John Downs, the NCA’s President & CEO, will outline many of the issues facing the industry in his keynote address, slated for Monday. As regular delegates are aware, Downs leads from the front in guiding the industry and his voice and upbeat tone will register far beyond the plush environs of the JW Marriott Miami Turnberry, the location for this year’s conference.
He is expected to stress the need for greater collaboration. Afterall, SOTIC’s 2023 theme is ‘Better Together’ with the industry successfully bouncing back from a global pandemic and enjoying a meteoric rise across all confectionery categories in the past 12 months or so.
But there are still issues affecting the confectionery industry, particularly in the US, with supply chain disruption, workforce shortages, sustainability, and health issues surrounding chocolate and candy.
Workforce shortages are seen as a new and growing threat to the industry due to societal changes in the aftermath of the pandemic and there will be at least a couple of sessions slated over the three days to deal with employee welfare and keeping staff motivated.
By the NCA’s own estimations, the US confectionery industry generates more than $42 billion in retail sales each year and the industry employs nearly 58,000 workers in more than 1,600 chocolate, candy, gum and mints manufacturing facilities across all 50 states.
Rachel Pacheco, Author and Professor, Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, has been invited to present a session on helping companies deal with the fall-out from resignations, burnout and remote working requests.
Nick Bloom, Professor of Economics, Stanford University, will also look at how the past three years have radically changed the way we work and the long-term consequences of the largely hybrid environment most employers have cultivated for professional staff. Is this arrangement here to stay? Delegates at SOTIC will come back with answers and a fresh perspective on their employment policies.
2023 State of Treating
The NCA will also unveil its 2023 State of Treating report on Monday, which provides a timely snapshot of category performance over the past year including a look at the seasons, and pairs that data up with an analysis of chocolate and candy consumers’ attitudes and behaviours.
“The State of the Industry Conference is our industry’s family reunion. There’s nothing like this annual gathering that serves as an opportunity to learn, build business and most importantly – connect and reconnect with others in the industry,” Carly Schildhaus, Senior Manager of Public Affairs, told ConfectioneryNews.
- The NCA SOTIC takes place from 5 to 7 March 2023 at the JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Hotel in Miami and ConfectioneryNews will be reporting from the conference, which is a key gathering for the industry and the organisation’s valued retail partners.