The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) will host 15 innovative food and beverage companies at the 2019 Natural Products Expo West (NPEW) trade show, March 6-8, 2019, in Anaheim, California. The Agricultural Growth, Research, and Innovation (AGRI) New Markets Program coordinates Minnesota Pavilions at food trade shows across the United States and internationally, with the goal of providing a competitive advantage for Minnesota participants.
“Minnesota is a major food and beverage innovation hub and the MDA’s New Markets Program can give startups a huge boost at some of the country’s biggest trade shows,” said Assistant Commissioner Whitney Place, who leads the MDA’s Agricultural Marketing and Development Division. “We’re on pace to help nearly 70 companies at trade shows in 2019.”
In 2018, NPEW attracted 85,000 (trade-only) attendees, including food buyers, brokers and investors. The 11 companies who participated in the Minnesota Pavilion there, projected more than $1 million in new sales as a result of their participation, indicating a return on investment of better than $16 for every dollar invested in the event.
With event partners Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), and Greater MSP, focused on business and talent attraction, and the MDA working to help companies with their market reach, Minnesota has an all-out 1-2 punch planned for Anaheim. Minnesota is a global leader in food manufacturing, a hub for talent in food and agricultural innovation and, according to Greater MSP, food and agribusiness companies boast an estimated workforce over 75,000, growing 7 percent over the last five years. Minnesota is home to 1,600 agricultural and food scientists, the largest such high-skilled workforce after California and Texas, and more than twice the national average.
The 15 Minnesota brands participating in the Minnesota Pavilion include Jonny Pops, So Good Brands, Seven Sundays, Bizzy Coffee, Toom, KMama, WholeMe, nomi, Superior Switchel, The Amazing Chickpea, Make it Simple/Pep Talk, Bliss Gourmet Foods, River Hills Harvest, Minnesota Hemp Farms, and Smude’s.
Margaret Hart, MDA Communications