Thursday, October 21, 2010

PMA Fresh Summit Recap

Excerpts from a 10/20/10 article in The Packer written by Doug Ohlemeier

A record 3,938 retail and foodservice buyers walked the floors of the Orange County Convention Center in the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit 2010, up from 3,633 in 2009 and the 3,842 that visited the Orlando show in 2008.

Fresh Summit drew 18,284 participants, beating the previous East Coast record attendance of 17,503 in 2008, the last time the convention was held in the Sunshine State.

“There is a lot of energy and excitement on the floor,” said Garry Bergstrom, business development director of produce and floral for Publix Super Markets Inc., Lakeland. “People seem to be more upbeat. They’re not talking about the economy as much as they did two years ago. There’s more optimism.”

Last year’s confab in Anaheim, Calif., set the convention’s attendance record of 19,060.

From one end of the convention hall to the other, buyers from major retail chains and foodservice and wholesale operations visited produce suppliers and others in the show’s 950 exhibitors, up from last year’s more than 800 exhibitors.

Fresh Summit draws high East Coast attendance