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Atlanta: Fresh Summit 2015

Fresh Summit is the event where produce and floral industry leaders from around the world converge to share ideas, breakthroughs and inspiration. No other single conference in the produce industry, we heard, helps create global connections, cultivate industry talent, or find practical solutions to complex science and technology issues. Florally-minded delegates could explore a floral pavilion double its size from previous years, and ensure they were on the cutting-edge of tomorrow’s trends. With more than 18,000 people participating, Fresh Summit enabled eager horticulturalists to anticipate change, identify emerging trends and profit from new opportunities, since PMA’s connections reach across the supply chain and around the world, attracting the best of today’s decision-makers, and tomorrow’s game changers. It’s a flower-power thing…. #freshproduce
We had the privilege of meeting some great folks like the ones at Sun-Rich Fresh Fruit – where they demo’d how they capture that fresh fruit flavor we find at our grocery stores!

Portland: FarWest 2015

Well, why WOULDN’T they call it “The Biggest Show In The West”? FarWest Show was the quintessential gathering for the nurseryman (and nurserywoman…. no no, nothing to do with babysitting little kids or pre-school education), providing everything you come to expect from a green industry expo This was the show at which to discover new nursery- and retail-focused products, equipment and services, find new popular plant varieties and network with thousands of top industry professionals in the heart of nursery country. Edibles, we learned, are all the rage; consumers have been installing raised beds, planting vegetable gardens and getting in on the “grow-your-own” movement. Vegetables were hot, as breakthroughs in breeding have indicated, but consumers seem to be demanding more — and going beyond just growing their own. This year’s Growers Showcase highlighted all of the “Edible Delights” that have been getting ’em salivating in today’s garden industry. Hot vegetables, you say? Appetizing…. #FarWest2015

Check out this fabulous video from the Bougainvillea Growers Intl:

Boston: New England Food Show – NEFS

NEFS stands for the New England Food Show.  Sponsored by the Massachusetts Restaurant Association and supported by other New England state restaurant, retail, hospitality and specialty food associations, NEFS is the region’s largest and most attended trade show for retail food and foodservice buyers and professionals.  Delegates were typically those who influence buying decisions or purchase products for retail markets, supermarkets, distribution, institutional foodservice or large or small restaurants.  At NEFS they could find everything needed to satisfy existing customers, attract new ones, and grow the bottom line.  From interactive education and culinary competitions on the main stage to industry-expert-led info sessions addressing marketing and operational needs, the food buzz was pervasive.  We counted 350+ exhibitors, many offering wine and beer tastings among the culinary delights.  Cheers!

Our client Agilysys  provider of POS solutions made this ImpactMovie to explain how their service ImpactRetail!

Atlanta: IPPE – International Production & Processing Expo

IPPE is the International Production & Processing Expo, which sounds kind of non-specific, but actually has a lot to do with meat.  And chicken.  See, International Poultry Expo, International Feed Expo and International Meat Expo all integrated their tradeshows in 2013, under the umbrella name (do chickens carry umbrellas?) of International Production & Processing Expo. The 2015 IPPE pulled together more than 1,100 exhibitors and over 25,000 attendees in Atlanta.  With significant increases in food production needed over the next few decades to support a growing population, we heard, agricultural industries need to learn to communicate more specifically and unambiguously with stakeholders, customers, and others about their sustainability programs, or so thought Dr. Marty Matlock, executive director of the University of Arkansas Office for Sustainability.  So, wait, are chickens about sustainability… or sustenance?  Tricky one, that…  #IPPEexpo

Anaheim: Produce Marketing Association – Fresh Summit – PMA

PMA is the Fresh Summit of the Produce Marketing Association, and it brought together 20,000 attendees (typically retail buyers, food safety experts etc.) and 900 exhibitors from over 60 countries.  PMA CEO Bryan Silbermann and President Cathy Burns reflected in their keynoter on initiatives to Inspire the Fresh Revolution. Consumers increasingly want fresh products, we heard, and technology is combining with innovative marketing to change the game.  Another keynote speaker, Gary Vayerchuk, pointed out that while communication is still key on social media platforms, context matters more than ever. It’s not just about developing high-quality content, we were told, but developing high-quality content perfectly adapted to specific social media platforms and mobile devices.  That would be content tailor-made for Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Tumblr.  Sort of like having a tweet tooth….  #pmafsc

Las Vegas: SupplySide West

If you talked about “supply-side”, people used to think you were on about Ronald Reagan and his “voodoo economics” theory, that giving tax breaks to rich folk would benefit everyone through “trickle-down”.  (Turns out it didn’t work.  It was trickle-UP instead, as in “Trickle or Treat”).  Anyways, THIS kind of “supply side”, as in “Supply Side West, the cutting edge ingredient show” is about the “largest event for healthy and innovative ingredients”.  They gathered over 1,700 of the world’s top ingredient suppliers and equipment companies, as well as lab-testing firms, logistics and packaging experts. Food, beverage and dietary supplement manufacturers, marketers and product formulators all attended SupplySide West to find ingredients, suppliers and ideas, to create their next best-selling product.  ….Never heard of “Nutraceuticals” and “Cosmeceuticals”?  You needed to be there…  #sswexpo

Anaheim: Expo Comida Latina

Expo Comida Latina, we heard, is North America’s only trade event focused on bringing “authentic, specialty gourmet and mainstream products from around the globe to retail and foodservice buyers who are looking to meet the demands of today’s Hispanic American U.S. population”.  Expo Comida Latina is paired with the Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo.  What kind of food and drink are we talking here?  Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic Beverages, Dairy, Breadstuffs, Meat, Dry Foods, Canned Goods, plus Bakery and Frozen, among others.  A few visitors were surprised to find that the kinds of chili-peppers that bring tears to grown men’s eyes were not necessarily a given, since much of Latin America likes its dishes tasty but mild — think rice and beans.  Who was there?  Well:  Product Manufacturers, Distributors: Regional, Brokers, Suppliers, Service-providers,  Importers and  Wholesalers,… that was just for starters.  And talking of starters, try this amazing guacamole….