ORLANDO, FLA. — There are some big fish in the sea of snacking, but the smaller ones are looking to make a splash in a much bigger pond. At SNAXPO19, companies of all sizes will learn about innovations across the industry, and SNAC International will offer a rare opportunity for small start-up companies to compete for a cash prize.

Modeled after the popular TV show Shark Tank, “SNAC Tank” will close out the annual convention being held March 31 to April 2 at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Orlando. The competition will be emceed by Shark Tank investor Barbara Corcoran, who has bought into more than 17 food-related companies through her time on the show. The SNAXPO program will allow start-up brands to pitch their snack products and business models to a panel of judges, and the winner will take home a cash prize.

“The competition presents an excellent opportunity for emerging companies to boost their visibility to global snack industry leaders and established companies,” said Elizabeth Avery, president and chief executive officer of SNAC International. The association will connect winners with industry mentors to take their brand to the next level.

This year’s theme is “Uncover,” which encompasses SNAC International’s vision to highlight growth rates across the rapidly evolving snack category.

“The conference will help those in the industry, whether in sales and marketing, operations, plant management, or the c-suite source all the latest information, innovation and inspiration,” Ms. Avery said. “SNAXPO will ‘uncover’ all the elements needed to take business to the next level and drive an already accelerating market forward.”

The event also will feature the recently launched Women in Snacks (WinS) Network — an initiative to foster leadership development among women in the snack industry. On March 31, before the opening party, WinS will host a session bringing women and men together to engage in professional development and expand their network.

The educational offerings have been organized into four tracks: market trends and insights; regulatory affairs; packaging and sustainability; and Latin American snacks. Each track will have three individual sessions for a total of 12 breakouts during the 2-day event.

“SNAXPO is the world’s premier vertically integrated supply chain trade show for the snack industry, and SNAXPO19 in Orlando will feature more education and networking opportunities than ever before,” Ms. Avery said.

After unveiling the 2019 inductee to SNAC International’s Circle of Honor, keynote speaker Jeff Henderson, an award-winning chef and author of Cooked, a New York Times bestseller soon to be adapted into a major motion picture, will offer insights on business strategies and the story of his life.

Following on the success of last year’s inaugural SNAXPO Innovations Hub, the 2019 installment will be featured in a prominent location inside the exhibit hall to create an enhanced attendee experience. The SNAXPO Innovations Hub, through a partnership with Sosland Publishing Company, showcases equipment and ingredients newly released within the past two years.

For more information, visit www.snaxpo.com.