Monday , May 27 2024

Fresno Food Expo about to kick off

The Fresno Food Expo is getting ready to kick off its annual show.

Since the expo began in 2011, it has hosted thousands of buyers, and given hundreds of valley businesses the platform needed to expand.

Baloian Farms has been in business for nearly 100 years and a part of the Fresno Food Expo since it started. They say it’s a good way to keep evolving with consumer’s needs. Baloian’s marketing manager says, the expo has provided them with the opportunity to reconnect with people they did business with in the past.

"It’s a great chance to develop new products and launch them and also to meet with buyers that we have met with before and also new buyers," Richard Cowden, the Account Marketing Manager at Baloian Farms said.

At last year’s food expo, Baloian entered their squash kit into the new product contest. Exhibitors are able to go head to head with other company’s new products. Food expo manager Amy Puentes says past winners have seen up to a 30% increase in their business.

"You see a company that comes and participates and maybe they are operating with two or three people. They increase their sales by 30% and they are hiring 1 to 3 new people, so from a city standpoint that’s a way to grow the local economy," she said.

The new product contest has several categories including People’s Choice, voted on by Food Expo attendees, and the Buyers Choice Award, judged by a panel of food industry experts. Last year’s Buyers Choice’ winner, ‘Casa de Tamales,’ has seen impressive growth with a production location and two new restaurants in the works.

"We have added in the recent months about three employees and we are looking to add another six to eight employees at minimum," Liz Sanchez, the owner of Casa de Tamales said.   

From small to large scale businesses like Baloian Farms, the expo provides a unique network forum that keeps businesses coming back.

"It is more than worth the investment," Sanchez said.

"It’s a regionally exclusive event for people in our valley to participate in, and they are bringing in buyers from all over the country and locally," Cowden said. 

Exhibitors interested in the new product contest can apply online. Visit our website yourcentralvalley.com for details.

The expo gets underway Thursday, July 23rd.

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