Exhibitors Announced for Second Annual Fresno Food Expo
Fresno, CA – Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin and Fresno Food Expo Advisory Committee members gathered at a press conference on Thursday, March 1, to announce the final list of exhibitors that will be featured at this year’s Fresno Food Expo, which will take place on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at the Fresno Convention Center. The Fresno Food Expo will feature 83 of the eight-county San Joaquin Valley’s finest food growers, manufacturers, processors, producers, brewers and winemakers who will exhibit their products to local, national and international retail buyers, school districts, foodservice and chefs to purchase local quality products. The community also will have the opportunity to discover the San Joaquin Valley’s top food producers during the public portion of the expo. The Fresno Food Expo was developed in 2011 as a component of the City of Fresno’s economic development strategy to find innovative ways to increase commerce for the Valley’s local food production industry.

The press conference was held at Fruit Fillings, Inc., a Fresno-based, family-owned business leading the food industry in high-quality fruit fillings for the bakery and related industries nationwide. Fruit Fillings also is a new exhibitor at this year’s Fresno Food Expo. “As a local business, this is a great opportunity to not only get in front of new buyers, but to tell our story to the community that we love and who may not realize they can find us here locally,” said Everett Norcross, Vice President of Fruit Fillings, Inc.

Community support and increased awareness of the thriving food industry within the San Joaquin Valley region has been instrumental in making the Fresno Food Expo a success. Consumers can now go to the grocery store, see local products, and realize their impact on this region’s economy and further support a community commitment to buying local.

“The Fresno Food Expo highlights the fact that our region is the undisputed food capital of the world. Food production in our region has been attracting retailers from all over the world because of the quality, variety and technology of food production from the local businesses in our area. We are very eager to showcase these great businesses to both the buyers and our local community that will be in attendance,” said Mayor Ashley Swearengin.

These efforts have gained national attention by bringing in more than 250 buyers from throughout California, the nation and the world, representing businesses ranging from specialty fine food stores to large retail chains. International buyers from Minko Trading Co., Ltd. in Taiwan will be attending, as well as a multitude of regional retailers including Whole Foods, Costco Wholesale, Wal-Mart, Safeway, Save Mart Supermarkets, Vons, Food 4 Less, Quik Stop Markets, Raley's Family of Fine Stores and local retail grocer Country Cousin Market. Buyers from California Department of Corrections, Children’s Hospital Central California, Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino, and a line-up of premier chefs will also be in attendance.

In only one year, the Fresno Food Expo has successfully highlighted and branded our region’s food industry as the economic backbone for the San Joaquin Valley. The businesses that will be part of the Fresno Food Expo range from large to small companies featuring products such as peppered salami, apricot-habanero jam, biscotti, Armenian cracker bread, olive oils, fresh stone and tree fruit, gourmet stuffed olives, and a variety of local wines, craft beer, spirits and much more.

The public can experience the wide breadth of local food producers by attending the public portion of the event, which will take place on March 8th from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. For only $40, the public will be able to sample products from all of the 83 exhibitors, as well as discover the food producers that are locally-owned and headquartered in their own backyard. New this year, the public can also purchase their favorite local items right from an exhibitor’s booth at the expo. Tickets are still available for purchase at www.FresnoFoodExpo.com or there is a limited supply of discounted $30 tickets available at Lime Lite Restaurant in Fresno.

The Fresno Food Expo is positioned to be a unique, destination food show at the heart of one of the world’s most productive and distinctive agricultural regions, that puts buyers at the exact source of the food they are purchasing. Whether buyers are interested in fresh or finished products, our access to fresh foods makes Fresno a prime location to showcase the San Joaquin Valley’s food industry. In its inaugural year, the Fresno Food Expo was able to make key business connections for 66 buyers and approximately 200 buyers by providing positive results from product exposure, to establishment of critical new retail relationships, increased sales for local food businesses, and ultimately Valley commerce representing a multitude of categories. Please visit www.FresnoFoodExpo.com for more information. 

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