The first official California Food Expo is coming up on September 9 and 10 and will bring together more than 140 of the state’s food and beverage companies with approximately 750 local, national, and international buyers. Previously known as the Fresno Food Expo, the event has expanded its scope to include even more California companies and will feature a host of new additions this year.
“One of the biggest new things that we have this year is on the first day. Monday, September 9 we will have a suite of educational sessions that will range from topics from sustainability to E-commerce to Instagram and really how to build your brand,” said California Food Expo Manager Amy Fuentes. “The next morning, we will finish off our panels with a consumer trends panel.”
Along with a series of educational seminars, this year will also feature new award categories to compliment some of the other awards presented such as the Fred Ruiz Award and the New Product Awards. The Golden State Award is a brand-new award this year and will be centered on the use of social media. “All exhibiting companies enter a photo of their choice and a caption to talk about why they are the best California company, or why they have the best California product,” said Fuentes. “It will really be a cool gallery of photos that will represent the types of products you’re going to see at the show.”
After the business-to-business portion of the show wraps up the general public is invited to participate in the Expolicious event, where attendees can sample the large variety of foods and beverages being showcased by exhibitors. Similar to previous years, the two-day event will be hosted at the Fresno Convention & Entertainment Center. Fuentes noted that the decision to become the California Food Expo was based on input from their retail advisory council and the board of directors comprised of a diverse range of food companies.
“Retailers define ‘local’ as ‘California,’ and the California brand is very positive and is very recognizable,” said Fuentes. “There’s a lot going on in California in the food industry and it would just be great to see all of it in one place and be that go-to resource for California food and beverage products.”
Listen to Fuentes’ interview below.