New SmartFood Expo to Collocate with Fresh Food, Produce and Floral Show Partners in 2018

June 19, 2017

A fifth new trade show will collocate with United FreshMKT Expo, United FreshTEC Expo, International Floriculture Expo and Global Cold Chain Expo in June 2018 at McCormick Place in Chicago.

Dedicated to the exploding category of healthy foods, SmartFood Expo is designed to provide retail and foodservice buyers with a one-stop shop for learning about the newest products, trends and opportunities to increase their share of the “better-for-you-foods” business.

Launched by the United Fresh Produce Association, EnsembleIQ and Progressive Grocer, the new expo will feature a wide variety of consumer products including natural foods; plant-based foods; fresh and healthy; organics; raw foods; products with clean labels and limited ingredients, and a wide variety of items designed to appeal to growing consumer demand.

“We’re excited to be partnering with United Fresh, as well as all of the show partners in Chicago, to meet a glaring need in the healthy food space,” said Jeff Greisch, chief brand officer of EnsembleIQ.

He continued, “We know from our readers/users that buyers are anxious to grow their healthy foods offerings to meet increasing consumer demand. Until now, they’ve had to work too hard to find those products and learn how to take advantage of these business opportunities. With our commitment to retail success, we’ll be bringing focus to this diverse marketplace, employing the full resources of the EnsembleIQ team, including the Path to Purchase Institute, Progressive Grocer, Convenience Store News and our other properties.”

For its conference component, SmartFood Expo will bring together industry leaders to explore consumer trends, market data, merchandising strategies and additional topics to help retailers and foodservice executives build upon the excitement and business growth in the “healthy foods” segment.  

“We’re equally excited to be partnering with EnsembleIQ, calling upon their deep knowledge and experience in the retail food space,” said Tom Stenzel, president and CEO of United Fresh.

He added, “Our own experience has been focused on meeting the growing consumer demand for innovations in fresh produce and fresh foods across all retail and foodservice channels. We’re now pleased to bring the SmartFood Expo side-by-side with our fresh foods, produce, floral and cold chain shows at McCormick Place in Chicago. A show focused exclusively on healthy foods is the ideal complement to our current events.”

The primary audience for the SmartFood Expo will consist of buyers from multiple retail and foodservice channels sourcing “better-for-you” foods, including major national chains, independents, health and specialty food stores, restaurants, online marketers, home delivery and meal kit marketers.

In addition, a number of larger Consumer Packaged Goods companies and private equity investors will be seeking new food products suitable for their own portfolios.

The new show’s primary exhibitor audience is expected to include some of those same CPG companies marketing “better-for-you” foods, as well as a wide range of small and mid-sized companies seeking product exposure and sampling opportunities.

“While a few trade shows include a small selection of food products in this space, there are no shows targeted exclusively at the growing healthy foods segment,” Stenzel explained.

He continued, “The show’s mission is to provide a unique opportunity for buyers to concentrate their focus on healthy foods. Chicago is an easy flight from anywhere in the U.S., as well as a major international destination, enabling widespread retail and foodservice attendance with minimal disruption to busy buyers’ daily work.”  

Exhibit sales, educational program development and attendee promotion for SmartFood Expo will begin immediately following the four 2017 shows, taking place June 13-15 at McCormick Place, while sales and program development will be handled jointly by the Ensemble IQ account staff and the SmartFood Expo team.

“We’re thrilled to continue growing the footprint of healthy food, fresh foods, produce, floral and the cold chain services needed to deliver the highest quality to consumers,” Stenzel said.  

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