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Truly regional show sparks huge national interest

Photo report: Viva Fresh Expo in Texas

Viva Fresh Expo again succeeded in being an intimate and truly regional show that focuses on developing opportunities between the Southwestern US and Mexico. 

The 4th annual event was held on April 7 at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort in San Antonio, TX. The exhibitors displayed a wide variety of products, but tropical and exotic produce items seemed to be standing out at this show. About 1,600 people were walking the floor with close to 340 of them being foodservice and food retail buyers. “We have seen the number of retail and foodservice attendees increase by 190 percent since the show started in 2015,” says Dante Galeazzi, President of the Texas International Produce Association. "We feel like that’s a great place to be in just the 4th year of the Viva Fresh Produce Expo, and we look forward to increasing that figure, and the diversity of buyer companies in the coming years." The number of trade show exhibitors is capped at 168. 

"The tremendous turnout is a critical component for all exhibitors and makes it a terrific show," Gary Caloroso and Kristina Lorusso with Giumarra said. "Although the show profiles itself as a regional show, the turnout from potential buyers is national. It is my favorite show,” added Lorusso.

Click here for the photo report from trade show exhibitors and attendees.



Meaningful dialogue
“The way this show has been set up allows for a meaningful dialogue with customers,” says Ajit Saxena with Mucci Farms. “Because of the casual atmosphere and the limited number of exhibitors, there is more time to chat with people. I also appreciate the level playing field,” added Saxena, referring to all booths having the same size. 

“As a Texas greenhouse grower, this show gives us an opportunity to highlight what we do,” says Lyra Vance with Village Farms. “It is not just the trade show, but also the many other opportunities to connect during the three-day event that make Viva Fresh Expo a big success.”

Click here for the photo report.



“The organizers of this show do a really good job in inviting retailers,” mentioned Leslie Simmons with Dave’s Specialty Imports. “It’s a diverse mix of buyers from all over the country and even into Canada,” Simmons added. In addition, the activities that are organized around it, keep everyone together.

Innovations showcase
For the first time this year, Viva Fresh Expo had a Gateway to Innovation Awards Showcase to recognize the industry’s excellence in packaging design, new product development, food safety, machinery, software, and technology. A separate photo report from the innovations will be published in the course of this week. 

Next year
"In 2019, we’ll be hosting the show on April 25-27th, 2019 at the same place - the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa," said Galeazzi. "We can’t wait to tell the world the next chapter in our region’s story as we do every year at the Viva Fresh Produce Expo." 

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