Viva Fresh Expo Expands Gateway to Innovation Awards (The Produce News)

Viva Fresh Expo Expands Gateway to Innovation Awards (The Produce News)

JANUARY 18, 2019


The Viva Fresh Expo is taking a new approach for the second annual Gateway to Innovation Awards by expanding its submissions to all types of innovations from the fast-growing Tex-Mex corridor.

In addition to packaging designs and new point-of-sale developments, industry members are encouraged to submit a wide variety of innovations included but not limited to new seed varieties, advances in production, machinery, packing facilities and greenhouses, technology or application software, food safety, traceability, and sustainability efforts.  

“We’re not putting categories or limits on the type of innovation to be submitted,” said Dante Galeazzi, president and chief executive officer of the Texas International Produce Association, which established the Viva Fresh Expo in 2015.  “Our vision is much broader than a typical new product showcase. We want to recognize excellence in innovation that extends from seed to shelf, and really celebrate the ideas that are improving each and every aspect of fresh produce coming from this region.”

The contest is open to all Viva Fresh exhibitors and sponsors. Twenty-four top tier finalists will be selected to be included in the display case by a panel of judges comprised of retail, foodservice and produce industry veterans based on a set of strict criteria. All expo attendees will be encouraged to vote live, from the show floor via mobile device, for their favorite innovation to receive the Best of Show Award during the expo.

All applications are due by Feb. 20 and the finalists will be notified by March 25.  

“It’s exciting to open up this program to a much wider range of possibilities redefining what innovation means and showcasing the achievements from the Tex-Mex region,” said Heidi McIntyre from Full Tilt Marketing, promoter of the Viva Fresh Expo. “Last year’s innovation showcase display was a ‘wow’ moment during the expo that was very well received and we expect to create more buzz this year.”    

The finalists will be displayed before and during the Expo on Saturday, April 27 and the overall Best in Show Award will be announced that afternoon, during the show.

The 2019 Viva Fresh Expo will be held April 25-27 at the JW Marriott Hill Country Resort in San Antonio.