Strong turnout expected for New York Produce Show - The Packer

Strong turnout expected for New York Produce Show

11/18/2013 01:22:00 PM
Doug Ohlemeier

This year’s New York Produce Show, scheduled for Dec. 10-12, will focus on “Celebrating Fresh” as it meets for its fourth year.

The show’s activities are scheduled for the New York Hilton Midtown and the Pier 94 convention center.

Attendance at the show, which is co-sponsored by the Short Hills, N.J.-based Eastern Produce Council, is again expected to be high and convention organizers reported high preregistrations.

In late October, organizers said registrations were running 15% higher than the same time last year.

Last year’s show attracted around 3,000 participants and even more people are expected to pack this year’s show, said John McAleavey, the council’s executive director.

McAleavey said many retailers and other buyers he visited with at the Oct. 18-20 Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit 2013 expo in New Orleans inquired about the New York show.

He said the day after he returned home, he took calls from four retailers wanting to register.

“This show has become one of the largest produce shows in North America,” McAleavey said. “It’s very popular, and we are getting people from all over the country and the world participating. Each year it seems to get bigger.”

This year, more than 400 companies are expected to exhibit their wares.

The show attracted 400 last year and 300 in 2011.

Retail and foodservice buyer participation is also strong.

Council president Paul Kneeland, vice president of produce and floral, seafood and meat for Kings Super Markets LLC, Parsippany, N.J., said retail and foodservice buyers account for about 30% or more of the show’s participants.

“The penetration of buyers, the ones that attend our show, is high,” he said. “That percentage is high for a show. A lot of it’s due to the area and the strength of the Hunts Point and the Philadelphia markets, which attracts the buyers.

“That really tells you the value of the show. We’re growing and expanding and seeing more and more interest from exhibitors.”

A change for this year’s show involves returning the hotel to the New York Hilton Midtown at 1335 Avenue of the Americas.

The consolidation from the two hotels at last year’s show to a single hotel should be of logistical benefit to attendees, Kneeland said.

The show begins Dec. 10 with an opening cocktail reception at the New York Hilton Midtown.

Earlier in the day, a pre-show event, a Global Trade Symposium, is scheduled.

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