PMA hosts largest gathering of fresh produce and floral industry in Western Hemisphere
-New record of 22,000+ Attendees, Exhibitors earn “Best of Show” title; #FreshSummit Trends on Twitter, Personalized receptions cater to industry needs-
Anaheim, Calif. — 2014 brought a record year on multiple records for the annual Produce Marketing Association (PMA) Fresh Summit with 1,090 exhibiting companies occupying 265,300 net square feet in Anaheim, California this past weekend. Highlights were bountiful as the show returned to the golden state, and included a focus on inspiring kids to eat healthier and a series of education sessions that focused on topics like global trade, emerging floral trends, talent management and food safety. Attendees who took the conversation online with social media made history for the fresh produce and floral industry when #FreshSummit was marked as one of the most popular social media conversations around the world all day.
More than 22,400 members of the global fresh produce and floral industry’s supply chain convened Oct. 17-19 for thought-provoking general sessions, an expo featuring new products and trends, technologies and innovations, educational workshops that featured hot topics delivered by industry and business experts and presentations and industry engagement with Let’s Move! Executive Director and Senior Policy Advisor for Nutrition Sam Kass, U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Deputy Commissioner of U.S. Foods Mike Taylor and California Secretary of Agriculture Karen Ross.
“I love when Fresh Summit lands in Anaheim, it’s home to me and many of the exhibitors and attendees. Coming back after just two years gives us a great opportunity to reflect on the progress the industry and the association has made since 2012,” said Kevin Fiori, vice president of sales and marketing for Sunkist Growers and PMA Board of Directors chairperson. “PMA’s new strategic plan helps provide a focus on providing year round resources for our members, including marketing tools, research, and global networking opportunities to include this week’s Fresh Summit. It is satisfying to know that more than 20,000 people attended this year’s Fresh Summit in Anaheim to take advantage of those opportunities.”
Fiori continued, “There are so many things to take away from this year’s show. I’m particularly proud to be part of an industry that can work together to help moms get their children to “eat brighter”. The number of ‘eat brighter’ branded produce items and participating companies is impressive and continues to grow.”
“Fresh Summit proves itself as so much more than a tradeshow,” said Lisa Davis, director of business development for Edge Sales & Marketing, and PMA Fresh Summit Committee chair. “With the variety of resources found here, like consumer research, market trends and technology innovations, it’s no surprise that each year industry leaders travel from more than 60 countries to attend the show. Individually and as an industry, this is how we prepare for tomorrow and this is how we succeed.”
Receptions reflect PMA strategic plan, communities of interest
PMA Fresh Summit’s vast size was countered by its intimate, personalized receptions on Saturday evening. Four receptions reflective of the association’s strategic pillars took place simultaneously, offering attendees a selection of the most relevant networking possible. Global Connections, Science and Technology, Industry Talent and Floral were the communities outlined not just via the reception, but throughout the entire convention’s schedule to help create a more intimate feel for attendees with specific agendas.
Record breaking numbers
This year’s convention set a handful of records, including:
Retailers: 1,150+ (largest attendance since 2001)
Exhibitors earn “Best of Show” titles
Four exhibitors were chosen by an anonymous panel of industry experts for “best of show,” a contest designed to generate attendee excitement and encourage exhibitors to enhance the effectiveness of their exhibition experience:
• Best of Show, in-line booth: Suja Juice, Booth 4639
• Best of Show, island booth: Panera Bread Salad Dressings, Booth 1414
• Best New Product Launch: Rhythm Superfoods, Booth 488
• Best First-Time Exhibitor: Delallo Salad Savors, Booth 676
Next year’s Fresh Summit Convention and Expo will be held Oct.23-25, 2015, in Atlanta, Georgia. For more information, visit www.freshsummit.com
Editor’s note: Images are available for download in high-resolution from PMA’s Flickr page
About Produce Marketing Association (PMA)
Produce Marketing Association is the leading trade association representing companies from every segment of the global produce and floral supply chain. PMA helps members grow by providing connections that expand business opportunities and increase sales and consumption. For more information, visit www.pma.com