March 2, 2014
KeHE’s 2014 Summer Selling and Product Innovation Show, held Feb. 4-5 in New Orleans, Louisiana, had the largest number of retailer attendees in the show’s history. Overall attendee registration was up 29 percent over last year’s show. Focusing on the natural, specialty and fresh product segments, nearly 700 suppliers showcased products that sell well during the summer selling season. Suppliers also showed new products to the market in the last six months. The show donated more than 36,000 pounds of food to the Second Harvest Food Bank, which means approximately 45,000 meals will be served to Louisiana communities.
The invitation-only, two-day industry trade show brought together over 3,200 retailers, suppliers and KeHE account managers, and included three times more product bookings than last year’s show.
Additional show highlights included:
· Keynote address by Laurie Demeritt, CEO of The Hartman Group. Demeritt shared trending consumer insights and provided valuable information for retailers and suppliers to take home and implement in their businesses.
· KeHE’s new, proprietary iPad-based ordering system. This easy to use electronic ordering system was praised by retailers and suppliers as easy to use and highly effective.
· Supplier attendance increases in key product areas. Categories showing the largest increases included deli and bakery, healthy snacks, allergen-free products, raw products, locally sourced products, functional beverages, organics and non-GMO certified products.
· Celebration event held at the National WWII Museum. KeHE was one of the first groups to host an event at the new museum and the first group large enough to reserve the entire multi-building museum complex. The event paid tribute to veterans of all wars, and their families. The celebration menu featured New Orleans-inspired food with a focus on locally sourced items and included a strong representation of gluten free, vegan and vegetarian options.
“We are pleased with the outcome of the show; this was the largest attendee turnout in the show’s history,” stated Brandon Barnholt, KeHE President and CEO. “Our Summer Selling & Product Innovation Show is our fastest growing show and is actually one of the fastest growing shows of any kind in the US, as reported by the Trade Show News Network."
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