2018 Trade Shows Wrap-Up

By Wilbert Jones

Trade Show Image

Photo: International Home and Housewares Show

Each year between the months of March and June, the city of Chicago hosts some of the most important global trade shows associated with the hospitality industry. Attendees worldwide flock to this windy city to learn about some of the most innovative consumer household products, food, beverage trends in the food service and retail marketplace.

International Home + Housewares Show

This year, from March 10-13, over 60,000 attendees attended to the International Home + Housewares Show, to visit over 2,000 vendors. A few highlights include a 12-cup self-cleaning grind and brew coffee maker from Hamilton Beach and Cuisinart. The company Zero Oxygen Solutions (ZOS) demonstrated a gadget that keeps wine fresh up to 2 months after the bottle has been opened. It comes with a reusable oxygen-absorbing cartridge which absorbs 100% of oxygen from the air in the bottle of wine (oxygen is what causes wine to go bad) as well as dissolves oxygen in the wine.

One new item that will probably end up in every consumer household is the Rejuvenate Click n Clean Floor Care Kit. The manufacturer of this product wants to change the way consumers clean their floors in their homes. A new multi-surface spray mop system, does a range of cleaning, from dusting to deep scrubbing on flooring surface of every kind, including hardwood, laminate, linoleum, tile, grout, marble, granite, vinyl tile sealed concrete and even carpet.

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Application Period For Transporting Healthy Food Grants Now Open

The 2018 grants will help improve access to local, fresh foods in underserved communities

Distributors and producers of fresh, local foods are invited to apply to the 2018 Grant Program for Transporting Healthy Food, presented in partnership by CSX and The Conservation Fund. The grants will range from $2,500 to $10,000 and will go towards charitable organizations working to increase access to fresh vegetables, meat, fish and dairy in vulnerable and underserved communities. 

Since the Grant Program for Transporting Healthy Food began in 2014, more than $500,000 has been awarded through 54 grants, enabling recipients to serve an additional 300,000 families with more than 40 million pounds of food. The grant program is designed to support and strengthen local transportation and distribution of healthy food to communities in need. The grants are used by charitable producers and retailers in a number of ways, including purchasing refrigerated delivery vehicles and financing mobile market trucks and food stands to bring fresh produce to isolated communities.

The grants are given to charitable organizations in the 22 states where CSX operates—Alabama, ConnecticutDelawareFloridaGeorgiaIllinoisIndianaKentuckyLouisianaMarylandMassachusettsMichiganMississippiNew JerseyNew YorkNorth CarolinaOhioPennsylvaniaSouth CarolinaTennesseeVirginia and West Virginia.

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Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore D.O.C.G. Announces Two Sommelier-Targeted Contests


Winners to Visit the Historic Heart of Italy’s Prosecco Superiore Region during the 50th Anniversary of its Appellation Designation 

Charles Communications Associates announces on behalf of its client, The Consorzio of Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore D.O.C.G., the launch of two national contests for active U.S. sommeliers, wine buyers or beverage directors – offering winners the opportunity to win a trip to Conegliano Valdobbiadene, the historic heart and pinnacle of Italy’s Prosecco region, located 45 minutes west of Venice in the foothills of the Italian Alps. 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the region’s D.O.C.G. appellation designation.

The two contests: an essay and Instagram competition, respectively, are a key part of the region’s trade-focused campaign designed to educate and inform beverage professionals about the legacy of leadership, tradition and dedication to quality of the Prosecco Superiore region.


Instagram Contest:  Active sommeliers, wine buyers or directors in the U.S can enter the competition by posting a photo of Prosecco Superiore alone or with a dish including a pairing note or caption, tagging @proseccocv and including #proseccosuperiore #proseccosuperioredocg #proseccoelevated #Somminstapic and that person will be entered to win an all-expenses paid, three-day trip to Conegliano Valdobbiadene in 2019, including airfare, accommodation and producer visits as a guest of the Consorzio. Candidates need to be working actively in their place of business as an employee or consultant.

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Reynolds Wrap is Hiring its First-Ever Chief Grilling Officer

Reynolds Wrap is looking for a “CGO” to travel to the best barbeque cities across the country and report back on new grilling tips, tricks, recipes and techniques.

ReynoldsCGOImage_1Hungry? Good. Reynolds Wrap® – the durable, kitchen staple known for locking in delicious grilled flavors – is looking for its first-ever Chief GrillingOfficer. The team at Reynolds Wrap is committed to finding the most flavorful ways to grill your favorite food – which means they need help exploring the country in search of the best tips and techniques.

