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Michigan Companies Project Sales of $7.4 Million Following Trade Show Participation

Twenty-one Michigan companies capitalized on the resurgence of in-person activity at three recent domestic trade shows this Spring and Summer, thanks to support from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. The International Marketing Program recently hosted Michigan Pavilions featuring Michigan food and agriculture companies at the National Restaurant Association Show, the Sweets & Snacks Expo, and the Summer Fancy Food Show.

In total, the exhibiting companies estimated the following results: 

  • $7.4 million domestic and export sales projected within the next 12 months.
  • 920 new domestic and international buyer leads established.

Michigan Pavilion at 2022 Sweets & Snacks Expo

In May, the Sweets & Snacks Expo returned to Chicago, Illinois for the show’s 25th anniversary. Midst bustling crowds of thousands of confectionary and snack professionals, six Michigan companies gathered under the banner of the Michigan Pavilion.

Brad Cocklin, founder of Chunk Nibbles, said exhibiting at Sweets & Snacks Expo was the best thing he has ever done for his company. “It was a high energy atmosphere and we worked as hard as we could to capitalize on the extensive list of attendees walking around,” he said.

Chunk Nibbles, based in Troy, makes a sweet and salty gourmet snack mix. Conklin founded the company in 2018 using his grandma’s family recipe.

“The tradeshow brought all the people we have been eager to talk to (and then some) from all over the country under one roof for us to compete for their attention,” Conklin said. “We got some facetime with decision makers of large retailers, international buyers, distributors, and food brokers from across the country. Being able to sample your products, in person, and gain immediate feedback is unbeatable. We are excited about what will come from our participation!”

In June, the Summer Fancy Food Show brought thousands of specialty food and beverage professionals to New York City for the industry’s largest U.S. show. The Michigan Pavilion featured seven companies from the Mitten State.

Karen Akouri, founder of Drench, LLC, touted how Summer Fancy Food offered great opportunities and connections. Based in West Bloomfield, Drench produces a line of all-natural dressings, such as citrus honey vinaigrette and balsamic fig vinaigrette.

“We met with some key distributors and buyers including Costco, Sam’s Club, and countless others. We learned a great deal about industry trends directly from buyers and retailers,” Akouri said. “We have made invaluable connections which will directly translate to increase sales and growth.”

The International Marketing Program organizes Michigan Pavilions at international and domestic trade shows as part of the program’s mission to assist the state’s food and agricultural businesses in developing domestic and international market opportunities to effectively grow their business. In conjunction with various partners and service providers, the International Marketing Program offers Michigan businesses a variety of export marketing programs and services. Our team wants to help grow your business, so please contact us at