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NEW YORK and LOS ANGELES - Diversified Business Communications (DBC), organizer of Expo Comida Latina (ECL) -- the only major U.S.-based food and beverage trade show for Hispanic foods -- said yesterday that as well as returning to Los Angeles and New York this year after its successful bicoastal expansion last year, the show would next expand to San Antonio, Texas, where it is slated to be held at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center on April 24 to April 25, 2005. The goal of the Texas show is to attract southwest regional buyers of Hispanic foods and beverages.
"When we created Expo Comida Latina, we knew that the Hispanic marketplace was ripe for a unique show to help forge relationships between buyers and producers of Latin food and beverage products," said ECL show director H. Stephen Phillips in a statement. "With the excellent participation the first two years, the increased popularity of Latin flavors, and overall acceptance of Latin foods in all segments of the population, we decided to introduce Expo Comida Latina to other markets. San Antonio made sense based on our research, and we expect continued growth while expanding the scope of our shows in New York and Los Angeles this year."
Southern California is home to 21 percent of U.S. Hispanics, while New York boasts the country's second-largest Latino population.
This year's West Coast version of ECL will be held Oct. 3 to Oct. 5 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, while the East Coast expo is scheduled for Oct. 26 to Oct. 27 at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York. The event, which launched in Los Angeles in 2002 and expanded to New York last year, was created as a one-stop marketplace to help bring together producers and suppliers of basic and specialty products to meet the needs and preferences of Hispanic and other consumers who buy Latin foods. Food and beverage buyers, such as foodservice, retail, and distribution companies, can register online at www.expo-comida-latina.com.
The Los Angeles show will have 20 percent more space than last year, bringing the total floor space to 60,000 square feet. Supermarket Guru Phil Lempert, a Progressive Grocer contributor, will deliver the keynote address at both the Los Angeles and New York shows. Like last year, this year's shows will also feature culinary demonstrations with celebrity chefs, and conference programs addressing various aspects of the U.S.-Hispanic food and beverage market, identifying customer bases, penetrating the market, and developing long-term and profitable relationships with new and repeat customers.
Portland, Maine-based DBC is also allowing attendees in the Northeast an opportunity to maximize their stay at this year's New York show by creating one "supershow" for ethnic foods. For the first time, ECL will be co-located with the All Asia Food Expo and Kosherfest, two other ethnic food expos organized by DBC.
The 2003 show in Los Angeles enabled more than 5,000 food professionals from retail, commercial, and noncommercial institutions to source, compare, and buy Latino foods and beverages from 379 exhibitors from Mexico, the United States, Asia, and Central, and South America. At the New York show last year, 138 exhibitors from Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Canada, and the United States conducted business with over 2,000 qualified trade buyers.