| Ashley Bentley
Denise Donohue, executive director of the DeWitt-based Michigan Apple Committee, discussed potential foreign competition with Eric Trachtenberg, director of the Agricultural Trade Office for the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, at the National Restaurant Associationâs Restaurant, Hotel and Motel Show May 16 in Chicago.
| Ashley Bentley
Tree Top Inc. has had success with its sliced apple program, and was pushing its apple chunks product at the National Restaurant Associationâs Restaurant, Hotel and Motel Show May 16 in Chicago. The Selah, Wash.-based company sells the apples in red, green or mixed 3-pound bags.
âTheyâve had a lot of success in salad bars and on sandwiches,â said Lisa Baldoz, marketing manager for foodservice.
Among the other hits for produce were micro greens, baby vegetables and specialty items.
San Marcos, Calif.-based Fresh Origins LLCâs clamshells of baby carrots, radishes, turnips and onions were new at the show. Fresh Origins also had micro salicornia, also known as sea asparagus or sea bean, said Kelly Sasuaga, sales manager.
Koppert Cress promoted micro greens, and was sampling a variety of its living plants.
Although the association wonât release a final count of attendees and exhibitors until after the four-day show ends, exhibitors had their own opinions about this yearâs turnout.
âThis is a huge show, and a lot of people in Chicago are very supportive of the Michigan apple industry,â Donohue said.
This was the first year at the show for the Michigan Apple Committee, which was part of the Michigan Department of Agricultureâs pavilion.
This was the second year at the show for the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association, East Grand Forks, Minn., which baked red potatoes for attendees at its booth.
âI can already tell there are less people here,â said Ted Kreis, marketing manager, May 16, the first day of the show.
Whether the economy had an affect on how many attended, the aisles of the show floor were still packed, and attendees flocked to samples of produce at booths.
âTheyâre excited about something fresh and healthy to eat at the show,â said Lindsay Martinez, director of marketing for Boskovich Farms Inc., Oxnard, Calif.
Boskovich Farms sampled cole slaw with an Asian dressing in an attempt to feature the salad in a form not covered by mayonnaise, Martinez said.