February 27, 2017

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) will host 19 of Minnesota’s innovative food and beverage companies at this year’s Natural Products Expo West trade show in Anaheim, California. The Agricultural Growth, Research, and Innovation (AGRI) New Markets Program coordinates Minnesota Pavilions that provide discounted booth space to Minnesota food companies at industry trade shows across the United States and internationally.

In the past year, nearly 60 companies participated in trade shows through the MDA’s AGRI New Markets Program. Those companies reported $6.7 million in new sales as a result of trade show participation, indicating a return on investment of nearly $20 for every dollar invested.

“Minnesota’s food and beverage sector is leading the region in quality and ingenuity,” said Assistant Commissioner Andrea Vaubel, who leads the MDA’s Agricultural Marketing and Development Division. “The AGRI New Markets Program gives us a chance to support some of the most enterprising start-ups in the state. They’re starting new companies, hiring more employees, and often sourcing Minnesota-grown agricultural products – which all contribute to the state’s economy.”

As a global leader in food manufacturing, Minnesota is home to more food scientists than any other region in the country, according to GreaterMSP, and Minnesota food and agribusiness companies boast an estimated workforce of 82,000 employees. Natural and organic food and beverage sales have consistently increased over the last decade. Sales are projected to continue to grow in 2017.

As the largest natural food and beverage trade show on the West Coast, Natural Products Expo West attracted nearly 77,000 attendees last year. The popular trade show offers Minnesota companies a tremendous opportunity to explore new markets and make connections with thousands of potential buyers.

Nineteen companies will participate in the AGRI New Markets Program at the 2017 Natural Products Expo West:

JonnyPops: all-natural frozen fruit and cream pops
Nots! Snacks: nut-free, gluten-free sunflower snacks
Seven Sundays: muesli and muesli squares
Total Health Advanced Nutrition: high-quality nutritional supplements and foods
Bliss Gourmet Foods: artisan granola and muesli blends
Envy Foods: all-natural premium juices and smoothies
Wilderness Family Naturals/Wildly Organic: organic and natural raw foods
Bizzy Coffee: organic cold brew coffee concentrate
Toom Dips: premium garlic dips, available in four flavors
Thousand Hills Cattle Company: lifetime grazed, 100% grass fed beef
WholeMe: nutrient dense convenient foods
Farmer You/Product of Nature: micro-green trays, germination pads, and seeds
So Good Brand: certified organic non-GMO juice, coffee, and nut milk
Fresh Bar: refrigerated nutrition bars
Buddy’s Nut Butters: better, simpler peanut butter
Dr. in the Kitchen – Flackers: organic flax seed crackers 
Bongard’s Premium Cheese: farmer-owned cooperative producing signature cheeses 
Punk Rawk Labs: gourmet dairy-free nut-milk cheese
Henke Foods: handcrafted popcorn, caramels, and chocolates


Media Contact
Alauna Yust, MDA Communications