Increasing the appeal of and demand for fresh produce was the focus when the world’s fresh produce industry gathered in New Orleans October 18-20 at the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit Convention and Expo.
A major highlight of the event came when executives from the White House, the restaurant industry and a leading produce company joined PMA’s senior executive to call on the produce industry to focus its marketing efforts on creating more demand for fresh produce, particularly among children. Speaking to about 1,000 produce industry leaders, Let’s Move! Executive Director Sam Kass joined National Restaurant Association President Dawn Sweeney, Bolthouse Farms CEO Jeff Dunn and PMA President and CEO Bryan Silbermann to discuss how the produce industry can transform its efforts from fulfilling demand to creating demand.
During the discussion, Kass – speaking by a remote feed from Washington, D.C., to attendees in New Orleans – reiterated how the produce industry can support the call to action to use the power of marketing to promote healthier choices, particularly among kids.
“The produce industry is sharpening its marketing efforts to help encourage better eating habits for children and adults alike,” said Silbermann. “It’s a collaborative effort that has a variety of benefits like better health and better business.”
Meanwhile, the Fresh Summit trade show was a buffet of mouth-watering fresh produce colors, aromas and flavors. More than 1,000 companies displayed their wares across 250,000 square feet, showcasing products from traditional fruit and vegetable favorites to the latest exotic and specialty items.
A multitude of new products were unveiled at Fresh Summit, appealing to a consumer’s eye, palate and wallet. Some of those new products for kids included:
- Carrot Dippers, baby carrots with ranch dressing in each individual bag
- Crunch Pak Foodles, fresh food snack trays are shaped like Mickey’s famous ears
- My Fruity Faces, Spongebob & Dora edible stickers for application on fruits and vegetables
- Lil Snappers, kid-size fruit
This year PMA’s Fresh Summit drew more than 18,000 produce and floral industry attendees from more than 60 countries. In addition to being the largest U.S. gathering of the global fresh produce and floral industries, Fresh Summit is also one of the 100 largest trade shows held in the United States.