Sample Virginia’s best at Food and Beverage Expo

virginiaOn March 21 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center, the Virginia Food and Beverage Expo will showcase hundreds of specialty food and beverage products from Virginia, many of which are part of the Virginia’s Finest® program.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) is expecting as many as 150-175 producers who will exhibit a diverse assortment of specialty food products, including meats, cheeses, peanuts, condiments, confections, baked goods, beverages, sauces, soups and seafood. Producers will meet one-on-one with trade buyers and culinary professionals who will sample products and place orders on the show floor.

Exhibition space is still available. Specialty food and beverage companies headquartered in Virginia that grow, produce or process a product are encouraged to apply for booth space atwww.VAexpo.com. The show’s program will list all vendors who registered by Feb. 23. VDACS will accommodate as many exhibitors as space is available. VDACS has produced a videohighlighting the benefits of attending and exhibiting at the Virginia Food and Beverage Expo.

Expo exhibitors with new products manufactured and sold between January 1, 2017 and March 2018 are encouraged to submit an application for the Best New Product competition by 5 p.m.February 14. The three categories for Best New Product awards include Best New Food, Best New Beverage and Best New Product Overall. Members of the media and industry professionals serve as judges to select the winners. The judges will evaluate the products based on originality, taste, aroma, creative packaging and visual appeal. The winners will be announced on the trade show floor at 11 a.m.

Admission to this trade-only show is free for buyers and members of the media. Trade buyers and the media are encouraged to pre-register at www.VAexpo.com. Trade buyers with a valid industry business card or identification can register at the walk-in registration table the day of the show. The Expo is not open to the public. Admission is open to individuals age 18 or older. For more information, call VDACS at 800.284.9452.

Previous expos have attracted as many as 1,000-1,500 registered attendees representing grocery stores, specialty and gift shops, celebrity chefs, restaurants, schools, museums, gift basket companies, hotels and gourmet food writers.

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