Summer and fall 2016 bring a wealth of networking and sales opportunities through food and produce events set across the nation, and members of the onion industry are well-positioned to take advantage of every setting.
The events include the National Restaurant Association May 21-26 at McCormick Place in Chicago. More than 63,000 foodservice professionals will be attending, and the focus will be on emerging trends and culinary training, both of which involve onions from slice-one. Among the many speakers and celebrated chef/restaurateurs who’ll share insights during Signature ’16 on May 22 is Denny Marie Post of Red Robin Gourmet Burgers. The NRA post on Facebook says, “This casual burger chain is shaking things up with innovative strategies to meet evolving consumer lifestyles.” Indeed. And we believe onions are a pivotal ingredient in that shake-up. Additional info at https://show.restaurant.org/Home.
McCormick Place in Chicago is also the venue for the United Fresh 2016 expo June 20-22. One badge actually provides entrée to four shows: United Fresh Produce Innovation, Global Cold Chain Expo, FMI Connect, which runs June 20-23, and International Floriculture Expo. FMI draws an estimated 400 retailer companies and 12,500 professionals “to experience products and services among the estimated 42,000 products in the average grocery store.” And of course United Fresh offers a look at “creative new produce items and fresh food trends, cutting-edge tools and technology, business-to-business meeting suites, an expert consultation center, new product awards and industry-leading education,” bringing together “the entire fresh produce supply chain from grower to retailer in a business-friendly environment…” You can find more at http://www.unitedfreshshow.org and http://www.fmiconnect.net.
We’ll be telling you much more about the National Onion Association’s Summer Convention at Niagara Falls, NY, in our newsletter next week, but here’s a reminder about registration for the July 13-16 event, which you can take care of on line at https://www.onions-usa.org/members/noaconventions.
The onion convention provides a great chance to visit with peers and also take in valuable info from the presentations and discussions. There are also ag and sightseeing tours, and the Falls are spectacular.
On the heels of the NOA convention in New York is the PMA Foodservice Conference July 29-31 at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa in Monterey, CA. This is a fantastic foodservice that that brings nearly 2,000 attendees each year. More than 200 operators and close to 500 distributors/wholesalers make it a point to be at PMA Foodservice. “In fact, 75 percent of buyers who attend influence purchasing decisions in their companies,” the site notes. More info at http://www.pma.com/events/foodservice.
And later in the season, of course, comes the PMA Fresh Summit, this year set for October 14-16 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. The granddaddy of U.S.-based expos brings together reps from produce, floral and business from around the world. PMA’s site says that “…more than 18,500 attendees and 1,000+ exhibitors from over 60 countries” come together for this great event, and there’s opportunity to meet with “experts, leaders and decision makers from every link of the supply chain.” Read more at http://www.pma.com/events/freshsummit.