The newest candy and snack entrepreneurs are set to showcase their featured products at the Sweets & Snacks Expo’s Innovation Avenue. This destination is home to up-and-coming products and companies that are soon to be household names.

“As a new company we wanted the exposure that being in Innovation Avenue has to offer,” said Joey Chuckel, CMO of Lake Country Candies, which produces candy raisins. “Our founder, John Barker grew up eating candy raisins. After the candy was not available for seven years, John decided to bring the candy back to the market place.”

Lake Country Candies will join several other companies in Innovation Avenue, which is comprised of up-and-coming startups new to the industry. Past Innovation Avenue participants include successful multi-million dollar brands, including Sheila G’s Brownie Brittle and Project 7, whose products are now found at well-known retailers such as Walmart and Target.

Hosted by the National Confectioners Association, Sweets & Snacks Expo attendees represent 90 percent of the buying power in the candy category and 75 percent of the buying power in the snack category.

“Our goal at the Sweets & Snack’s Expo is to have attendees try our Candy Raisins because of their unique taste that is hard to describe,” added Chuckel. “Candy Raisins are popular in southeast Wisconsin, but they have not been exposed to the rest of the marketplace.”

Innovation Avenue will be located inside the Expo’s new Skyline Hall, which will also be home to the Most Innovative New Products Awards showcase and ceremony as well as the Discovery Theater, with presentations focused on innovation and snacking.

The 2016 Sweets & Snacks Expo, taking place May 24-26 at Chicago’s McCormick Place, will set an all-time record in volume of confectionery and snack products with more than 720 companies showcasing nearly four acres of product innovation.