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Megan Zweig
Posted by Megan ZweigMay 15, 2019 5:00 AM

 When spring arrives, that means one thing for fresh produce marketers: the United Fresh Expo is right around the corner! Now that United is one month away, the travel team at DMA Solutions is very much looking forward to the benefits the show has to offer. Looking for ways to expand your mind—and your brand—at the show? Take a look at the new happenings we're most excited about for United Fresh in June:


NEW United Fresh Programs for 2019

Introducing the Main Stage & Stage Next

New in 2019, the Main Stage and Stage Next are conveniently located on the United Fresh expo show floor. Looking forward to these exciting topics and events taking place on the:

  • Main Stage, featuring big topics every fresh produce marketer should learn more about. These include:
    • Reacting to Trends: The In-Store Consumer Experience—as it relates to the proliferation of online shopping, and how brick and mortar retailers can create a memorial and compelling experience to keep their consumers coming back for more in-store.
    • Women in Produce: Inspiring the Next Generation, featuring our very own CEO, Dan’l Mackey Almy, and Account Director, Mackenzie Wortham, who will share their experience around professional and personal growth, mentoring and the industry’s evolution.
    • The Produce Outlook Panel is back to provide an industry outlook and will feature BrightFarms, ReadyPac, Walmart, Camposol, Produce Alliance and Apeel.
    • Produce at the Center of the Plate: A Chef’s Perspective, featuring Sweetgreen’s Director of Culinary Experience, Chef Michale Stebner
    • And more! Click to view other hot topics being featured on the Main Stage.
  • Stage Next – Highlighting advancements in science and technology that will advance the fresh produce industry including:
    • The Future of Foodservice, to discuss what the future of foodservice looks like
    • Food As Medicine, where healthcare leaders and lifestyle pros will debate this hot topic.
    • The Future of Packaging, and solving today’s challenges with tomorrow’s solutions.
    • And more! Click to view other featured topics on Stage Next.


Can’t-Miss Opportunities to Connect with Media

Utilize your United Fresh attendance as a way to connect with members of the media.  From influencers to trade and national media professionals, marketers will have a direct opportunity to connect and share more about their brands during the following onsite events:

  • The Media Center, located directly on the show floor. Keep an eye out for members of the media who will be speaking during the panel discussions and repairing to the media center shortly after. A private room will be available for interviews and a podcast booth will be present for broadcasting right from the expo floor!
  • Food Media Panel: In today’s oversaturated media environment, where consumers have an endless array of recipes, food shows and social media channels sharing what to eat, the Food Media Panel on the Main Stage will address how produce brands can capture the attention of key media influencers. Leading food media outlets will debate what’s truly driving food influence in today’s culture. Panelists Include:
  • Moderator:
    • Chadwick Boyd, Food & Lifestyle Expert, TV Host & Brand Consultant, L&D Enterprises, Inc.
  • Panelists:
    • Carla Hall, American Chef and TV personality, notably a Top Chef competitor, and co-host on ABC’s The Chew
    • Melanie Hansche, Deputy Editor, Food & Wine Magazine
    • Kristen Hartke, Food Writer, Washington Post/NPR The Salt
    • Debra Puchalla, Senior Vice President of Digital Programming and Video, Food Network, The Cooking Channel and Genius Kitchen
  • Kitchen Play Partnership: United Fresh has partnered with Casey at Kitchen Play to increase the relationship-building opportunities for exhibitors. We look forward to hearing your thoughts on the power of using this influencer for expanding your marketing efforts during the show!


Speed-Sharing & Learning at the Partner X-Change Sessions

Learn from industry colleagues and subject matter experts starting Monday afternoon in a 15-minute “speed-dating” session to learn about topics that pique your interest and build new relationships as well as new business opportunities.


Entertainment and Networking Opportunities Galore

If you’re attending United Fresh for the opportunity to have more time with your customers, take advantage of face time during these special events:

  • Monday afternoon we’ll return to Navy Pier for the Opening Party
  • Opening the show floor Tuesday morning will be the band “The All In” led by Taylor Farms’ Drew McDonald
  • Tuesday evening, after vendor and customer dinners, stop by House of Blues Chicago for a concert featuring local talent, “Talk of the Town” and a surprise guest
  • Wednesday afternoon, the show will close with the retail-foodservice celebration in the north hall foyer! This year, ALL attendees are invited to stay and celebrate the winners of the Retail Produce Manager Award and the Produce Excellence in Foodservice Award.


Whether you’re selling or simply seeking to connect during United Fresh this year, the truth is, opportunity is everywhere. Take advantage of these opportunities and available education sessions where you can learn and apply the takeaways to your work at home.  Enjoy, and be sure to stay tuned after United Fresh for our one of our most-read posts each year, “What Blew Us Away at United Fresh!” Safe travels, and we’ll see you in Chi-town.


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