Selling goods and services is the bread and butter of any industry, and when it comes to food sales, this applies both figuratively and literally. To increase sales, your food company needs to grow. One of the best ways to do that is to attend food expos.
Food conferences and trade shows offer opportunities that are undeniably valuable:
- Learn through presentations by industry experts.
- Participate in roundtable discussions about industry advances and challenges
- See what colleagues and competitors are doing via their exhibits.
- Engage in networking
- Keep your finger on the pulse of a changing consumer marketplace, current laws and standards, environmental concerns, and more.
Looking for a unique opportunity to grow your bottom line and rub elbows with the who’s who of the food industry? There are several notable food trade shows you’ll want to add to your calendar, so you can remain informed and increase your brand’s visibility among customers and peers.
Here are six of the most prominent:
1. PMA Fresh Produce Summit
Each year the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) hosts a number of Fresh Connections events across the globe. Their aim is to help members establish new connections, increase business opportunities, and boost sales. In addition to these domestic and international food trade shows, members can participate in the Fresh Summit. This event is huge, with over 23,000 people from 60 countries in attendance at the 2019 event.
Innovative and wide-ranging products for the fresh produce and floral supply chain dominate this annual convention. Attendees are given plenty of downtime to view exhibits, socialize, and build relationships with suppliers. These meet-and-greets have a real-world impact on professionals that attend, providing opportunities to form and solidify supply chain relationships.
They can look forward to face-to-face time with:
- Logistical Solutions Providers
- And more
Workshops and general sessions explore a variety of topics, so everyone can learn, whether their focus is on food safety, marketing, technology, or another aspect of the produce or floral industries.
In 2021, Fresh Summit takes place October 28 to 30 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, LA. For the first time, Fresh Summit will be a hybrid event, with both live and online elements.
LEARN MORE: https://www.pma.com/Events/FreshSummit
2. PMA Foodservice Conference & Expo
The 2021 Foodservice Conference & Expo is in Monterrey, CA from July 23 to 24.
What can you expect when you attend this food conference? You’ll have access to over 1,900 industry sellers and buyers, including:
- End-use operators
This “networking feast” was revamped in 2018, and since then has become more popular than ever. The 2019 event was packed with more than 1,900 enthusiastic participants, including 600 buyers. Of the 201 exhibitors, 30 were first-timers, proving that this show is great for new as well as existing businesses. New in 2019, the dedicated “first-timer pavilion” provided a space for new exhibitors.
The Foodservice Conference & Expo is all about bringing more fresh, delicious produce to the public and developing new flavors and other innovations. As part of this, each year the event includes a Fresh Ideas Showcase, where participants get the chance to show off new products.
This small niche event can be huge for exhibitors. Over 80% of attendees are directly involved in the buying process, and nearly 90% attend the event to learn about new ideas and solutions. For exhibitors, that means better—and more—leads!
LEARN MORE: https://www.pma.com/events/foodservice
3. Natural Products Expo West®
Start planning for Natural Products Expo West, May 24 to 27, 2021 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA, because it is not to be missed! Held annually, this expo is considered one of the leading events for those in the natural, organic, and healthy products industries.
Natural Products Expo West cultivates a charged atmosphere that attracts upwards of 85,000 industry professionals and more than 3,600 exhibitors, including:
- Business consultants
- Health practitioners
- And more
There’s always a lot happening, both on and off the exhibit floor. One of the highlights of Natural Products Expo West is always the Pitch-Slam competition, where companies pitch to experts and investors for big prizes, like a free booth at the next Expo West!
Health and Safety Information
Expo West is guided by information from the CDC; the WHO; and local, state, and federal guidelines in developing safety measures to ensure that all attendees can enjoy the event safely. This includes enhanced cleaning and hygiene measures and physical distancing guidelines. Masks will be required for all attendees and exhibitors. In addition, some elements of the show will be altered or removed so that health and safety measures can be properly maintained.
LEARN MORE: https://www.expowest.com/en/home.html
4. SupplySide® East and West
SupplySide East and West are known for being leading ingredient and solutions trade shows in the food industry. Both food trade shows cater to buyers and suppliers from the beverage, dietary supplement, functional food, personal care, and sports nutrition industries.
SupplySide East 2021 is scheduled for June 22 and 23 at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, NJ.
The event boasts over 250 exhibitors annually, along with more than 3,500 participants and 5,000 ingredients and solutions. Because of the limited availability for trade show booths, exhibitors are advised to book their spaces early.
SupplySide West & Food ingredients North America is on the horizon for 2021 too. You’ll find it from October 25 to 28 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, NV. This event is much larger than its eastern counterpart, with over 1,300 exhibitors, 18,500 participants, and 10,000 ingredients and solutions.
With more than 140 hours of educational food conference programming, there’s a lot to cram into two days. Attendees look forward to:
- Science and strategy workshops
- Panels addressing topics related to global nutrition
- A free tasting bar
- Supplier presentations on the Ingredient Launchpad central stage
LEARN MORE ABOUT EAST: https://east.supplysideshow.com/en/home.html
LEARN MORE ABOUT WEST: https://west.supplysideshow.com/en/home.html
5. The Fancy Food Show
Presented by the Specialty Food Association®, the Fancy Food Shows are touted as the largest specialty food trade shows in North America. You can take advantage them twice a year: once in the summer, typically in New York City, and once in the winter, in San Francisco.
The winter event, which is usually held in January, is canceled for 2021. Keep an eye on the Specialty Food Association website if you’re hoping to attend the summer event in June, as no announcement has yet been made about this one.
In lieu of the winter show, the SFA is holding Specialty Food LIVE!, a virtual event scheduled for January 19 to 22, 2021. At this four-day event, SFA members will showcase their products to industry buyers.
These shows each attract thousands of exhibitors and attendees annually.
The winter show:
- Exhibitors: 1,400+
- Specialty foods and beverages: 80,000+
- Attendees: 20,000
The summer show:
- Exhibitors: 2,550 exhibitors (from 55 countries)
- Specialty foods and beverages: 180,000
- Attendees: 24,000+
LEARN MORE: https://www.specialtyfood.com/shows-events/
SNAXPO is billed as the “World’s Premier Event for the Snack Food Industry.” It’s unique among food conferences, with its focus on snack foods and on every element of the manufacturing process, from innovation to production to distribution. Along with the food expo, SNAXPO offers education sessions and networking opportunities and brings together over 1,500 industry professionals and 150 exhibitors from all over the world. It caters to:
And it provides solutions for:
- And more
The 83rd Annual SNAXPO is scheduled for August 22 to 24, 2021 at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. This event is typically held in March each year but has been postponed to the third quarter to help ensure it can be held safely.
LEARN MORE: http://www.snaxpo.com/
Elevating Your Presence at Food Trade Shows
If you plan to exhibit at any or all of these food expos, you need to stand out to attract the attention of thousands of interested (hungry) attendees. A custom exhibit created to match your brand and your purpose is the answer. Think sleek, functional counters for demonstrations; displays for delicious samples; a kitchen for food prep.
Get registered for these upcoming food trade show giants, then partner with an expert firm to craft the custom trade show exhibit or custom exhibit rental that will make your competitors’ mouths water.