With a record attendance of nearly 24,000 visitors, the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) Fresh Summit 2019 held at the Anaheim Convention Center, California, was a total success. This year, attendees agreed to rate it as the best event that the organization has done in its history.
More than a thousand companies shared the exhibition floor to exhibit their products. The intense commercial activity between agricultural companies, brands, new buyers, and prospects, both in the Hispanic market and in the United States, was highlighted.
At the inauguration of the Mexican Pavilion, which included typical live Mariachi music, PMA CEO Cathy Burns spoke with Abasto Media. She expressed her admiration for Mexico’s impressive work and effort to show the wealth and quality of your products on display.
Burns stressed that there is a growing interest of consumers for plant-based foods due to two main reasons, health, and well-being. Fruit and vegetable consumption is no longer scheduled for a specific time in the day. Customs change and fresh products are eaten as snacks; The industry is taking note and strives to innovate in this segment and meet the demand of buyers.
“Health is the new wealth around the world. Our responsibility at PMA is to understand the emotions and drivers of fruit and vegetable consumption, have that research available to our members, and help them make better decisions to promote the consumption of fruits and vegetables worldwide,” said Burns.
In an ample space full of fruits, vegetables, and of course, peppers, innovative recipes based on avocado were tasted, as well as sauces and dressings based on mango, pineapple, and citrus. Avocados from Mexico caused a sensation thanks to its avocado burgers with chimichurri. They were the hit of the event! Because they presented more alternatives for the consumer interested in plant-based foods.
Multiple workshops and educational seminars on the fruit and vegetable industry took place during the two days of the Fresh Summit 2019.
One of the main issues discussed was food safety and the care that must be taken with products from the fields until they are put up for sale in supermarkets.
As part of the PMA convention, México Calidad Suprema, a non-profit organization led by Lizeth Quintero Posadas, organized a seminar to keep Mexican agricultural exporters updated on issues that are vital to their success in the market.
Ms. Quintero announced that México Calidad Suprema, with support from private resources, will fill the space left by ProMéxico. It will maintain the presence of Mexican products and promote them in different markets in the United States.
Besides, Gustavo Calabro, executive director of Abasto Media, presented a conference at the PMA Fresh Summit 2019, about “Produce Merchandising Strategies to Target the U.S. Hispanic Consumer.”
Calabro highlighted the growth of the Hispanic population in the U.S., reaching 60 million, and its purchasing power exceeding $1.4 trillion. He noted the importance of Hispanic supermarkets in regions with a more significant Latino population.
When seeking to conquer the Hispanic consumer, Calabro said, its great diversity must be considered. Not only because they came from different countries because Latino buyers are not only immigrants; Keep in mind that their children born in this country acquired a new culture and younger generations like millennials, use the internet and new technologies much more to make their purchases.
Calabro recommended to growers that to be successful in the American market, they must study the markets where they want to enter and know what the shopping trends in those regions are.
“On the East Coast, businesses are conducted differently from the West Coast. Therefore it is essential to establish relationships with experienced and locally recognized distributors and marketers so that their products reach the final consumer and keep a space in supermarket shelves,” said Calabro.
The presence of the flower industry was also crucial during the Fresh Summit 2019. The growers were extremely pleased with the financial results obtained at the convention.
The floral exhibitions and their variety were a spectacle within the PMA event. From country houses made from flowers, thrones made of beautiful woods with roses and foliage to displays, where the main focus was flowers.
The flower industry had an exchange of innovative ideas and trends during the two days Fresh Summit 2019 events. The experts presented marketing strategies to broaden the vision towards the new floral shopper market: The “Gen Z” ( adolescents up to 23 years old).
A group of students explained their purchasing power and how this generation thinks, acts, and buys these products compared to the old ages.
Journalist Cynthia Arriola contributed to this article.