SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Illinois Department of Agriculture will have a bigger presence at the world’s largest food service industry trade show, giving more Illinois food companies an opportunity to meet thousands of international buyers and grow their export business.
A record 22 Illinois companies will exhibit their products this year in the department’s expanded pavilion at the National Restaurant Association Show, which will be held Saturday, May 18 through Tuesday, May 21 at McCormick Place in Chicago.
“This show is a great opportunity for Illinois companies because it attracts buyers from around the world,” Governor Pat Quinn said. “We are committed to increasing the amount of Illinois products sold in the global marketplace, and this show allows companies to increase international sales without even leaving the state. It is another step toward our goal of doubling Illinois exports by 2015.”
Illinois is a leading exporter of food and agricultural products. It ranks fifth in the export of processed foods with sales of $3.1 billion and third in the export of agricultural commodities with sales of $8.2 billion.
“NRA is a great way for Illinois food companies to build name recognition in foreign markets, meet new customers and grow their export business,” Agriculture Director Bob Flider said. “Last year alone, trade leads developed at the show produced $8.3 million in actual and projected sales for participants in the department’s pavilion.”
The 58,000 buyers who will attend the show represent restaurants, hotels, cruise lines, airlines and food service businesses. They come from more than 100 countries to shop the show’s 1,800 exhibitors.
A list of the Illinois food companies participating this year follows:
Al Gelato Chicago, Franklin Park
Bay Valley Foods, Oakbrook
Buedel Fine Meats and Provisions, Bridgeview
Chicago Specialty Bakers, Bensenville
Clown-Gysin Brands, Northbrook
Direct Food Service/Perfect Pasta, Bensenville
Distinctive Foods, Wheeling
E. Formella & Sons, Countryside
Editable Eatables, Chicago Heights
GoPicnic Brands, Chicago
Gusto Packing Co., Montgomery
La Mexicana, Chicago
Living Water Farms, Strawn
M&G Foods, Hamilton
Meats By Linz, Calumet City
Seneca Foods, Princeville
Silverland Bakery, Forest Park
Sugar & Spice Extraordinary Sweet Treats, Evanston
Tone Products, Melrose Park
V. Formusa, Chicago
Vanee Foods, Berkeley
Whittingham Meats, Alsip