Press Release

Fresno Food Expo Features 28 Innovative New Products as Part of Awards Program

Thursday, July 13th, 2017

The 2017 Fresno Food Expo is excited to debut 28 innovative new products, varietals and packaging concepts that were entered into the New Product Awards from 26 different Central California businesses. Now in its fifth year, the New Product Awards, presented by Baker Peterson Franklin CPA, LLP, have become a strategic opportunity for participating businesses to launch new products in front of buyers, securing product placement in stores, restaurants and foodservice distribution channels, plus get immediate test consumer marketplace feedback. 

To date more than 160 new products have been entered into the Fresno Food Expo New Product Awards. This year’s products range from cold brew coffee milk and handcrafted vodka to sour strawberry-flavored golden raisins and almond butter.

“The innovation, the vision, the drive to create quality products for the marketplace can be seen in this diverse new product line-up,” said David Nalchajian, General Manager of the Fresno Food Expo. “The New Product Awards continue to showcase the inventive and entrepreneurial spirit that exists in Central California, and helps us tell the story about what makes our region truly unique.”

All products entered are competing for two distinctive awards: the Buyer’s Choice and the People’s Choice. To determine the Buyer’s Choice Award winner, all 28 products were reviewed, ranked and narrowed down to 10 finalists by a panel of marketing and food industry leaders at the New Product Awards Preview event, “Taste, Tally & Tweet,” on July 12, 2017. These 10 products will now advance to the Celebrity Judging Panel, in which judging will take place on July 26. The judging panel is comprised of professionals from retail, restaurant, foodservice and packaging industries including: the Supermarket Guru, Phil Lempert, who will also lead the Expo’s featured keynote speech on July 26; world-renown Chef Erna Kubin-Clanin, Owner of 5-star Erna’s Elderberry House and Chateau du Sureau; Direct Store Delivery Receiving Manager and Local Marketing Lead of Albertsons-Safeway Northern California Division,  Sean Topping; and Division Manager at leading custom packaging solutions company Landsberg Orora, Jim Jarosz.

The following companies are finalists in the Buyer’s Choice Award category: Busseto Foods’ California PartyPack – Wine Trail Edition; Cardella Winery’s 2014 Barbera Reserve; Pappy’s Fine Foods’ Steak ‘N Grill Seasoning; Enzo Olive Oil’s ENZO Fresno Chili Crush; Jasper Specialty Foods’ Bloody Mary Almonds; L.T. Sue Company’s Ho Tai Chai; Rosa Brothers Milk Company and Lanna Coffee Co.’s Cold Brew Coffee Milk; Sun-Maid Growers of California’s Sour Strawberry Flavored Golden Raisins; The Brioche Lady’s Purple Yam Brioche; and Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Company’s Half Dome California Wheat.

Last year, