CHICAGO -- Chicagoans are celebrating National Candy Month, which culminates in the third annual All-Candy Expo trade show, held here at the Navy Pier June 22 to 24.
The City of Chicago kicked off the sweet celebration at Daley Plaza June 1, with area chocolate and candy manufacturers getting a chance to strut their stuff. Companies like Cupid Candies, Chicago Confectionery, Long Grove Confectionery, Margies Candies, Goelitz and Fanny May Candies were all on hand for the festivities.
Some companies created sweet sculptures, such as a replica of Chicago's famous Picasso made by the French Pastry School. The event also featured jazz music, trivia contests, an exhibit on the history of chocolate and free candy samples.
More than 370 confectionery makers have descended on Chicago's Navy Pier for the All-Candy Expo, for the purpose of displaying their products to thousands of retail candy buyers and wholesalers.
"The All-Candy Expo is the Super Bowl of the confectionery world," said Larry Graham, president of the National Confectioners Association, McLean, Va., which organizes the show. "If it has anything to do with candy, it will be at the All-Candy Expo."
Visitors to the show floor will find both new products and traditional favorites, as well as a variety of theme novelty items. According to the NCA, a total of 1,163 new items were introduced in 1998, and a similar number is expected for this year's show.