New SmartFood Expo to Join Global Cold Chain Expo and Other Show Partners in 2018

Mon 17/07/2017 by Richard Wilkinson

During the joint opening general session of the Global Cold Chain Expo, United FreshMKT, United FreshTEC, and International Floriculture Expo, show organizers announced a fifth new expo will be co-located with the partners in June 2018.

The new SmartFood ExpoTM is being launched by United Fresh, EnsembleIQ, and Progressive Grocer to focus on the exploding category of healthy foods marketed as “better-for-you,” bringing retail and foodservice buyers a one-stop shop to see what’s new and learn about trends and opportunities to increase their share of the healthy foods business.

The event will feature consumer products including natural foods, plant-based foods, fresh and healthy, organics, raw foods, products with clean labels and limited ingredients, and a wide variety of items that appeal to consumers’ demand for “better-for-you” foods. The SmartFood ExpoTM Conference will bring together industry leaders to explore consumer trends, market data, merchandising strategies and more to help retailers and foodservice executives build upon the excitement and business growth in the “healthy foods” segment.

“We’re excited to be partnering with United Fresh, as well as all of the show partners in Chicago, to meet a glaring need in the healthy food space,” said Jeff Greisch, chief brand officer, EnsembleIQ. “We know from our readers/users that buyers are anxious to grow their healthy foods offerings to meet increasing consumer demand. Until now, they’ve had to work too hard to find those products and learn how to take advantage of these business opportunities. With our commitment to retail success, we’ll be bringing focus to this diverse marketplace, employing the full resources of the EnsembleIQ team, including the Path to Purchase Institute, Progressive Grocer, Convenience Store News and our other properties.”

“We are thrilled to welcome EnsembleIQ as a new partner that will attract a new segment of food industry leaders to the already robust cold chain-fresh produce-floral show floor,” said Corey Rosenbusch, President & CEO, Global Cold Chain Alliance. “The rising consumer demand for organic, natural, and healthy foods presents a huge opportunity to the global cold chain audience. As these manufacturers – many of them representing smaller, niche labels – expand to meet consumer demands, our cold chain logistics, equipment, and technology providers will be there to help guarantee their distribution channels are proficient to maintain the quality of their brand. Having the shows co-located provides a perfect platform to foster important relationships between the two sectors.”

The primary audience for the SmartFood ExpoTM consists of buyers from multiple retail and foodservice channels sourcing “better-for-you” foods. These include major national chains but also independents, health and specialty food stores, restaurants, online marketers, home delivery and meal kit marketers, and more. In addition, a number of larger CPG companies and private equity investors will be seeking new food products that might fit within their own portfolios. The primary exhibitor audience includes some of those same CPG companies marketing “better-for-you” foods, but also a wide range of small and mid-sized companies looking for product exposure and sampling opportunities.

“While a few trade shows include a small selection of food products in this space, there are no shows targeted exclusively at the growing healthy foods segment,” said Tom Stenzel, President & CEO, United Fresh. “The show’s mission is to provide a unique opportunity for buyers to concentrate their focus on healthy foods. Chicago is an easy flight from anywhere in the U.S., as well as a major international destination, enabling widespread retail and foodservice attendance with minimal disruption to busy buyers’ daily work.”

The new SmartFood ExpoTM will be the fifth partner show in Chicago in June 2018, filling the 800,000 square-foot South Hall at McCormick Place side-by-side with the International Floriculture Expo, Global Cold Chain Expo, United FreshMKT and United FreshTEC.

“We’re thrilled to continue growing the footprint of healthy food, fresh foods, produce, floral and the cold chain services need to deliver the highest quality to consumers,” Stenzel said.

Exhibit sales, educational program development and attendee promotion have begun. Sales and program development will be handled jointly by the Ensemble IQ account staff and the SmartFood ExpoTM team.

For more information about exhibiting, partnering or supporting the SmartFood ExpoTM, contact Jeff Greisch, chief brand officer, EnsembleIQ at +1 224-337-4029 or or John Toner, United Fresh vice president of convention & industry collaboration at +1 202-303-3424 or For more information about the Global Cold Chain Expo, contact Laura Poko, Global Cold Chain Alliance director of marketing & communications, at +1 703-373-4300

About EnsembleIQ and Progressive Grocer:
EnsembleIQ serves the business-to-business needs of retailers, consumer goods manufacturers, technology vendors, marketing agencies and retail service providers with an integrated network of media and information resources that are designed to inform, connect and provide actionable marketplace intelligence. Learn more about EnsembleIQ at

Progressive Grocer has been the voice of the retail food industry since 1922. From chain supermarkets and supercenters to regional and local independent grocers, distributors, manufacturers and other supply chain trading partners, readers stay “Ahead of What’s Next” using PG’s research-based editorial content and need-to-know news. Learn more about Progressive Grocer at

About United Fresh Produce Association:
Founded in 1904, the United Fresh Produce Association brings together companies across every segment of the fresh produce supply chain, including growers, shippers, fresh cut processors, wholesalers, distributors, retailers, foodservice operators, industry suppliers and allied associations. We empower industry leaders to shape sound government policy. We deliver the resources and expertise companies need to succeed in managing complex business and technical issues. We provide the training and development individuals need to advance their careers in produce. Through these endeavors, we unite our industry with a common purpose – to build long-term value for our members and grow produce consumption.

About the Global Cold Chain Alliance:
Comprised of its Core Partners, including the International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses, the World Food Logistics Organization, the International Refrigerated Transportation Association, and the International Association for Cold Storage Construction, the Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA) represents all major industries engaged in temperature-controlled logistics. GCCA unites partners to be innovative leaders in the temperature-controlled products industry. For more information about GCCA, visit

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