The inaugural National Chocolate Show and Chicago Fine Chocolate Show, held Nov. 16-18 and the first dual-concept show for both trade and consumers, has been deemed a success, with 2,700 trade attendeers and 14,500 consumer attendees.
Trade show attendees tasted the latest from industry leaders such as Valrhona and Barry-Callebaut, and spoke with international producers from Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela. Other trade exhibitors showed chocolate equipment, packaging, and uniforms, to attendees that included distributors, chefs, specialty grocery buyers, and more.
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Conference programming sessions shared chocolate industry secrets and insights, including industry trend predictions from Rose Potts of Blommer Chocolate Company, candid discussions about sustainability and support of cocoa farmers from Ed Seguine from Mars USA, evaluation of food safety and regulation on the chocolate industry from the National Confectioners' Assn.
Show founder Mario Pi says, "For our first year show, we were thrilled with the turnout. We thank all of our sponsors, exhibitors and both trade and consumer attendees who made the shows possible." Plans are now in place for the 2013 show. More information on the co-located shows is on www.chicagochocolatefestival.com, Facebook or Twitter.