According to the PMA Fresh Summit web site, as of Sept. 5 some 100 exhibitors have listed onions as part of their booth focus at this year’s convention set for Oct. 14-16 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando FL.
The exhibit hall itself will be open Oct. 15 and 16 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with total exhibits currently at 1,169 — so onions will be part of nearly 10 percent of the exhibit floor.
Of what might be particularly intriguing to the onion industry comes during Workshop Series III on Friday afternoon, Oct. 14. Entitled “Building a Brand on a Shoestring Budget,” the session features speaker Michael Moss, bestselling author and popular keynote speaker. Moss will impart his knowledge of how to build a company brand on a shoestring budget, and onion professionals can use this opportunity to learn how to implement great strategies without shelling out for a Super Bowl commercial ad to do it.
The strategist brings weighty credentials: He has been a reporter for the Wall Street Journal and the NYT, bagging a Pulitzer. He taught at Columbia School of Journalism, wrote a #1 NYT bestseller in “SALT SUGAR FAT: How the Food Giants Hooked Us” and is now working on “HOOKED: Food and Free Will,” for Random House.
Moss focuses on the food industry as it relates to healthy, safety, nutrition, politics, marketing, corporations and the power of the individual to eat healthy. He has appeared on CBS This Morning, Dr. Oz, CNN The Lead, ATC and Jon Stewart’s the Daily Show.
This branding session will look at “telling your story, with a consistent message, strong identity and earned publicity like word of mouth, PR and social media” while learning “from the experts who branded the mega icons Coke, Lunchables and Mac-N-Cheese, and who are now working their magic on behalf of produce.” It’s called a session of “Do’s and Don’ts, with smart, cost-effective strategies to define your brand, drive sales and develop loyal customers who buy regardless of your price.”
Other sessions will shed further light on the international marketplace, FSMA, food safety and additional marketing insights.
And our favorite produce item will be front and center in the New Product Showcase with Melissa’s new clamshell packaging. The clams hold specialty pearls, shallots, cipollinis and boilers.