Made-with-Honey Products Infuse Flavor into Sweets & Snacks Expo

Snacks Sweets Expo

Taste is still king, especially when it comes to candy, jerkies, gummies, chocolates, popcorn and other products we saw on the Sweets & Snacks Expo show floor in Indianapolis. Attendees couldn’t miss a product made with honey in every aisle, reflecting a new era of indulgence, taste, all-natural sweeteners, and celebration moments in the snack space.

Larry Wilson, vice president of industry affairs at the National Confectioners Association, said in his State of Treating 2021 talk that 2020 was the year of everyday candy, and that this pattern will continue through 2021. During the pandemic, consumers balanced physical and emotional health, and treats were an “inherent part of emotional well-being.” Chocolate was the No. 1 treat, Wilson noted, with premium and sugar-free products shining. Both every day and seasonal candy exhibited growth of 6.7% and 3.5%, respectively through May 2021.

Walking the show floor, we saw countless made-with-honey products that conformed to current trends in the confectionery industry. Honey Acres’ exhibited chocolate patties that were dairy- and peanut-free and filled with honey. We loved the flavor combinations, from Dark Chocolate Coffee Honey to Dark Chocolate Orange Honey and Dark Chocolate Mint Honey.

’s bright, inviting booth featured its Money on Honey brand that we know and love. The company’s most popular products, like the Wildflower Honey Caramel Dark Chocolate French Sea Salt, are now certified fair trade, a fact that debuted at the Expo.

G2G’s Protein Bar line, which is sweetened with honey, featured chocolate varieties like Peanut Butter Coconut Chocolate and Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate — and at a whopping 18 grams of protein per bar, living up to its name.

Celebration was a theme throughout the show, and Wilson said that more than half of Americans believe the holidays will be “normal” again this year. In fact, the expanded Destination Retail Experience showcased four year-long themes — Cause for Celebration, Spring Has Sprung, The Weather Outside is Frightful and When the Leaves Start to Turn — offering attendees special highlights on prime snacking occasions and consumer habits.

The Cause for Celebration theme focused on the 186 million Americans who begin their winter holidays shopping Thanksgiving weekend. And, The Weather Outside is Frightful theme explained that spicy and out-of-the-box flavors are “hot for younger consumers,” and when cold weather strikes, consumers who love televised sports and binge watching, turn to snack products that make staying in with friends or family as fun as going out.

We were particularly intrigued by the unique varieties of made-with-honey snacks on the show floor, like Lebby Snacks’ Chickpea Snacks and YouTopia Snacks’ So Money Honey Mustard Honey Jalapeno Sticks. Lebby’s Chickpea Sesame Honey variety is a crunchy, gluten-free snack with eye-catching packaging and 17 grams of protein. First-time exhibitor YouTopia’s 130-calorie snack packs included a Honey Jalapeno Sticks variety that was gluten-free, non-GMO, kosher and dairy-free.

Speaking of sticks, Port City Pretzels had made-with-honey sticks on full display. Tangy Mustard ‘N Honey is the latest in the Port City Pretzel line, combining sweet honey and spicy gourmet mustard, sure to please consumers craving that sweet and spicy combination.

Did you have a favorite made-with-honey product featured at the Sweets & Snacks Expo? We would love to hear about it! Email [email protected].