Spotting New Trends at the NCA Sweets & Snacks Expo

crowd standing in front of Ferrero display booth at NCA Expo 2024Our team had another amazing year walking the floor of NCA's Sweets & Snacks Expo, this year in Indianapolis. Every year we watch for trends: what are the hot commodities right now and what are on the rise to take centerstage in the next few years?

Here are a few key themes in product offerings that we noticed this year.


1. Freeze-Dried

Freeze-dried has been popular on social media for a while, but brands have caught on to consumer behaviors and freeze-dried products flooded the expo. 

Freeze-dried candy at NCA Expo 2024 Bagged freeze-dried candy at NCA Expo 2024

Freeze-dried candy samples were seen all across the NCA Expo show floor.


2. Sweet & Spicy

Tajin has been trending for the last two years and continued its reign this year. However, we found more brands are adding to the spicy trend this year with sweet and spicy offerings displayed across the show floor. 


3. Protein

Several brands offered protein-infused snacks this year, such as protein chips. While protein drinks have been big for years, protein-infused candies and chips is a booming trend for the confection and snack markets.  


4. Puffed Snacks

In a move similar to the freeze-dried trend, several brands are releasing puffed versions of their popular offerings. We particularly loved the Pringles Mingles, a new puffed version of the traditional Pringles chip.


5. Peelable Candy

One hot new item that has swept across social media recently is peelable candy. A relatively new innovation to the US market, the peelable candy offers a sensory experience with a firm outer "peel" and a chewy interior - both edible.