Produce Marketing Association announced the “Best of Show” awards this week, a Fresh Summit tradition of recognition that celebrates innovation and creativity in marketing and product promotion. This year’s event featured virtual Marketplaces where exhibiting companies could customize and share their own digital space to promote and showcase their products and engage with buyers and event attendees. The award winners were selected using a variety of inputs including feedback from guests and platform engagement data.
“We’re excited to celebrate this year’s ‘Best of Show’ winners,” said PMA’s Director of Events, Jamie Hillegas. “This year was unlike any other and I am so impressed with our exhibiting companies’ creativity and courage as we dove into building a virtual Fresh Summit experience.”
The winners will be recognized in a variety of channels including web, social media, and the Fresh Summit platform which will remain active through November 13, 2020. This includes on-demand content, replays of keynote sessions, and all Marketplace pages where attendees can still reach out to exhibiting companies to set up meetings.
Best Product Promo award
The winner for Best Product Promo is Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A., Inc. for their Pinkglow™ Pineapple. The Pinkglow™ Pineapple was listed in the “Fresh Ideas Showcase,” a segment of the Marketplace where participating companies shared new products and solutions. The Pinkglow™ Pineapple was the most visited new product listing, attracting guests interested in the unique color as well as the sustainability of the product as the crown of the pineapple is removed and replanted before shipping.
“We are so proud to have received the ‘Best Product Promo’ award for our new Pinkglow™ Pineapple,” said Pablo Rivero, Vice President Marketing North America, Fresh Del Monte. “We are very happy with the response to Pinkglow™ so far and the launch is going really well. Having the product’s uniqueness and sustainability recognized by an organization like PMA is incredibly exciting for us, and we look forward to continuing to debut new products at PMA Fresh Summit for many years to come.”
People’s Choice award
The People’s Choice winner is Avocados From Mexico who had the most visited Marketplace amongst all registered attendees. They featured tools for all attendees and produce professionals including an invitation to “Avo University,” a free online certificate program to become an expert in all things avocados. Representatives from Avocados from Mexico reflected on this year’s new format.
“We are honored to be recognized as the winner of the Fresh Summit People’s Choice Award. This award means a lot as this year is unlike any other given the new format of the show. We are very appreciative of PMA’s effort to develop innovative ways for all participants to connect and engage with other industry members, especially during these challenging times.”
Buyers' Choice award
The Buyers' Choice award was given to Mastronardi Produce/SUNSET, whose Marketplace was visited by the most buyers throughout the show. They offer attendees a chance to virtually visit the Mastronardi Produce headquarters, as they explore the immersive experience dubbed “Flavorville.”
“We are thrilled to receive the Buyer’s Choice Award at this year’s PMA Fresh Summit,” said Paul Mastronardi, president and CEO of Mastronardi Produce. “Delivering 'wow' experiences is not just something we reserve for consumers – inspiring our retail and trade industry partners is something we strive to do with every opportunity. The team made sure that this year’s Fresh Summit was no exception, regardless of the circumstances. Thank you to the PMA for providing the opportunity for us to once again connect with the industry and get them inspired by flavor!”
Media Choice Award
The final Best of Show award was given to Mucci Farms as the Media’s Choice. The award was selected with feedback and input from members of the media who explored the show platform. Mucci Farms created an interactive booth space that mirrored an in-person experience, allowing attendees to “step inside” the booth and engage with content from experts.
“We are very appreciative of receiving the Media Choice Award at PMA 2020!” said Emily Murracas, director of marketing at Mucci Farms. “The media plays a key role in helping us promote our products as well as get our message out to the public and the industry, so it’s especially gratifying to generate interest from this important segment of the market!”
The Best of Show awards were just one component of the awards announced and shared at Fresh Summit 2020. PMA and the Center for Growing Talent also recognized industry leaders for their excellence in leadership, collaboration and commitment to attracting and developing industry talent. PMA also announced the first winners of the Retail Merchant Innovation Award. This is the inaugural year for the award, which is sponsored by Sage Fruit Company, and four leaders were recognized for their innovative approach to the promotion of produce at retail. The winners included:
- Scott Bennett, Produce Sales Manager at Jewel Osco
- Mike Tipton, VP Produce & Floral, Schnucks Markets, Inc.
- Bridget Bennett, Supervisory Category Manager (Produce) Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA)
- Jeff Cady, Director of Produce & Floral, Tops Friendly Markets