In the midst of a growing wave of public policy and consumer preference emphasizing healthful, high-quality food choices, the world’s fresh produce assembled in Anaheim, Calif., October 26-28, for the largest fresh produce show in history, to strategize ways to increase consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables – including appealing to children.
PMA’s Fresh Summit drew more than 21,000 attendees from more than 61 countries, making it the largest U.S. gathering of the global fresh produce industry in history, and one of the 100 largest trade shows held in the U.S. The two-day expo featured more than 1,000 exhibiting companies and 247,000 square feet, and showcased fresh produce and floral products, services and suppliers, from traditional fruit and vegetable favorites to the latest exotic specialty items. The Fresh Summit show floor was a buffet of mouth-watering fresh produce colors, aromas and flavors.
Eleven professional chefs competed at a live Chef Demo Challenge to create flavorful kids’ menu options meeting U.S. Department of Agriculture’s ‘Half the Plate’ guidelines. Fourteen judges from across the fresh produce supply chain, including John King, licensing director – consumables for Disney Consumer Products, selected Chilean Fresh Fruit Pizza from the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association as the winner. The Kids Choice Award was chosen by kid-judges, from the Boys and Girls Club of Stanton, named the Date Shake by the California Date Administrative Committee the winner. To see other recipes that competed for the award, visit www.freshsummit.com.
“The result of the Sensory Experience Contest really promotes the importance of flavor to kids,” said Bryan Silbermann, PMA’s president and CEO. “The fresh produce industry has made a commitment to delivering flavorful, quality fresh fruits and vegetables – and the kids couldn’t get enough – even asking for a second helping once the contest concluded.”
A multitude of new products were unveiled at the show appealing to a consumers eye, pallet and wallet, including a ‘Just 4 Kids’ showcase featuring new kid-friendly merchandising. Some of those new products for kids included:
- Yummy Fruit Bus, ready-to-eat dried fruit in school bus packaging
- Handy Candy, convenient on-the-go packages of grape tomatoes
- Disney-themed Ready Pac Cool Cuts® Mini-Meals and Salads
- Lil Snappers, kid-size fruit
- Dippin’ Stix, on-the-go packaging that pairs fresh produce with dip
PMA Fresh Summit