This two week, paid gig offers unforgettable experiences in America’s most mouth-watering cities. In case that’s not clear enough: Eat food. Document the experience. Get paid! The Chief Grilling Officer, or “CGO’s” responsibilities are simple (and delicious); travel to some of the most notorious barbeque cities in the country to learn about grilling culture and new techniques for the Reynolds Wrap test kitchen.

“We’re on a mission here at Reynolds Wrap to identify the best grilling techniques and tips to share with backyard grillers,” said Brienne Neisewander, brand director for Foil at Reynolds Consumer Products. “We’re looking for a truly passionate grilling enthusiast to lead the way across the country and discover hidden grilling gems.”

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Food Starter Partners with Fiera Foods to Empower Female Entrepreneurs

Food Starter (CNW Group/Food Starter)

Food Starter (CNW Group/Food Starter)

Food Starter, a startup food incubator and accelerator in Toronto, and Fiera Foods, a globally successful Canadian food manufacturer, have announced the launch of The Women in Food Rise Up Fund.

The three-year startup growth fund, Rise Up, presented by Fiera Foods, will provide Food Starter’s women-led enterprises with access to a grant of $5,000 to quickly start and scale food businesses. The fund aims to recognize that women entrepreneurs play a leading role in innovating Ontario’s food industry.

“We see day in and day out through our interactions with partners, employees and clients, that women can lead and excel in our industry,” said Boris Serebryany, President and CEO of Fiera Foods Company.

“The concerning reality is that women are still underrepresented in food manufacturing. We’re proud to work toward a solution by partnering with Food Starter to remove barriers, creating a more open and inclusive environment for female entrepreneurs and innovators in Ontario’s food industry.”

Grant recipients will receive a cheque for $3,500 within two weeks of announcement plus $1,500 in Food Starter production hours or accelerator fee credits. The grant will be used for purchasing new equipment, supplies or ingredients required to fill orders, production labour and marketing expenses.

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Kroger Hosts Third Natural Foods Innovation Summit


The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) hosting its third Natural Foods Innovation Summit in partnership with 84.51°, in Cincinnati, OhioJustin Gold, an accomplished, innovative entrepreneur and founder of Justin’s®, a natural and organic nut butters brand, will speak at the Summit.

“Kroger’s natural and organic category achieved $16.7 billion in sales last year, including $2 billion in Simple Truth® sales,” said Robert Clark, Kroger’s senior vice president of merchandising. “It’s clear today’s customer wants better-for-you options and are increasingly turning to Kroger as a food authority for natural, organic, and free-from products.”

More than 50 brands will participate in today’s expo, bringing the total to 150 different small businesses Kroger has engaged combined across the three Summit events.

“Establishing and deepening partnerships with brands that are innovative, unique, and trending, is just one way we are redefining the customer experience through Restock Kroger,” added Mr. Clark. “Resulting from the success of this small business engagement model, we have introduced our customers to new products exclusively from participating brands.”

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Call for Applications for 3rd Google for Entrepreneurs Exchange Program for Black Founders

Startups Have Until August 6 to Apply


The American Underground startup campus in Durham will once again host Black founders from around the nation, Sept. 23-28, as part of the Google For Entrepreneurs (GFE) Exchange series. The GFE Exchange is a week­long immersion program that bridges the gap between startups, experts, and new markets. The focus of the American Underground’s Exchange programming is to address documented funding gaps, by empowering Black founders with tools and resources to help them access capital and grow.

The 2018 group of startups will join a diverse group of company founders from Hollywood to DC who participated in past years.

Participating teams will receive intensive mentoring, and a behind-the-scenes view of the approach venture capitalists take in vetting prospective companies, so they are prepared to raise a round of capital. Training will also be provided around overcoming racial bias in the fundraising process. The program ends with a pitch event before dozens of venture capitalists and corporate CEOs from up and down the East Coast. The goal of the program is for at least half of the startups to be funded within nine months.

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2019 Good Food Award Entry Period Now Open

Accepting entries July 2-31, including new Snacks category

mailJuly 2 marks the launch of a coast-to-coast call for entries of beer, charcuterie, cheese, chocolate, cider, coffee, confections, elixirs, honey, fish, oils, pantry, pickles, preserves, spirits and (new this year) snacks. The Good Food Awards celebrates the kind of food we all want to eat: tasty, authentic and responsibly produced. As the only national initiative to recognize food crafters who excel in both taste and sustainability, we anticipate over 2,000 entries from all fifty states.

Over 250 food crafters, grocers, chefs, journalists and pioneers of the food movement will serve on this year’s judging panel. In past years, judges have included Alice Waters, Michael Pollan, Ruth Reichl, Michael Bauer, Nell Newman, Liz Prueitt, Christine Muhlke and Paul Bertolli, among other food movement pioneers.

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