BY: Liliana Rocio, Senior Editor for World Liberty TV
The 14th annual New York Produce Show and Conference (NYPS) opened Dec. 5, with GRATITUDE as the overall theme. The show had a record audience of more than 5,000 executives attending the one-day trade show and three co-located events.
There were 350-plus exhibiting companies and a record of 41 sponsors. The New York Produce Show is organized by Produce Business and the Eastern Produce Council.
“Feeling grateful and showing our gratitude can be our choice as we endeavor to change forever how we experience the challenges and blessings presented by our vibrant and vital produce industry,” says Ken Whitacre, chief executive/publisher, Produce Business.
The conference opened Tuesday with the Global Trade Symposium at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel.
The symposium provided an intensive look into global trade from the perspective of produce moving in and out of the East Coast via land and sea.
Session topics included global trends; export and import challenges and opportunities; land port updates; and updates on avocados, citrus, grapes and mangos.
Cornell University’s Future-Leaders-in-Produce Program was also a highlight Tuesday. Cornell professors provided sessions on the fresh produce industry and trends in fresh cuisine.
The show continued Dec. 6 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center with the Keynote Breakfast. Students from the Harlem School of the Arts performed the National Anthem.
The late Marianne Santo, three-time president of Eastern Produce Council and senior category manager of produce and floral at Wakefern Food Corp., was honored with a video tribute.
During the breakfast, awards were given to the Most Innovative Independent Retailer, Merchandiser of the Year, Most Innovative Dining Outlet, Joe Nucci Award for Product Innovation and Global Marketing Innovation. Hollywood actor and author Scott Christopher was the keynote speaker.
Charles Blackstone, of New York City Mayor Eric Adam’s Food Policy Office, honored Michael Muzyk, of Baldor Specialty Foods, at the trade show’s ribbon cutting, with a proclamation for his many achievements in the produce industry.
Three chefs provided cooking demonstrations (and sampling) during the trade show. Student chefs also competed and created dishes by foraging fresh produce from exhibitors.
New this year was the Buyer-Connect Program, which enabled key decision-makers to connect with vendors in prearranged, one-on-one meetings during the show.
Also on Dec. 6, a special stage presented five educational sessions. Industry thought leaders shared insights on: the retail future of indoor-grown produce (CEA); how to tap into consumer perceptions to drive sales and overall produce consumption; merchandising success stories; sustainability; and wholesale/distribution challenges and opportunities.
After the show closed, an army of more than 50 City Harvest volunteers gathered 70,800 pounds (that’s more than 35 tons, folks!) of fresh produce donated by NYPS exhibitors, and immediately delivered it to five partner food pantries for distribution. We are proud to play a role in rescuing this food and helping feed NYC neighbors.
The final day of the New York Produce Show and Conference, Dec. 7, featured five industry bus tours and the Ideation Fresh Foodservice Forum.
The Ideation Fresh forum featured an in-depth look at trends that will shape the hospitality industry in 2024; a lively panel discussion with foodservice industry leaders about getting fresh produce to the center of attention (and the center of the plate); a powerful demonstration with Chef Jessica Pamonicutt; and a panel discussion with produce marketers who work to get produce onto more menus.
During a working lunch, culinary students from Johnson & Wales University led table discussions about real-world challenges, and later presented their fresh ideas about elevating produce.
Also on Dec. 7, participants could select one of five industry tours when registering for the show and conference — and tour hosts did not disappoint!
New Jersey’s retail tour stops included: Food Bazaar, North Bergen, NJ; the Jersey City Whole Foods; then Seabra’s Market and ShopRite, both in Newark. Manhattan-based retailers hosting a tour included: Whole Foods, Morton Williams, Brooklyn Fare and the new Wegmans that just opened in October on Astor Place, the location that once housed the John Wanamaker Department Store.
Mark your calendar for next year’s New York Produce Show and Conference: Dec. 10–12, 2024.
Connect with Fresh Media and Influencer Lunch at the New York Produce Show, Wednesday, December 6 at 11am at the Javits Center in New York City.
This complimentary lunch and program is a lunch workshop for qualified media only, including influential business journalists, writers, registered dietitians, lifestyle bloggers, and food and culinary experts.
Speaker’s Included: Dan Parker from Veg Power to talk about consumption promotion. Veg Power is a not-for-profit alliance of government, business, community and celebrities founded to turn around vegetable consumption in the UK. It uses advertising and communications to inspire kids to eat vegetables and create life-long good food habits that they will, in turn, share with their children. Their multi-award winning “Eat Them to Defeat Them” program has millions of children eating more vegetables.
Presenter Envy Apples and Chef Abbie Gellman, who shared some delicious flavors and recipes.
Live healthy Cooking demonstrations took place at the luncheon, close to 50 media from the culinary world were in attendance, enjoying speakers, cooking demonstrations, while enjoying lunch same time.
See more of the Lunch speakers in our World Liberty TV, Food Review channels by clicking here.
We want to thank Jodean Robbins Duarte, Coordinator, NYPS Consumer Media and Influencer Lunch Contributing Editor, Produce Business magazine, for inviting us annually.
Attendees receive a complimentary registration to the exposition and conference allowing you to walk the show before and after to glean more information from 500 exhibiting produce companies and take part in other educational sessions and tours.
It was our 14th Appearance covering the 14th annual New York Produce Show and Conference NYC-2023, it always gets bigger and better every year. We want to give Condolences to the family of Mrs. Santos, the late Marianne Santo, three-time president of Eastern Produce Council and senior category manager of produce and floral at Wakefern Food Corp., was honored with a video tribute, who passed away earlier this year.
I truly enjoyed meeting Mrs. Santos annually for the past five years, a wonderful warm kind loving personality, made you feel special when she spoke to you. You will be deeply missed but never forgotten RIP.
See more in about 14th annual New York Produce Show and Conference NYC-2023, in our World Liberty TV, Food Channels by clicking here.