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Valley Food Competition Highlights New Products
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The 2016 Fresno Food Expo is excited to debut 33 innovative new products, varietals and packaging concepts that were entered into the New Product Awards from 28 different Central California businesses. Now in its fourth year, the New Product Awards, presented by Baker Peterson Franklin CPA, LLP, have become a strategic opportunity for participating businesses to launch new products. This year’s products range from freeze-dried organic fruits and craft beers made with locally grown ingredients to infused olive oils, craft chocolate, gourmet nuts and nut butters, healthy snacks and everything in between, even all natural dog treats, which showcase the diversity of quality foods and beverages made in Central California.

The 2016 Fresno Food Expo will be held on Thursday, July 28 at the Fresno Convention & Entertainment Center New Exhibit Hall. There is a business-to-business portion from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., only open to pre-registered, pre-qualified buyers. Following is Expolicious, the public event from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., where people are invited to taste and discover the innovative, quality products produced in their local communities of Central California and meet the companies behind those products. Tickets for the public event are $50 and can be purchased at any Ticketmaster Box Office or online at

All products entered into the New Product Awards are competing for the coveted Buyer’s Choice and People’s Choice Awards. To determine the Buyer’s Choice Award winner, all 33 products were reviewed, ranked and narrowed down to 10 finalists by a panel of marketing and food industry leaders at the New Product Awards Preview event, “Taste, Tally & Tweet,” on July 13. These 10 products will now advance to the Celebrity Judging Panel, in which judging will take place during the Fresno Food Expo on July 28 and is comprised of professionals from retail, restaurant, foodservice and packaging industries. The Buyer’s Choice Award will be announced during the Fresno Food Expo tradeshow on July 28 at 12 p.m.

“This year’s celebrity judging panel brings various perspectives on what foods, beverages and even more so, ingredients are driving consumer buying trends,” said Amy Fuentes, Manager of the Fresno Food Expo.

The other coveted award is the People’s Choice Award, which is entirely determined by the public through online voting. The People’s Choice Award allows the public to share their thoughts as a consumer, voicing their opinion on what products stand out from others in the marketplace. It also is a great opportunity for the companies who submitted new products to get real-time consumer feedback. To vote for your favorite new product, visit the Fresno Food Expo’s website or Facebook page. Votes are counted by the number of “Likes” on each product receives on Facebook, combined with all votes cast via email through the Fresno Food Expo website. Voting continues until 3 p.m. on July 28. The winner of the People’s Choice Award will be announced that night during Expolicious.