Onions are making the rounds at produce and food shows this summer, including the annual United Fresh Convention and Expo June 10-12 at Chicago’s McCormick Place and PMA Foodservice at the Monterey Conference Center in Monterey, CA, July 27 and 27.
United again presents a full roster of sessions, speakers and opportunities for networking at the show this year, including the Main Stage Sessions. Among the highlights will be United Fresh Honors Council Award Winners, which calls out five individuals who’ve provided outstanding service in the areas of finance and business management, food safety and technology, government relations, produce marketing and merchandising and supply chain logistics.
Other Main Stage events include Reacting to Trends: The In Store Consumer Experience, which looks at how brick and mortar retailers are reacting to competition from online shipping and working to create a memorable and compelling in-store experience; Women in Produce: Inspiring The Next Generation, which will “deliver insights from women mentors and mentees about career opportunities and the advancement of women in produce”; Produce at the Center of the Plate: A Chef’s Perspective, that features Sweetgreen’s Director of Culinary Experience Chef Michael Stebner in the presentation; Winning in Today’s Food Media, a panel debate on “what’s truly driving food influence in today’s culture.”; Retail Insights From Visionary Produce Managers, with winners from this year’s Retail Produce Manager Awards Program sharing “their experiences and first-hand accounts of what consumers are seeking and how the fresh produce industry can take advantage of in-store interactions.”; Foodservice Insights From Visionary Chefs, which brings to the stage winners from this year’s
Excellence in Foodservice Awards Program who will share how they design “menus that delight their diners with fresh fruits and vegetables.’;
And Celebrate Innovation: Awards Winners Announced, showcasing leading companies who support “the industry’s economic growth through the development, manufacturing, and marketing of new and innovative products.”
There will also be more than 250 exhibitors in the show hall this year. Among those repping onions will be Gumz Farms, Fox Packaging, L&M Cos., Minkus Family Farms, Onions 52, Peri and Sons, Potandon Produce and Volm Cos. For more information, a look at the floor plan and exhibitors and a full schedule of events, visit the website at https://www.unitedfreshshow.org/uf19/Public/Content.aspx?ID=3698&sortMenu=102000.
Another big draw for buyers of our favorite food item is the PMA Foodservice show in late July. Set in gorgeous Monterey, with events Conference Center, the Marriott and the Portola, PMA Foodservice has nearly 200 exhibitors lined up and some great speakers and educational sessions as well.
Onion operations attending the show include Coastline Family Farms, Eagle Eye Produce, Gills Onions, Markon Cooperative, Owyhee Produce, Potandon Produce, River Point Farms, USA Onions/Idaho-E. Oregon Onions and Wada Farms.
Speakers headlining the event are Ted Allen, host of “Chopped” and “All-Star Academy,” who will give the July 26 luncheon keynote speech “Changing the Way Americans View and Taste Food” in the San Carlos Ballroom of the Marriott, and Dan Buettner, author of “Blue Zones: Secrets of a Long Life,” who will speak Saturday, July 27, at 9 a.m. in the San Carlos Ballroom.
Allen’s most recent cookbook is entitled “In My Kitchen: 100 Recipes and Discoveries for Passionate Cooks,” and he’s a contributing writer for Bon Appétit, Epicurious and Food Network Magazine. He also authored “The Food You Want to Eat: 100 Smart, Simple Recipes.”
Buettner brings some impressive creds as a National Geo writer and Fellow, a NYT bestselling author and the discoverer of the Blue Zones, five places on earth where people live the longest, healthiest lives.
He now works in partnership with municipal governments, large employers, and health insurance companies to implement Blue Zones Projects in communities, workplaces, and universities. Buettner has appeared on The Today Show, Oprah, NBC Nightly News, and Good Morning America, and has keynoted speeches at TEDMED, Bill Clinton’s Health Matters Initiative, and Google Zeitgeist. His speech in January 2018 at the World Economic Forum in Davos was chosen as “one of the best of Davos.”
The Foodservice event will also feature Buyer Roundtables, which PMA’s website are “similar to speed dating” and allow “foodservice suppliers to connect face-to-face with operators and distributors, opening the door for more in-depth conversations in the future.” Participation is by application, and those interested must contact PMA in advance.
It is a paid activity, and 2019 buyers who will be in attendance to meet with exhibitors and members or others include Brinker International, Centerplate, Coastal Sunbelt Produce, Denny’s Corporation, Earl Enterprises, Farmer’s Fridge, HelloFresh USA, International Dairy Queen, Jack in the Box, Inc., P. F. Chang’s China Bistro, PRO*ACT, LLC, Produce Alliance, LLC, Qdoba, Sodexo, Inc., US Foods, Wendy’s Quality Supply Chain Co-Op, Inc.
Application and contact info can be found at https://www.pma.com/events/foodservice/attendees/business-roundtables.