The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) announces the return of the Virginia Food and Beverage Expo for March 21, 2018 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. The popular culinary event showcases the wide variety of food and beverage products from across the Commonwealth. Specialty food and beverage companies headquartered in Virginia that grow, produce or process a product are encouraged to apply for exhibit space at www.vaexpo.com.
“The companies represented at the Virginia Food and Beverage Expo reflect the diversity of Virginia agribusiness,” said Commissioner Sandy Adams. “These small to mid-sized businesses directly promote economic development and raise Virginia’s national and international profile among high quality food and beverage products.”
VDACS is expecting as many as 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. Trade buyers meet one-on-one with company owners, sample products and place orders on the show floor. 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. The Expo takes place every other year on even years.
“The Virginia Food and Beverage Expo is a must see for retailers, restaurant owners, distributors, chefs, bartenders and other trades in the specialty food and beverage industry,” said Rob Reper, TASTE Vice President/Chief Operating Officer and Virginia Specialty Food Advisory Committee member. “This expo encompasses all things new in Virginia food and beverage and it’s the only place where buyers can conveniently sample a wide assortment of Virginia products under one roof.”
The Virginia Food and Beverage Expo is the largest gathering of Virginia’s Finest® specialty crafted food and drink purveyors. Virginia specialty food products and beverages are well-known for their consistently high quality. Items that have earned the title of Virginia’s Finest are so named because they represent the very best products produced within the state.
Admission to this trade-only show is free for trade buyers and members of the media. Buyers and the media are encouraged to register at www.vaexpo.com. The Expo is not open to the public. No one under age 18 will be admitted.
Specialty foods represent a large segment of the U.S. food industry and this segment continues to grow at a rapid pace. The Specialty Food Association estimates that total sales of specialty foods in 2016 reached $127 billion.