Photo Report United Fresh 2017

On June 14 and 15, the United Fresh trade show was held at McCormick Place in Chicago. This year, the exhibition area had moved from the South Hall to the West Hall, a somewhat smaller setup with the number of exhibitors being close to 300. The exhibit hall was broken down into four sections; FreshMKT, FreshTEC, International Floriculture and Global Cold Chain.

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FreshMKT focused on production innovation
Exhibitors in the FreshMKT section showed advances in fresh produce including new varieties, packaging and merchandising solutions. This section also included the new products showcase with finalists for the United Fresh Innovation Awards. Greenhouse grown strawberries, apple rings and snack packs were some of the new introductions. Salad mixes, children’s size fruit and vegetable packs and veggie noodles were other new products that stood out. The new Organic Showcase featured new products of organic providers.

The amount of traffic on the floor was moderate, but exhibitors seemed to be pleased. “We are glad to be here”, said Steve Lutz with CMI. “The timing of this show works well for us, right at the start of the cherry season,” he mentioned. “We will be able to evaluate the results of the show after we get back and had a chance to follow up with the contacts we made.” Aaron Fox with Fox Packaging was happy as well. “We got the perfect amount of traffic to out booth,” he said. “It allowed us to spend quality time with customers and potential customers who were interested in our line of products.” Mike Prather with Handy Candy mentioned how important it is not to wrap up early. “You have to stay until the end. You never know who you are going to meet and we met a great contact at 4 pm when the show was about to close.” 

Top Ag Tech start-ups in FutureTEC zone
The FreshTEC zone was designed to highlight the most cutting-edge technologies for the fresh produce industry. Within this section, the FutureTEC zone boasted about 25 top ag tech start-up companies. Hazel Technologies talked to customers about its FruitBrite™, a small biodegradable pod that distributes an ethylene inhibitor to increase shelf-life of fresh produce. Spensa showed its customers an automated insect trap while Arable had its Arable Mark on display; a disk that enables accurate forecasting of produce yields and quality. 

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