May 15, 2017

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Growth, Research, and Innovation (AGRI) New Markets Program will host 16 Minnesota-based food and beverage companies at three major industry tradeshows in Chicago, May 20-25. The AGRI New Markets Program supports development of small- to medium-sized food and beverage companies by providing marketing and logistical support, and sharing booth costs in Minnesota Pavilions at national tradeshows.

The 16 companies will participate in Minnesota Pavilions at the National Restaurant Association Show, the Beverage Alcohol for Restaurants (BAR) Show, and the Sweets and Snacks Expo. The events are expected to draw a total of more than 65,000 buyers and industry professionals, offering these Minnesota companies a chance to expand their markets and enter new ones.

“Tradeshows are one of the best ways for Minnesota companies to make industry connections, increase sales, and expand their businesses,” said Assistant Commissioner Andrea Vaubel. “The Minnesota Pavilion not only provides a cost-share, but it also gives Minnesota companies extra support throughout the shows.”

Last year, nearly 60 companies participated in Minnesota Pavilions. They projected $6.7 million in news sales as a result of participating.

Attending the National Restaurant Association Show:
Compart Family Farms, Nicollet: premium Duroc hams, bacon, tenderloin, ribs, and dry aged pork 
Red River Valley Potatoes, East Grand Forks: fresh and processed red and yellow potatoes 
Sparboe Foods, Litchfield: halal, kosher, cage-free egg options 
Stone Gate Foods, Shakopee: specialty food manufacturer, co-packer, and private label food company 
Captain Ken’s Foods, Saint Paul: producer and marketer of quality fine foods 
Joia, Saint Louis Park: all natural soda and craft cocktails 
Northarvest Bean Growers, Frazee: North America’s largest supplier of dry beans 
Leech Lake Wild Rice, Cass Lake: natural and organic hand harvested wild rice 
Sno Pac, Caledonia: organically grown and processed frozen fruits and vegetables 
SunOpta, Edina: packaged beverages, healthy snacks, roasted grains, and more

Attending BAR17:
Joia Spirit, Saint Louis Park: all natural soda and craft cocktails 
Rusty Anchor Bloody Mary Mix, Wheaton: small batch Bloody Mary mix

Attending the 2017 Sweets and Snacks Expo:
Krienke Foods (Pop’d Kerns), Mountain Lake: half-popped popcorn with a satisfying crunch 
Dutch House Confections, Nelson: soft caramel candies 
Henke Foods (Annie B’s/B.T. McElrath), Mahtomedi: handcrafted popcorn, caramels, and chocolates 
SunOpta, Edina: packaged beverages, healthy snacks, roasted grains, and more 
WholeMe, Minneapolis: nutrient-dense convenient foods

To learn more about the AGRI New Markets Program and upcoming Minnesota Pavilion events, visit


Media Contact 
Alauna Yust, MDA Communications