National Restaurant Association Convention

The National Restaurant Association holding its convention in Chicago recently.

FOX News Radio's Jennifer Keiper was on site to check it out:

National Restaurant Association Convention

A big foam piece of pizza with a mustache drew me to the Waverly Costumes booth at this year's restaurant show in Chicago.

Bill is one of the guys you see as you drive by your local restaurant...

(Bill) "You've got to be able to wave and smile and just be happy with the people that's all. I'm not supposed to talk to much, but, you know..."

With the smell of meat nearby... He couldn't keep me long.

El Popular Chorizo is based in Valparaiso, Indiana and they started Memorial Day grilling a little early.

(El Popular Chorizo Worker) "We're bringing in the salcharicas which is a grilling sausage. We also have a pork taco meat and our newest product is our fully cooked chorizo."

This year's show featured 1,800 exhibitors.

One clear trend: Gluten-free items and efforts to make them tasty.

Jennifer Keiper, FOX News Radio.

WATCH a conveyor belt of sushi at the National Restaurant Association Convention:

 

Sweets and Snacks Expo

And don't forget about the sweets! Some called it "candy land" at Chicago's big convention center, and some of the featured products are on or about to hit store shelves soon.

FOX News Radio's Jennifer Keiper strolled the land of sweetness:

Sweets and Snacks Expo

At this year's Sweets and Snacks Expo, Jelly Belly shows off a tiny stein stuffed with draft beer flavored jelly beans.

Spokeswoman Tomi Holt says it was a three year project and with the craft beer trend exploding...

(Holt) "It was the right time and coincidentally our food scientists felt like they finally got the flavor right."

Sweets and Snacks Expo

Butterfinger has a peanut butter cup, but Patricia Bowles says they're not going head-to-head with Reese's...

(Bowles) "You will find that Reese's is saltier and it is drier and Butterfinger Peanut Butter Cups is sweeter and it's creamier."

This year's show has also featured plenty of savory.

Sweets and Snacks Expo

We spotted edible flowers, ancient grains, and even Sriracha popcorn.

In Chicago, Jennifer Keiper, FOX News Radio.

VIEW PHOTOS from the National Restaurant Association Convention and the Sweets and Snacks Expo (Photos by FNR's Jennifer Keiper):