The 2019 PMA Fresh Summit drew a record crowd to Anaheim, Calif. ( The Packer )

ANAHEIM, Calif — The Produce Marketing Association’s 2019 Fresh Summit was a record-breaker.

The Southern California event hit all the right notes, drawing a record attendance of nearly 24,000 attendees Oct. 17-19, according to PMA, and featuring just more than 1,200 exhibitors.

“PMA 2019 was a great show,” said Sara Lozano, marketing manager of Sambrailo Packaging, Watsonville, Calif. “We had great turnout and great traffic.”

Lozano said there was high interest in sustainable packaging at the show, including Sambrailo’s ReadyCycle packaging.

“It’s really encouraging to see more businesses looking towards sustainable packaging solutions and getting away from plastics,” she said. “For us at ReadyCycle, we believe is that next wave of packaging for our business.”

Exhibitors generally said traffic at the show was strong, especially the first day of the expo, Oct. 18.

At the far end of the expo hall, exhibitors said foot traffic was slower than in the middle of the floor, but the quality of traffic did not disappoint.

Another exhibitor said the number and quality of buyers made the show worthwhile.

“We have seen a lot of retailers come by and it was very positive,” said Viraj Puri, co-founder and CEO of Gotham Greens, Brooklyn, N.Y. “It really justifies the investment for us to come to a show like this.”

Best of Show winners were:

  • Best Island Booth in the Solutions Marketplace: Apeel Sciences;
  • Best Inline Booth in the Solutions Marketplace: CN;
  • Best Island Booth in the Floral Marketplace: Colour Republic;
  • Best Inline Booth in the Floral Marketplace: van Hoekelen Greenhouses Inc.;
  • Best Island Booth in the Complementary Items Marketplace: Fresh Cravings LLC;
  • Best Inline Booth in the Complementary Items Marketplace: Lightlife Foods & Field Roast Grain Meat Co.;
  • Best Island Booth in the Produce Marketplace: Starr Ranch 4185;
  • Best Inline Booth in the Produce Marketplace: North Shore Living;
  • Best First-Time Exhibitor: Joolies;
  • Best Sustainable Packaging: Mucci Farms; and
  • Best Product Promo: Sunset Wow Berries.

Fresh Summit 2020 is set for Oct. 15-17 in Dallas, then New Orleans in 2021 and Orlando, Fla., in 2022.

 

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