MDA to Help Minnesota Food and Beverage Firms Shine at Chicago Trade Shows

15 Creative Local Businesses Headed for International Spotlight


St. Paul, MN: The Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s (MDA’s) New Markets Program will shine a light on 15 Minnesota food and beverage companies seeking to grow at the National Restaurant Association Show and the Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago, May 18-23, 2019.

These two events are collectively expected to draw more than 60,000 buyers and other industry professionals from around the world. Within these large industry (trade-only) events, the New Markets Program coordinates “Minnesota Pavilions,” designed to amplify the efforts of the very creative Minnesota food makers who will be courting those buyers.

“We’re proud to be supporting the growth of local food brands and food business development through the New Markets Program and our Minnesota Pavilions,” said MDA Assistant Commissioner Whitney Place. “Cooperation between the MDA and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) will help maintain our standing as an international leader in food innovation.”

The MDA’s New Markets Program provides promotion, logistical support, and cost-sharing for companies exhibiting within the Minnesota Pavilion. Participants at these same events last year projected sales in excess of $2.14 million for this year. They counted 272 high value contacts, and estimated 54 new distributor relationships were initiated as a result of the shows. DEED is hoping to use the tradeshows as a platform to invite food business expansion in our state.

Mary Kosir of Log House Foods, a Plymouth-based company, is traveling to Chicago this month. Through the New Markets Program, the state has been an essential partner in helping Minnesota food brands grow, she said

“We are very fortunate to be growing Log House Foods in a state with a supportive ecosystem, and we’re looking forward to more exciting results at both of these events in Chicago this year!” she said.

Exhibiting in the National Restaurant Association/American Food Fair and at the Sweets & Snacks Expo, in the Minnesota Pavilion:

• Captain Ken’s Foods

• Red River Valley Potatoes

• Smude’s

• Superior Switchel

• Kakookies

• Compart Family Farms

• SnoPac

• Nordic Waffles

• SunOpta

• Dutch House Confections

• Henke Foods (Annie B’s/BT McElrath)

• Way Better Snacks

• Kay’s Naturals

• Route to India (Yoga Pops)

• Log House Foods (Whole Me)


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