An estimated 1,500 snack food industry professionals from around the world will converge on Orlando, FL, March 20-23 for SNAXPO 2011, the Snack Food Association’s 74th annual trade show.

Located at the JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes, SNAXPO will offer both an outstanding business experience as well as an opportunity to enjoy the attractions offered in the Orlando, including Walt Disney World and Sea World.

A SNAXPO highlight will be the annual State of the Industry report presented by Sally Lyons Wyatt, senior vice-president, SymphonyIRI Group, on Tuesday, March 22. Ms. Wyatt, SymphonyIRI Group’s expert on the snack food segment, will discuss the industry’s performance in 2010, presenting up-to-date sales data by category, consumer insights and the latest industry trends.

The keynote speaker of SNAXPO 2011 will be former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who will present his address Wednesday morning, March 23. With an eye to the future, Mr. Bush will evaluate how the Obama administration is working with a divided Congress and what it means as both political parties seek to increase their standing with the electorate as the 2012 elections approach.

On Sunday, March 20, SFA will present its 10th annual Latin American program in Spanish. Discussions will cover new products; economic trends and international trade issues; and health and wellness issues such as obesity, food safety and food security/bioterrorism laws and regulations.

The show also features a curriculum of education sessions that are scheduled to start at 11:30 a.m. on Monday, March 21. Topics include sustainability in the snack food industry, food law and regulation, and innovations in ingredients. Attendees will receive tips to successfully implement a continuous improvement culture as well as to develop and maintain food safety and product quality.

The SNAXPO exhibit hall, which will feature more than 100 exhibitors over 50,000 sq ft of exhibit space, opens at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, March 21. The hall offers an opportunity for exhibitors to capture new business, generate quality leads and promote their brands.

On the closing day, Wednesday, March 23, SFA and the SQF Institute will sponsor a special workshop to inform members regarding Safe Quality Food (SQF), a program designed specifically for the snack food industry.

“Whether you’re a small start-up or a multinational corporation, if you have a strong presence at SNAXPO, customers will see you as a category leader who is committed to their success and dedicated to advancing our industry,” said Jim McCarthy, SFA president and CEO.

Attendees will include top management personnel, qualified buyers and key decision makers from throughout the industry. They include manufacturers, distributors and retailers of potato chips, tortilla chips, cereal snacks, pretzels, popcorn, cheese snacks, snack crackers, meat snacks, pork rinds, snack nuts, party mix, corn snacks, pellet snacks, fruit snacks, snack bars, granola, snack cakes, cookies and various other snacks.

These decision-makers attending SNAXPO will be looking for finished products; ingredients, flavorings and seasonings; packaging equipment and materials; and processing and laboratory equipment; as well as services such as analytical testing, computer systems, consulting, promotional, publications, transportation and warehousing.

SNAXPO will provide many opportunities for attendees to network, with receptions on Sunday, Monday and Wednesday evenings; a golf tournament at the Ritz Carlton Golf Club; and a closing reception and dinner with entertainment Wednesday evening.

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