Yesterday, December 15, the New York Produce Show (NYPS) was held at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City for the first time in two years. Usually, people love coming to NYC during the holiday season to attend this event. However, nothing is usual anymore and exhibitors weren’t sure what to expect going into the event. Since NYPS does not provide exhibitor and attendee lists upfront, it was hoping for the best. At the end of the day, everyone agreed that this was the best outcome and the scenario they could have hoped for.
Although the number of retailers in attendance seemed to be lower compared to previous years, everyone was very happy about the turnout. “Usually, this show is very vibrant, but in this environment, expectations needed to be tempered a bit,” said Bob Catinella with USA Pears. “It started out slow, but as the day went on, there were more customer contacts, turning it into a really good show.”
“It has been a good opportunity for us to start re-engaging with produce companies, as well as retail and wholesale partners,” said Ray Wowryk with Nature Fresh Farms. “It’s been too long, and we need to get moving beyond the challenges we face as the produce industry will never stop.”
A lower retailer attendance didn’t seem to disappoint anyone. People were just happy to see each other and catch up in person instead of online. “Clearly, everybody is loving it,” said George Pitsikoulis with Canadawide. “We are tired of the virtual world and excited to take the opportunity to catch up.”
Some exhibitors who had reserved a booth, decided not to attend. This resulted in a number of empty booths throughout the show floor. Given that some of the no-shows had reserved three booths right next to each other, there were quite a number of gaps. Exhibitors in the direct vicinity of these empty booths weren’t too happy about that as it reduced the crowd in their aisles.
To prevent the spread of COVID, all attendees of the event had to be vaccinated to be able to attend. Upon entrance of the Jacob Javits Center, attendees were asked to show proof of vaccination and received a wristband with the text ‘I am vaccinated’. Many people at the show made the comment how this measure made them feel comfortable attending.
Would you like to see who attended the New York Produce Show this year? Click here to see the photo report.