From Seafood to Snacks – May 2018 Recap

Food Exports had a busy month of May! From Brussels to Montreal to Chicago see where all our trips took us this month.

Every month our Food Export staff has the opportunity to travel and attend industry related trade shows all over the world! Here is a snapshot of a few of the places we’ve been lucky enough to go to recently.

2018 Seafood Expo Global

Location: Brussels, Belgium
Dates: April 24 – April 26

This year’s Seafood Expo Global was held in Brussels, Belgium from April 24-26, 2018.

Attending on behalf of Food Export – Northeast were Andrew Haught, Senior Coordinator International Marketing and Colleen Coyne, Seafood Program Coordinator.

A total of 1,946 companies from 78 countries exhibited at this year’s show.  The expo provided a global platform to showcase a vast array of wild and cultured seafood products from this vital industry.  Food Export-Northeast’s pavilion housed 16 companies promoting a wide variety of sustainably-harvested seafood, including American lobster, Atlantic sea scallops, squid, monkfish, dogfish, skate, eel, Atlantic mackerel, and herring.  Food Export’s In-Market Representatives were on hand to provide assistance and introduce buyers to our participating companies.

It was evident that there is strong global demand for USA seafood from the Greater Atlantic. Northeast seafood companies reported sales totaling more than USD $168 million and projected sales of nearly USD $279 million resulting from the three-day event!

USA Pavilion (4)   USA Pavilion (2)

 East Coast Seafood Group   ACME Smoked Fish

Eastern Fisheries  Booth

SIAL Canada 2018

Location: Montreal, Canada
Dates: May 1 – May 4

SIAL Canada 2018 was held May 1 – 4, in Montreal Canada.  Our Northeast Liaison Benjamin Cortese was in attendance.  At this show we offered our Food Show PLUS! tradeshow enhancement package which allows companies to maximize their tradeshow success with a custom assortment of services.

We also conducted a Market Briefing about the Canadian market and a Retail Tour of local retailers so participants could get a sense of typical Canadian stores and the types of products that would be appropriate for that market. As Canada is the #1 export market of U.S. agricultural products, purchasing $20.5 billion in 2017 according to the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), this show is always a great one for our Suppliers that export to Canada.

A unique part of this show was getting the chance to learn about the Taste U.S. program.  Which is “an initiative that was created in 2005 by the U.S. Food and Beverage Alliance to increase awareness of the cooperators’ commodities in Canada”.  They facilitate tasting events at various trade shows around Canada to give buyers the opportunity to actually taste the products.  One of the organizers of the events presented information during the Market Briefing and explained that 94% of consumers say that sampling is the most effective way to get them to try and buy new products.  77% said that receiving product would incentivize them to try new brands.

 SIAL Canada 5  SIAL Canada 6

SIAL Canada 13   SIAL Canada 15

SIAL Canada 7    SIAL Canada 16

National Restaurant Association (NRA) Show 2018
Location: Chicago, IL
Dates: May 19 – May 22

Every year our Chicago office has a very busy week when the National Restaurant Association Show, BAR, and the NCA Sweets and Snacks Expo, come to town during the same weekend and this year was no different.

There was a rotating force of Food Export-Midwest staff members in attendance at the National Restaurant Association Show, as well as one of Food Export-Northeast Liaisons, Deborah Ingravallo.  We held our annual Buyers Mission at the show where Suppliers and International Buyers could meet for short 1-on-1 meetings to discuss their products in detail.

One of the most interesting parts of this show was our separate Culinary Event that was held after show hours at the Chopping Block, a recreational cooking school in Chicago.  Suppliers provided their products to a Chopping Block chef who then prepared them and allowed international buyers to taste the products in a more relaxed setting than on the show floor.  We had a number of participating suppliers and everyone seemed to really enjoy the event.

#FiredUp Sign  NRA Sign

Buyers Mission 1  Staff

Culinary Event 2   Culinary Event 16

Culinary Event 3    Culinary Event 4

Culinary Event 8  Culinary Event 9

Culinary Event 10  Michigan and Illinois Banners

Maine Banner  Michelle and Tim with Buyers Missio Pop Up

Beverage Alcohol for Restaurants (BAR) ’18

BAR is a smaller show under the National Restaurant Association banner focused on alcohol, wind and beer suppliers and ingredients. A separate buyers mission was held and included a Retail Tour where we took the group of International Buyers to different retail establishments so they could get a sense of the U.S. alcohol market and products.  One of the stops on our trip was the largest store for Binny’s in the Chicago area.  The group got a full tour of the location by the manager and got a chance to see specialty items, they were particularly amazed by the specialty large ice cubes for cocktails. Another stop on the tour was to a Brewery.

Retail Tour - Binny's 2  Retail Tour - Binny's 3

Retail Tour - Binny's 1  Retail Tour - On Tour Brewing

Sweets and Snacks Expo
Location: Chicago, IL
Dates: May 22 – May 24

One of our favorite shows to attend throughout the year is the National Confectioners Association’s Sweets and Snacks Expo!  It is always one of the bigger, busier, and tastier shows that we get the chance to attend.  And the fact that it is in our hometown of Chicago is always a huge plus!

We held a multiple day Buyers Mission for this show and took the buyers on a retail tour that included the Windy City Sweets shop.  Many of our staff were on hand to man our Food Export booth, facilitate the Buyers Mission, and walk the show floor over the three days.

    Staircase 1  Staircase 2

Banners  Show Floor 3

Buyers Mission set up  Retail Tour @ Windy City Sweets

Liaisons 1  Enrique 1

Carol Brunnert, Lauren, and Deb  Deb and friends

May was a VERY busy month for us and now with the warmer temps we can’t wait to start attending all of the Summer shows we have lined up!  We hope to see you at an upcoming event, for a full list of where you can find Food Export visit our Activity Calendar.