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MDA Program Supports Local Food Companies at Global Show

AGRI Program boosts sales, expansion to new markets

St. Paul, MN - The Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s (MDA’s) AGRI New Markets Program will host 16 Minnesota-based food and beverage companies in Chicago, May 19-24. The companies will comprise the Minnesota Pavilions (as part of the American Food Fair) at the National Restaurant Association Show and the Sweets & Snacks Expo.

The events are expected to draw a total of more than 60,000 buyers and industry professionals, offering these Minnesota companies a chance to expand their markets and enter new ones.

“I’m proud of the work the AGRI New Markets Program is doing to support some of Minnesota’s most innovative food and beverage companies,” said Assistant Commissioner Andrea Vaubel. “Tradeshows are one of the best ways for these companies to make industry connections, increase their sales, and expand their businesses. The AGRI New Markets Program is all about offering practical assistance so these companies can hire more employees and contribute to Minnesota’s agricultural economy.”

In addition to marketing and logistical support at the trade shows, the AGRI New Markets Program offers a cost share for participants. Participating companies receive discounted booth space within the MDA’s Minnesota Pavilion and the opportunity to participate in networking events like the Minnesota Mingle, designed to encourage peer-to-peer conversations.

Last year, 71 companies participated in Minnesota Pavilions through the AGRI New Markets Program, with an average 41:1 return-on-investment for participating.

Exhibiting in the Minnesota Pavilion at the National Restaurant Association Show and Sweets & Snacks Expo:

· Captain Ken’s Foods – premium heat-and-serve foods

· Red River Valley Potatoes – fresh and processed red and yellow potatoes

· Mixmi Brands, Inc. – nutrient-rich frozen yogurt

· Stone Gate Foods – specialty food manufacturer and private labeler

· Compart Family Farms – premium Duroc pork, ham, and bacon

· Sno Pac – organic frozen fruits and vegetables

· The Amazing Chickpea – spreadable chickpea butter

· J & B Group – fresh meat, poultry, and deli products

· Kakookies – nutrient-dense, grab-and-go, soft baked cookies

· Dombrovski Craft Meats – high-quality craft meat products

· Sun Opta Foods, Inc. – non-dairy beverages, roasted snacks, and frozen fruits

· Krienke Foods (Pop’d Kerns) – half-popped popcorn snacks

· Dutch House Confections – soft caramel candies

· Henke Foods (Annie B’s/B.T. McElrath) – handcrafted popcorn, caramels, and chocolates

· Way Better Snacks – sprouted chips, crackers, and snacks

· Maddy and Maize – all natural, gourmet-flavored popcorn


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