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News & Press: Press Release

RCI to Celebrate 100th Anniversary at 2017 Annual Convention & Industry Expo

Thursday, March 16, 2017  
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SPRINGFIELD, MO – March 16, 2017 – Registration is now open for Retail Confectioners International’s (RCI) Annual Convention and Industry Expo to be held in Lombard, Illinois June 12-16, 2017. This much-anticipated event will serve as the pinnacle for RCI’s year-long 100th anniversary celebration!

A celebratory Welcome Reception Monday evening will kick-off the week’s events. Attendees can expect plenty of opportunities for networking, education and behind-the-scenes tours throughout the week. “We are thrilled to celebrate RCI’s 100th anniversary, continuing the association’s legacy by providing a forum for confectioners to meet, network, share ideas and develop their candy making and entrepreneurial skills,” says Angie Burlison, RCI Executive Director.

For as long as the association has existed, education has played an integral role in the convention experience. Keynote speaker Jill Pollack, will uncover how confectioners can leverage their company stories to increase sales. Additional education sessions will include topics such as, understanding the new regulations effecting food safety and labeling, finding efficiency in recipe formulation, developing winning social media strategies and identifying tools and techniques for improving efficiency. New for 2017, two interactive workshops, designed to equip attendees with the tools needed to successfully engage consumers and to create a pipeline of new and innovative products.

Candy makers will have the chance to meet face to face with the industry’s tops suppliers of equipment, packaging, ingredients and more during the two-day Industry Expo, starting at 10:00 AM on June 13. This is a great opportunity for industry professionals to discover what’s new and innovative in the confectionery industry. New for 2017, attendees looking for solutions to problem candies  or ways to maximize their online presence can schedule one-one consultations with experts on the expo floor.

RCI members of the past and present won’t want to miss the 100th Anniversary Gala taking place in the evening, Wednesday June 14. The association will honor its rich history through a visual tribute and awards recognizing industry leaders of the past and present. “It is an unbelievable accomplishment for an organization of this size to have lasted and flourished over the course of 100 years,” says RCI Board President Judy Hilliard McCarthy of Hillard’s Chocolates. “We’ve attended RCI’s Annual Convention & Industry Expo for 35 years and I wouldn’t miss being part of this historical celebration.”

One of the most popular components of RCI events are the behind-the-scenes tours, which take place on the final two days of the week. This June, RCI tours will include Albanese Confectionery, Arway Confections, Barry Callebaut, Blommer Chocolate Company, Long Grove Confectionery Company, Morkes Chocolates, Primrose Candy Company and Savage Bros. Co. Attendees will have the opportunity to see what chocolate looks like at every step of the process, how state-of-the-art confectionery machinery is built and experience candy production from hand-dipped chocolates to full-scale robotics. Each tour location has been selected to help attendees gain a new perspective of the craft and inspire new ideas to use in their own retail stores.

Register at by April 28 and SAVE $100! Registration for the convention and expo is open to both RCI members and non-members.

Suppliers interested in exhibiting can find more information on booth packages available at

Lacey Hesse, Marketing Manager
417-883-2775 or 800-545-5381




Retail Confectioners International (RCI) is a not-for-profit trade association serving the confectionery industry.  Based in Springfield, MO, RCI has represented the interests of confectionery manufacturing retailers and promoted public interest in these products for 100 years. RCI provides a forum for confectioners to network, share ideas and develop their candy-making and entrepreneurial skills. For more information, please visit