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Pajama Sweets at Expo

Discovery Theater — Receiving feedback on your products from retail category experts as you prepare to launch can mean the difference between success and failure. Today at 2 p.m., three companies are getting that opportunity as part of the Power Pitch II education session.

In its second year at the Expo, the goal of the program, according to Michael Sansolo, is to develop small businesses in the confectionery and snack categories and help new entrepreneurs understand what types of information retailers need. He says ultimately the aim is to improve the chances that these companies will be able to successfully launch their product and gain long-term success.

The three companies pitching are Amore di Mona, The Brooklyn Cookie Co., LLC and Pajama Sweets. Sansolo, a food industry spokesperson with, adds that all participants are manufacturing their products in the U.S.

Cheryl Surana, president of Brooklyn Cookie (Booth 7034E), says the company is seeking insights into the potential for its line of Just Meringues! cookies made without additives and artificial flavors. “Our cookies have a bold, clean taste. They are gluten-free, kosher, light and satisfying, Fair Trade certified and made with clean, natural ingredients,” she says.

Designed to appeal to individuals with health conscious lifestyles who do not want to sacrifice flavor, Surana says the target demographic is socially aware and educated about food choices.

Hoping to gain clarity on retailers’ intentions on serving the evolving demand for allergen-free foods is Mona Changris, owner of Amore di Mona (Booth 1230). She is also interested in hearing feedback on margins and channels where the panelist think the company’s line of premium chocolates will be most successful.

“The hope is that the insights we receive will help guide our future business strategy,” she tells CST, adding: “Marketing and purchasing are top of mind.”

Meanwhile, Daryush Parsi, founder of Pajama Sweets (Booth 7034G), says: “We hope to find guidance on our brand identity, product, packaging, marketing, value proposition to retailers and customers, and our pitch to retailers.”

He adds the opportunity gives the company a unique chance to feature its Pajama Sweets brand of pistachio toffee brittle and tell its story. “The honor to be chosen to present at the Power Pitch is strong acknowledgement from NCA that we are doing something new and exciting. That gives us credibility to open doors with retailers, sell our products and grow our business.”

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