Fresh Thoughts: We’re Heading To PMA’s Fresh Summit!

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Have you ever attended the largest fresh produce show in the country?

This week, Marketing Manager Vicki De Bruin and I will be heading down to Anaheim, California, to see the “big show” — Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit. Over 22,000 people will be attending from over 60 countries. A lot of blueberry marketers will be there, and I look forward to walking the show and looking at the marketing activity through my blueberry lens.

Lots of new ideas, products, packaging and campaigns are rolled out by companies at Fresh Summit. So if you’re a marketing person, this show is something to get excited about. You’ll see legacy produce companies to startups, side by side, competing head-to-head for business from buyers who are walking the floor. 

Driscoll’s is featuring their “Sweetest Batch” in the Fresh Ideas Showcase at Fresh Summit.

Check out all of the company press releases for product “firsts” being released around Fresh Summit to get a sense of the scale of this event. 

Early in my career, I wondered if there was a future for trade shows, especially huge ones like Fresh Summit. Back then, the trade show concept felt dated, considering the maturity of the produce market, advancement in technology, etc. However, all these years later, Fresh Summit continues to grow and grow. 

What makes Fresh Summit a value is similar to the responses of appreciation we saw in this week’s survey about our recent Fall Meetings. 

Human connection. 

Nothing today, virtual or otherwise, can really replicate the organizing of a large group of people to meet directly. And we’re still getting great feedback from our Fall Meeting attendees. 

Here’s a great quote from Chad Hansen with Homegrown Organics who attended our meeting in Tri-Cities:

“Blueberries are fun and amazing … the industry events always provide incredible relationship and networking opportunities. They have a forward focus with lots of conversation around innovation and blazing new trails, not just succeeding on what’s worked in the past. It is worth the time and attention and I always depart informed, encouraged and excited.”

So this week, Vicki and I are hitting the road to connect with our colleagues in the industry who are working hard to win business and influence buyers. I’m looking forward to sharing what we see and learn. 

If you were to attend PMA, what would you want to see? What should I keep my eye out for, from your perspective? What kind of news should blueberries be making at Fresh Summit? 

If you’re going to be at PMA, let me know where you are and if we can meet up while I’m there. Send me a text at 916.333.7863.

Also, be sure to check out all of the photos on Flickr from NABC/USHBC’s Fall Meetings.