Recent California Expansion of the Fresno Food Expo Sparks Increase in Variety of Exhibitors and Award Platform Entries

July 04, 2018

Recent California Expansion of the Fresno Food Expo Sparks Increase in Variety of Exhibitors and Award Platform Entries

New Product, Consumer’s Choice, & Fred Ruiz Entrepreneurial Award entries close July 6 at 5 p.m.

The 8th annual Fresno Food Expo has seen a more diverse array of food and beverage companies join the Expo and enter their products in the New Product Awards, Consumer’s Choice Awards and the Fred Ruiz Entrepreneurial Award programs after opening its show floor to all of California. All award programs close for entries on

July 6 at 5 p.m. For award program details and to apply, visit

Slated for July 26, 2018 more than 140 exhibitors, from San Diego to Butte Counties have already signed up and more are expected to fill the show floor to connect with an estimated 700 retail and foodservice buyers, as well as chefs and restauranteurs from throughout the nation and world.

“Our goal is simple - to connect the nation and world with top quality, well-known California food and beverage brands and to help build the profile of emerging brands from the state’s $71.25 billion food industry,” said Amy Fuentes, Manager, Fresno Food Expo. “California, and the Expo show floor, truly has it all. From wine and beer to dairy products, olive oil, meats, fresh produce, seasonings, nuts, ethnic specialty foods and so much more – buyers will reap the benefits of seeing all California has to offer in one place and on one day at the Expo.”

The New Product Awards showcase innovative food and beverage products, providing an elevated platform for participating exhibitors to tout a new product or packaging concept. Current entries range from a berry-infused tortilla to a Hazy IPA and a sun-dried plum BBQ sauce. All entries can be viewed here and are expected to be submitted by the July 6 deadline: Judging for the New Product Awards will include members from the new California Retail Advisory Panel including appointees from: Albertsons and VONS, Southern California; Albertsons and Safeway, Northern California; Bristol Farms; Erewhon Markets; Whole Foods Market, Northern California and Reno; and Walmart, in addition to special guest, the Supermarket Guru, Phil Lempert. Last year, Tioga Sequoia Brewing Company took first place for its Half Dome California Wheat beer while ENZO Olive Oil Company won second for its ENZO Fresno Chili Crush olive oil. 

The New Consumer’s Choice Award provides an expanded opportunity for participating exhibitors to showcase their flagship products which will be decided by consumers! The first round of voting will be conducted by members of the public through an online voting platform on the Expo’s website beginning July 7 at 9 a.m. – July 22 at 11 p.m. Then the Official Consumer Panel – which consists of 20 individuals hand-chosen by Expo management from anonymous submissions that mirror the demographics of California for gender, ethnicity, age, income and education – will select the final winners, which will be announced during the Expo’s Welcome Breakfast on Thursday, July 26.

The Fred Ruiz Entrepreneurial Award, open to any exhibiting California food or beverage company, will be awarded to a company that is a pioneer in innovation, a steward in their community, has a risk-

taking mindset, extraordinary passion for California’s food industry and demonstrates outstanding leadership. Applications will be reviewed by a panel of food industry judges, including Fred Ruiz. The winner will be announced during the Welcome Breakfast on Thursday, July 26. The 2017 recipient of this award was ENZO Olive Oil.

Part of the magic of food is seeing it come to life during EXPOLICIOUS, when dozens of chefs and restaurateurs join the show floor and create new Expo influenced bites to compete for their own suite of awards judged by world-renowned broadcaster, author and Food Network personality, Simon Majumdar. Participating EXPOLICIOUS restaurateurs include: The Press Box, Quesadilla Gorilla, Riley’s Brew Pub, The Annex Kitchen, The Elbow Room, The Painted Table, Bobby Salazar’s Mexican Foods, Max’s Bistro & Bar, Sam’s Deli and Bella Luna Bistro & Bar.   

A limited number of booth spaces are still available for California food and beverage companies who can register online at Qualified buyers may attend for free and can register at Tickets for the Expo’s evening celebration, EXPOLICIOUS can be purchased for $50 per person online at

About Fresno Food Expo
The Fresno Food Expo was launched in 2011 by the City of Fresno in an effort to connect the region’s food industry companies to new retail and foodservice customers, and put a spotlight on California’s San Joaquin Valley thriving and diverse food industry. Since then, the Expo has transitioned to a 501c-6 governed by a 13-member Board of Directors made up of Presidents and CEOs from some of California’s largest and most productive food companies. The Expo’s prime function is to connect California food and beverage companies to retailers and foodservice buyers actively seeking California brands and make it a priority to locally source products. For more information on the Fresno Food Expo, visit