What’s New at Fresh Summit 2019

Now that the fresh produce industry is in the home stretch of planning for the big show, we wanted to elevate what’s in store for exhibitors and attendees headed to Anaheim. Thanks to insight from our friend Jamie Hillegas at PMA, we’re happy to report on what’s new at Fresh Summit 2019:

What to Expect at Fresh Summit 2019

Buyer Connections Simplified

New Expo Marketplaces: It’s now easier for buyers to find and spend more time with exhibitors with the expo now segmented into four marketplaces: the Produce Marketplace, Floral Marketplace, Solutions Marketplace (software, equipment, food safety solutions, packaging, technology, etc.) and the Complementary Items Marketplace (hard goods/ancillary items such as beverages, salad dressings and toppings, nuts, dried fruit, etc.). Attendees can search the online floorplan by marketplaces, products, services and more in advance and create their own “Expo Plan” that will be accessible online or via the mobile app.

Spotlight on Buyers:

    • Pre-show—find relevant buyers with the attendee list now showing the Marketplace(s) that each buyer indicated they are coming to see or purchase from.
    • Onsite—ONLY buyers will have colors on their badge, unlike in past shows in which all attendees did. You’ll see up to three colors to show whether they are a buyer of produce/complementary Items (red), floral (blue), or solutions marketplace exhibitors (green).


PMA FreshTival

The Freshest Place on Earth! Stroll through this music-filled outdoor plaza to find an assortment of food, drinks, free samples from exhibitors and fun activities available on Friday and Saturday. From food trucks and coffee carts to floral hair braiding and massage chairs, this is a destination where members and guests can come to meet up, have fun and get energized! 


Badge Pick-Up Simplified

Mobile registration carts will be located in a variety of locations in the convention center and/or nearby hotels where pre-registered attendees can scan their bar code and have their badge printed without having to go to registration.


Expo Lounges Amplified

Located throughout the show floor, the expo lounges provide attendees and exhibitors with a place to network and recharge. In addition to the floral and refresh lounges that we’ve had in the past, new this year:

  • Freshest Face Forward: Professional Photography Lounge—located on the show floor in the Arena. Have you been using the same profile photo for the last two (or 10) years? Ready for a new photo that reflects the you of today? We’re here to help you put your freshest face forward with a new profile photo. Take advantage of the expert photographer, professional make-up artists offering touch-ups, and branding specialists available in the lounge. They’re ready to divulge tips on how to amplify your professional brand across social and networking platforms to better market yourself.
  • Imagination Lounge: Plug in, revitalize and energize in the Imagination Lounge.
  • Inspiration Garden: Awaken your ingenuity in the Inspiration Garden Lounge, a place to recharge, network and spark your creativity.

Can’t-Miss Education Opportunities

  • Forums for the Future: Take part in these inspiring larger-format sessions bringing groups together for engaging content on important topics facing our industry, featuring voices from inside and outside the fresh produce industry. More details can be found here, but expect the following:
    • The State of the Industry” featuring Cathy Burns, CEO, PMA
    • Solving Industry Issues One Pitch at a Time” featuring a panel of judges including Robert Herjavec, Entrepreneur and Leading Shark on ABC’s Shark Tank; Ted Taylor, Head of New Ventures and Business Development, Taylor Farms; Jennifer Maloney, Food Stakeholder Manager, Bayer Crop Science; and John Hartnett, CEO, SVG Ventures THRIVE Farms. They will be judging the new THRIVE PMA Challenge, during which four startups will pitch for a $100K investment package
    • Challenging Yourself to Victory,” featuring Earvin “Magic” Johnson
  • Experience Extensions: In-between the inspiring Forums of the Future sessions, PMA has allotted more time to connect with peers, join industry leaders in informal conversations about hot topics, or just take a break, gain insight, and share perspectives. Find more information here.
  • CGT Women’s Fresh Perspectives Breakfast with Queen Latifah (separate registration required)

Networking Receptions Galore

  • Global Street Festival Welcome Reception: Be immersed in culture, fun and flavor as show organizers bring together food, music and drinks from three countries to provide a feast for your senses. Be transported to Thailand’s Festival of Food, Flowers and Light, Brazil’s Carnival, and USA’s Woodstock just in time for its 50th anniversary.
  • Floral “Beach Bash” Reception: Enjoy delicious hors d’oevres & fruity cocktails as the floral community mingles at this vibrant beach-party themed celebration. Join the networking and find out who has been selected as 2019 Floral Marketer of the Year!
  • Learnings & Libations: Make connections, continue the Experience Extension discussions with members of the PMA Science, Technology & Sustainability team, and take time to relax, drink and celebrate with peers during the Sci-Tech & Sustainability Reception. Be sure to arrive by 6:00 p.m. to share in a farewell to our own Dr. Bob Whitaker for his enduring contributions to the industry at his last Fresh Summit before he retires. Additionally, expect the recognition of the Circle of Excellence Award winner and the THRIVE Fresh Summit Challenge winner.

New to the Fresh Ideas Showcase

The Fresh Ideas Showcase will highlight a new section for “Food Waste Innovations” to showcase those who have taken innovative approaches to tackling food waste (in addition to Certified Organic, On-the-go, Floral and general sections ).

New additions to the Best of Show Contest

  • “Best Island and In-line” booths will be awarded in each of the four marketplaces. All exhibitors are automatically included in the contest.
  • A new “Best Sustainable Packaging Award” will be awarded this year! In order to be considered, entrants must be part of the Fresh Ideas Showcase.

For the most up-to-date schedule, refer to the Fresh Summit schedule of events.

Attending Fresh Summit? We’d love to connect with you! Contact us to schedule time to meet at the show, and follow us at @TheCoreBlog for marketing and fresh produce industry insights.