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After five years of co-locating its largest annual trade show and convention with FMI, United Fresh Produce Association will go its own way next year by focusing on produce innovations and fresh meals and technology solutions for the retail and foodservice marketing channels.
"We have enjoyed a great relationship with the Food Marketing Institute these past five years," said Tom Stenzel, United Fresh president, "but with FMI's decision not to hold its traditional supermarket show in 2009, we've actually been able to appreciate the underlying strength and potential of our own event as a multi-channel, total supply chain show serving a much broader audience of buyers."
Stenzel said the Washington, D.C.-based trade group's United Fresh 2009 "will be able to forge its own unique platform in highlighting produce innovations, fresh meals, and technology solutions, rather than being viewed only in its connection with one retail channel."
A number of foodservice providers have already stepped up their attendance at the show, he said, "and we see our expanded fresh meals focus in 2009 serving both in-store supermarket needs as well as traditional restaurants and facilities where fresh produce and fresh foods are served."
Next year's event will be at the Sands Expo Center and The Venetian Hotel, April 22-24, 2009.
United Fresh 2009 will be the umbrella show encompassing two unique expos - United Fresh Marketplace and United FreshTech. New for 2009, each expo will feature its own show floor Learning Center, where attendees will focus on business strategies and education for success. The on-floor education will complement the traditional United Fresh Annual Convention featuring a full array of general sessions, workshops, receptions and networking events bringing the entire industry together to focus on increased sales and profitability.
The 2009 United Fresh event will also feature a new Meal Solutions Showcase highlighting innovation and product development that combines fresh fruits, vegetables and other fresh foods into prepared meals and healthy snacks. This new focus on fresh prepared foods will serve the growing business of in-store foodservice operations and the wide array of restaurants and other channels traditionally focused on prepared foods.