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“The panel’s assessment of the Pajama Sweets brand identity will be an important learning experience.”  —- Daryush Parsi, President and Founder of Pajama Sweets

Snacks and Sweets expo

Washington, D.C. (March 30, 2017) – Based on the success of its debut last year, the Sweets & Snacks Expo is thrilled to welcome back the Power Pitch session to the 2017 show. It will provide a rich learning lab for new product entrepreneurs on what retailers want to see when pitching their latest candy or snack item. Three emerging companies within the confectionery and snack categories will present to a panel of leading retail experts about their product offerings. The panel will then provide invaluable feedback to the presenters on improvements that can be applied to their businesses.

The companies presenting in front of the panel include Amore di Mona, Brooklyn Cookie Company and Pajama Sweets.

“The panel’s assessment of the Pajama Sweets brand identity will be an important learning experience,” commented Daryush Parsi, president and founder of Pajama Sweets. “Presenting to the Power Pitch panel is an important first step for us in making Persian sweets a mainstay of American confections. We will critically look at ourselves from the retailer’s perspective: how to make our brand their best option, attracting their targeted customers to stores and maximizing sales.”

Hosted by CPG industry veteran Michael Sansolo, attendees will be able to hear from retail decision makers on what they look for when it comes to product innovation. The panel features:

  • Chris Lindstadt – Senior Category Manager, IT’SUGAR
  • Natalie Moreau – Senior Category Manager, Ross Stores
  • Nathan Rigby – Partner, Vice President, One-Click Retail
  • Brian Rinker – Category Manager – Confections, Walgreens
  • Lauren Ulstad – Associate Director of Licensing and Buying, Dylan’s Candy Bar

Power Pitch is one of the nearly twenty educational offerings at the 2017 Sweets & Snacks Expo. This year’s show offers specific tracks for the candy, snack and specialty categories as well as a track especially designed for first-time attendees. The complete list of Expo educational sessions can be viewed at

“We see the Power Pitch session as an excellent brand identity development training session and are delighted to have been selected to participate,” said Mona Changaris, founder of Amore di Mona. “We are particularly looking forward to receiving the panel’s analysis of our sales and marketing strategies to help guide our future actions as our chocolate line is part of the emerging “free-from” sub-category in specialty foods (common allergen free, vegan, non-GMO, organic) as well as gourmet item with all natural ingredients imported from Belgium and France.”

“We are excited to see all of the innovative products at Expo,” added Cheryl Surana, president of Brooklyn Cookie Company. “We will learn immensely, not only from the panel’s feedback of our product, but from hearing the other pitches and feedback as it is helpful to all of us in the industry. It is such a collaborative environment and we love being with a targeted group of exhibitors and buyers.”

Hosted by the National Confectioners Association, the 2017 Sweets & Snacks Expo, May 23-25, at McCormick Place in Chicago, Ill. will welcome more than 17,000 attendees from 90 different countries. More than 800 exhibitors will display the most innovative products the confectionery, snack and specialty categories have to offer.

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