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Grant Program pays off at Winter Fancy Food Show


January 26, 2017

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s (MDA) Agricultural Growth, Research, and Innovation (AGRI) New Markets Program recently supported 11 Minnesota food and beverage companies at the largest specialty food tradeshow on the West Coast. The participating companies have reported new customers and larger distribution as a result of this week’s Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco. Several companies left the show with new awards.

For K-Mama Sauce, a burgeoning Korean hot sauce company based in Minneapolis, attending the Winter Fancy Food Show opened the door to new markets in Seattle, Portland, and Honolulu. K-Mama Sauce founder and manager KC Kye called the company’s first national tradeshow a great success.

Bee Free Honee, Minneapolis-based makers of vegan honey, and gourmet peanut butter company PB Crave both took home awards from the show. Bee Free Honee was recognized as a Top Ten winner of the Specialty Food Association’s Taste Innovation Awards, while PB Crave received the American Masters of Taste Gold Medal in the Value-Added Peanut Butter Category.

With over 1,400 exhibitors and more than 80,000 unique products showcased, Agricultural Marketing Specialist Brian Erickson credits Minnesota companies’ success to their planning and effort on the tradeshow floor, as well as their innovative products.

“The AGRI New Markets Program helps companies explore new markets,” said Erickson, “and we provide on-site assistance and marketing. But these companies bring the quality, spirit, and passion that gets recognized by some of the most respected buyers and distributors in the industry.”

These innovate companies participated in the MDA’s Minnesota Pavilion at the Winter Fancy Food Show:

• Annie B's/B.T. McElrath, popcorn, caramels, and chocolates

• Whole Me, nutrient-dense snack foods

• Joia Life, all natural sodas and cocktail mixers

• Bare Honey, pure honeys and flavored honey spreads

• Seven Sundays, muesli and muesli squares

• PB Crave, gourmet peanut butter

• Pop’d Kerns, all natural corn snacks

• Waymouth Farms, innovative snack foods

• Bee Free Honee, plant-based vegan honey

• Dashfire Bitters, handcrafted cocktail bitters

• K-Mama Sauce, Korean hot sauce

The AGRI New Markets Program supports economic development for small to medium sized food and beverage companies by providing a cost share for booth space at national and international tradeshows. For more information, visit


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