year Award with their Raspberry Dark Chocolate Almond flavor. Coming in at 2nd place was Elote (Mexican Street Corn) by Elite Spice, and Land O’Lakes took home 3rd place with its Hot Buttery Cinnamon flavor.

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Late July named 2018 Snack Producer of the Year 
On Wednesday morning, Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery unveiled the 2018 Snack Producer of the Year Award: congratulations to Late July Snacks! Over the past 15 years, Late July Snacks has steadily grown its business and is now a leader in organic, non-GMO snacks. Late July is best known for its innovative, bold flavored tortilla chips. 
Read more.

From left: Dan Sifer, Herr Foods, Inc., Elizabeth Avery, SNAC International, 
Paul Drakeford, Late July Snacks, Doug Peckenpaugh, Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery

First Annual SNAXPO Innovations Hub 
The Innovations Hub featured 10 of the latest technologies (introduced after SNAXPO16) in snack processing equipment, quality control analysis and ingredients. Click here for a full list of the innovations.

Innovation Stage Presentations
Attendees heard from SNAXPO18 exhibitors on breakthrough ideas, technologies and best practices. The 2018 Innovation Stage featured:  Innovations in Slicing Equipment, Urschel Laboratories, Inc.; The Future of Snack Food Packaging, tna North America; Mobile Technology Trends for Snack Operations, Honeywell Safety and Productivity Solutions; Next Evolution in Centrifugal Slicing Technology, FAM Stumabo USA; Innovations in Corn and Tortilla Processing, Heat and Control, Inc.; Laboratory-Scale to Production Scale Twin-Screw Extrusion, C.W. Brabender Instruments, Inc. View the full session descriptions here. View more photos of the imagination and innovation from the SNAXPO18 trade show floor here.

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The SnackPAC reception at SNAXPO18 featured Greg Ferrara, Executive Vice President of the National Grocers Association.  Greg highlighted the importance of developing personal relationships with Members of Congress and participating in SNAC International's SnackPAC, the official Political Action Committee for the snack industry. SNAC has developed a renewed focus on fostering member engagement in the association’s advocacy efforts, through a revitalized SnackPAC, and a restructured Government Affairs Committee.

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“Attending SNAXPO really comes down to the value of face-to-face time. We do so much over email or text message, that I truly value getting to sit with my customers, peers, and suppliers, see people’s emotions, and to discuss what’s going on in the industry,” said Jolie Weber, CEO, Wise Foods, Inc. “It’s extremely valuable to have that one-on-one time and it really generates a different level of discussion.”

New Member/First Timer Reception
This annual networking event provided a great opportunity for many of SNAXPO’s first-time exhibitors and attendees to connect with SNAC's Board of Directors and other snack industry leaders to begin building relationships and learning how to make the most of their SNAXPO experience. View the full photo album here. 

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Opening Party at the College Football Hall of Fame
SNAXPO18 officially kicked off with an Opening Reception at the College Football Hall of Fame, a $68.5 million, 95,000 square foot facility with a state-of-the-art tribute to 977 players, 211 coaches, and countless fans. Attendees enjoyed a personalized, interactive experience based on their favorite college football team. From good food, friendships, throwing passes and kicking field goals, SNAXPO18 started off with a W! View the full photo album here.

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Exhibit Hall reception sponsored by Rudolph Foods Company
Attendees celebrated a successful first day of SNAXPO18 with reception on the trade show floor. Exhibitors and attendees gathered to discuss takeaways from the day’s educational sessions, played games and continued building lasting relationships. View photos from the event here.

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Closing Reception
SNAXPO18 attendees gathered for the final event, to celebrate the close of another successful SNAXPO and to solidify the connections made throughout the show.  At the reception, Elizabeth Avery, President & CEO, SNAC International, and Chris Luke, Publisher of Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery presented Kerry with their award for SNAXPO Flavor of the Year for their Raspberry Dark Chocolate Almond flavor. Click here for more photos.

The Kerry Team Accepting the Flavor the Year Award at the SNAXPO18
Closing Reception


We'd like to thank all of the sponsors that made SNAXPO18 possible! Platinum Sponsors: Bryce Corporation, Heat and Control, Inc./Ishida, Kerry, Printpack Inc., Rudolph Foods Company, Inc., Snyder's-Lance, Inc., tna North America. Gold Sponsors: Better Made Snack Foods, Inc., BluePrint Automation, Inc., Commercial Creamery Company, DSM Food Specialties USA, Inc., Evans Food Group Ltd., Hood Packaging Corporation, Packaging Corporation of America, QUALISOY.  Silver Sponsors: Avena Foods Limited, Bosch Packaging Technologies/Kliklok Woodman, C-P Flexible Packaging Inc., Carolina Ingredients, Inc., Elite Spice, Inc., Fuchs North America, LifeSpice Ingredients, MANE, Inc., Overwraps Packaging Inc., Packaging Products Corporation, LLC, Potatoes USA, Pretzels, Inc., Quality Fabrication & Design, LP, Reading Bakery Systems, Shearer's Foods, Symrise, Inc. Bronze Sponsors: The Andersons, Inc., Amplify Snack Brands, Anita's Mexican Foods Corp., B&G Foods, Bluegrass Dairy and Food, Inc., C. Cretors & Company, Casa Herrera, Inc., FONA International Inc., Frito-Lay, Inc., Herr Foods Inc., Michigan Potato Industry Commission, Old Dutch Foods, Inc., Plastic Packaging Technologies, LLC, Savor Seasonings LLC, Snak King Corporation, Triland Foods, Inc., Wise Foods, Inc., Wyandot, Inc.

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