PMA 2014: Fresh Summit Recap

PMA 2014: Fresh Summit RecapAs a guest and exhibitor with the California Avocado Commission, I recently had the opportunity to attend the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit 2014 tradeshow in Anaheim, CA.

With over 20,000 attendees and 900 exhibitors from 60+ countries, this was the place to BE if you love produce!

I was fortunate enough to spend my time in the CAC booth hosting Supermarket Registered Dietitians and educating them on the benefits of premium California avocados. I had an opportunity to demo one of the recipes I created for California Avocados this year – my 100-Calorie California Avocado Cucumber Cups – to the retail RDs and highlight the nutritional benefits of this versatile fruit.

While at Fresh Summit, I also had an opportunity to check out the exhibit hall, and here’s a quick recap of what’s hot in produce these days:

Freaky Looking Fruit

Whether it’s Buddha’s Hand or rambutan, there’s definitely a penchant for weird-o looking fruit out there.

One of my favorite ads at the show was an exotic fruit sign exclaiming, “Eat one fruit a day that scares you.”

Beets Abounds

Beets are those beautiful, super nutrient-dense foods that I want to like…but I just can’t do it. Turns out…I’m the only one!

Beets were everywhere this year, from beet juice to beet salads and even beet salsa. Sooner or later I’m going to have to get on the beet train!

Gourmet Mushrooms

There’s a marvelous array of mushrooms available in today’s market!

Vendors were hawking ‘shrooms from around the globe, with a particular emphasis on vegetarian cuisine and the “meaty” flavor and texture so many varieties can provide.

Cute Kids’ Food Packaging

“If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em “- seems to be the theme with getting kids to eat more fruits and vegetables.

I witnessed a slew of companies repackaging fruits and vegetables for the kiddie crowd, in easy-to-access lunch box packs and even “Cute-cumbers“.

Petite Potatoes

Potatoes sometimes get a bad rap – not necessarily because of their nutrient profile, but for how they’re prepared.

A new trend seems to be moving towards petite potatoes, and PMA had no shortage of tiny taters on display this year.

Big Flavor in Bitty Bites

Small is the new big when it comes to flavor in produce. Microgreens are taking over, packing a serious flavor punch in itty-bitty packages.

Micro-kale, micro-cilantro, micro-mustard greens…super small greens are clearly making a splash when it comes to great garnishes.

So that about wraps it up when it comes to my favorite finds at this year’s Fresh Summit. I hope to be back next year to see what’s new in produce marketing and to learn more about how to help people eat more fruits and vegetables!

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