Viva Fresh Expo Wraps Up Announcing The Gateway To Innovation Award Winners And Best Of Show Recipient

Mission, Texas: The 2018 Viva Fresh Expo was a great success with record retail/foodservice attendance and a show floor packed with Tex-Mex exhibitors making it a true regional expo. This year’s expo also introduced the new Gateway to Innovation awards, recognizing the cutting-edge developments within the region.

The purpose of this award program was to identify excellence in several key areas including: packaging design, new product development, food safety, machinery, software, and technology.  Category finalists and winners were selected by a panel of judges comprised of retail, foodservice, and produce industry veterans based on a strict set of criteria.  

“We implemented a truly unique display creating a ‘wow’ moment outside the exhibit hall to attract attention to these impressive innovations,” stated Dante Galeazzi, President and CEO of TIPA.   “In addition, we wanted to get the Viva Fresh attendees involved in the voting process which is why the Best of Show Winner was selected by popular vote during the Expo. Attendees were able to vote via text or online and the winner was announced in the Expo hall on Saturday.”

ScanTech Sciences received the most votes and the first annual Best of Show Award for their Most Innovative Food Safety Product Solution: Electronic Cold-Pasteurization.

The following is the list of winners in each award category:

  • Most Innovative Fruit Product: Marvelous Jackfruit as Meat Substitute from Cabefruit Produce LLC 
  • Most Innovative Vegetable Product:  Honey + Vinegar Golden Beets from Love Beets USA
  • Most Innovative Fruit Packaging or POS Solution: Halos Tree and Tractor Display from Wonderful Citrus
  • Most Innovative Vegetable Packaging or POS Solution: Veggies To Go from Mucci Farms
  • Most Innovative Value-Added Solution:  SUNSET® You Make Me™ Pasta Kits from Mastronardi Produce
  • Most Innovative Technology Application or Software:  Mucci International Logistics App by Mucci Farms

“I was really impressed by participation and the creative and inventive entries that we received, especially for our first year with this showcase,” commented Galeazzi.  “This just validates the impressive talent in this region.  We look forward to the region’s next wave of leading edge ideas for next year’s Gateway to Innovation Awards.”

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About the Viva Fresh Produce Expo

The Viva Fresh Produce Expo was established in 2015 by the Texas International Produce Association (TIPA) in order to create meaningful networking and educational opportunities for its members while shining a light on the importance of the Rio Grande Valley as an emerging trade corridor and production zone for healthy and nutritious fruits and vegetables available all year long. In just three years, the Viva Fresh Produce Expo has catered to sold out crowds and increased buyer attendance by over 140%. 

Source: Viva Fresh Produce Expo