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Innovation In Focus


The countdown is on for PMA's 2011 Fresh Summit.

At the 2011 Produce Marketing Association's (PMA) Fresh Summit, leading-edge technology providers, suppliers of the industry's most sought-after products and some 90 new exhibitors will converge on the Georgia World Congress Convention Center in Atlanta on Oct. 1417, with a common goal: to wow you. The event is expected to draw more than 18,500 of the industry's best and brightest from around the world.

“One of the great things about Fresh Summit is that this is where many companies choose to launch their new products and services,” says Glenn Boyet, PMA senior director of public relations. “It's a must-see show for those who want to survey the innovations from companies throughout the supply chain.“

New Products Showcase

Attendees will have unlimited access to a host of the latest and greatest in the New Products Showcase. Designed to highlight innovative products and services, the showcase will be located off the show floor, available during non-expo hours.

“Buyers say new product information is one of the top reasons they attend Fresh Summit,” notes Boyet. “Not only is there the physical showcase, but people who are using the Fresh Summit app will also get alerts about the new, innovative products.”

Speakers and Workshops

In addition to deriving inspiration from scores of new products, attendees

can feast on more food for thought during the speaker sessions. This year's speaker roster features Haggen CEO Jim Donald and founder and former CEO Terry Jones, while Bryan Silbermann, PMA president and CEO, headlines the “PMA State of Our Industry.”

Complementing the speaker sessions are more than 15 Fresh Summit educational workshops that will focus on everything from consumer trends to food safety to global trade to professional and career development

Launch Date: New Packaging

Whether it's new packaging or new product launches, this industry has a way of anticipating consumers' needs.

Packaging with an emphasis on improved product quality is one area in which innovation is clearly the order of the day. “We see this especially as we consider the Impact Awards that look at packaging innovation,” notes Boyet, adding that PMA will unveil research on consumer attitudes toward produce packaging at Fresh Summit.

High-tech Apps and Avocados

New technology will be a driving force from companies in the software business, as well as those in fresh produce. Produce Pro Software of Woodridge, 111., plans to launch its custom smartphone application. The first of its kind for the perishable industry, the Checkout App will allow customers to place orders on their smartphones.

Avocados from Mexico will also unveil new technology: Text-Mex, a mobile program to support produce managers. “This will provide produce managers with a direct link to the industry knowledge and expertise of the Avocados from Mexico business development team,” explains Marketing Director Emiliano Escobedo.

Zespri Kiwifruit of New Zealand will promote its new Facebook competition, Kiwifruit for Kids, to raise money for, and awareness of, childhood obesity in North America, a partnership with six U.S. health nonprofits.

Trend Watch: Healthier Snacking

Touted for their exceptional health benefits, nuts have been making headlines. Paramount Farms of Lost Hills, Calif., is ready to show off its latest offering: Wonderful Pistachios 8-ounce Roasted Lightly Salted variety. The daily value of sodium in the new variety is just 3 percent. Brand Manager Markus Eriksson believes the healthy snack trend will continue its phenomenal growth. “Pistachio sales were up 40 percent for the 24 weeks ending July 31,” he notes.

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