Best of show contest

Contest Guidelines

How/When Will Booths Be Judged?

Will I Know Who The Judges Are?

What Will I Win?

Judging Criteria For Best of Show & First-Time Exhibitor Categories

Judging Criteria for Best Overall Product Promo Category

Judging Criteria for Best Packaging Promo Category

How/When Will Booths Be Judged?

Exhibitors are automatically entered into all applicable categories. Judging will be conducted by a team of industry professionals during show hours on Friday and Saturday. The winners will be announced on the show floor on Saturday. 

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Will I Know Who The Judges Are?

No - the judges will remain anonymous, meaning you could be observed one time or several times over the two-day period, and at any moment - so be ready! A panel of produce and floral buyers will review the Fresh Ideas Showcases along with our Best of Show Judges. 

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What Will I Win?

Winners in each category receive an announcement on the show floor, recognition online and in a PMA Press Release, and a framed award

In addition to the above, winners receive:

Best of Show Winners: 

  • 1st on the "move list" for exhibit space next year
  • (1) Fresh Summit All Access Pass to next year's show

Best Overall Product Promo & Best Packaging Promo Winners:

  • Free shelf in next year's Fresh Ideas Showcase

First-Time Exhibitor Winner:

  • (1)  Fresh Summit All Access Pass to next year's show
  • $500 GES credit 
  • 3rd on the "move list" for exhibit space next year, after the Best of Show winners

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Judging Criteria For Best of Show and First-Time Exhibitor 

Judges will evaluate:

Booth Attraction

  • Hierarchy of Graphics: Tells who the company is, what they do and what they're offering at each vantage point for the visitor to see.
  • Exhibit Flow: The degree of ease with which visitors can enter and move around the space
  • Exhibit Design: How easily the exhibit attracts attention, how well the space is laid out, uniqueness of design's effectiveness at communicating who they are and what they do.
  • Overall Exhibit Appeal: How welcoming and inviting the space is to attendees

Products & Messaging

  • Display: Color, size, location and uniqueness.
  • Eye Appeal: Ability to draw the visitor's attention visually.
  • Benefit Messaging: How effectively the brand/product communicates product benefits.
  • Integrated Brand Messaging: How well brand messaging has been integrated in graphics, signage, themes, literature, etc.

Staff Performance

  • Proactive Engagement: How well the staff engages attendees off the aisle rather than waiting for an attendee to approach them.
  • Adequate Staffing: Evaluates if there are too many or too few staff for the exhibit space. Can visitors find a staffer with ease when they enter the exhibit?
  • Positions/Placement: For larger exhibits, looks at if does the staff has fixed positions, if all areas are staffed, if some staff float to ensure proper coverage and if staff stand behind or next to counters.
  • Professionalism/Appearance: Are staff professional and dressed appropriately for the audience and environment?
  • Non-verbal Communications: Do staff exhibit negative non-verbal behavior, such as arms crossed, or sitting, talking with each other or on the phone?

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Judging Criteria for Best Overall Product Promo 

This contest is only available to Fresh Ideas Showcase participants.
Judges will evaluate:

  • Online product listing in the exhibitor directory (pre-show evaluation)
    • Does it include a picture of the product?
    • Was copy concise/to the point?
    • Did the listing clearly state the benefits of the product?
    • Did it tell attendees how to learn more about the product (e.g. visit booth or website)?
    • Was it creative?
  • On-site display case
    • Visual appeal
    • Uniqueness/Creativity
    • Does is communicate the benefits?
    • Does it invite attendees to the booth to learn more?
  • Promotion of the product in your booth
    • Availability of product in booth
    • Promotion of product in booth
    • Preparedness of staff to talk about product
    • Sampling of product
    • Signage/messaging
    • Integrated theme and messaging among all 3 sources (listing, shelf, and in the booth)

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Judging Criteria for Best Packaging Promo

Exhibitors must have a shelf in the Fresh Ideas Showcase AND notify PMA to be a part of this contest.
Judges will evaluate all criteria listed above for the Best Overall Product Promo, and then a panel of produce and floral buyers will evaluate:

  • interest/appeal and differentiation of package on a store shelf
  • whether the shelf has novel presentation that supports sales/consumption of the produce inside it
    (Considerations could include, but are not limited to: unobstructed view of product; draws attention to product; infers greater value to product)
  • whether the item adds new profitable sales to the category
  • whether it stands out the most to them as one they would consider carrying in their store

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2017 Best Island Booth: Zespri Kiwi Fruit

  1. George Dellallo Co.
  2. Earthbound Farm
  3. T. Marzetti
  4. Mucci Farms
  5. CMI Orchards
  6. Fresh Gourmet Co.
  7. Sunshine Bouquet
  8. USA Pears
  9. Village Farms

2017 Best Inline Booth: Ripe

  1. North Shore Living Herbs
  2. Daily Greens
  3. Love Beets
  4. Suja
  5. Veggie Noodle
  6. Lakeside Organic Gardens
  7. Shenandoah Growers, Inc.
  8. Buddy Fruit
  9. Frieda's

2017 Best First-Time Exhibitor: Obrigado

  1. Pure Brazilian Coconut Water
  2. Dupont Tyvek
  3. Mr. Lucky
  4. Victory's Kitchen
  5. Tiesta Teas
  6. Owyhee Produce
  7. Fresco Farms by UGBP
  8. Veg-Fresh Farms
  9. Buddha Brands Co.

2017 Best Product Promo: Southern Specialties

  1. Rijk Zwaan
  2. CMI Orchards
  3. Bare Snacks
  4. Well-Pict
  5. Pompeii
  6. Bing Beverage
  7. Mucci Farms
  8. Back To The Roots
  9. Sun-Maid Growers

2017 Best Packaging Promo: Mucci Farms


  1. Sunset
  2. North Shore
  3. Del Fresco
  4. Pure Flavor
  5. Naturipe

2017 Winners


Kyle McMillan

Kyle McMillan

Trade Show Manager

+1 (302) 607-2130

Email Kyle

Belinda Keota

Belinda Harvey

Meeting Manager

+1 (302) 607-2154

Email Belinda

Jamie Hillegas

Jamie Romano Hillegas

Director, Trade Shows

+1 (302) 607-2123

Email Jamie