Egg prices at U.S. supermarkets have hit a six-year high, with the cost of a dozen eggs reaching $2.06 in March, an increase of 7.1% from last year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and egg sales are ticking upward as Easter approaches. Last year, consumers purchased 2.6 billion eggs in the four weeks leading up to the holiday, according to Nielsen data. "With the prices, it's hard to know exactly what retailers will do," said Kevin Burkum, senior vice president for the American Egg Board. "We're optimistic that we'll be able to top last year. Eggs are still a very good value."
This year's Sweets & Snacks Expo has attracted more than 450 vendors, a 7.5% increase over 2009. The growth mirrors industry trends, as confectionery sales are up 3.6% and salty snack sales have risen 7.8%.
Mars has opened a $40 million factory in Dubai that will produce Mars and Snickers bars for Gulf Cooperation Council markets. The company says it has posted double-digit year-on-year growth in the region since the start of the decade.
NCA Chairman Michael Gilmore presented an award at NCA's annual Industry Awards Breakfast at the Sweets & Snacks Expo. Don LaMere, of Harvey-Winchell Co., was awarded with the The Lou Spector Golden Candy Dish Award. Dr. B.E. Atkinson Jr., of Judson-Atkinson Candies, also was honored with the Doc Reed Silver Candy Dish Award.
The Ed Hardy brand is introducing a candy line during the Sweets & Snacks Expo. Ed Hardy Tung Toos will be sold in six-count baseball packs with a suggested retail price of $1, and Ed Hardy tins are filled with assorted hard candies and have a suggested retail price of $6.99.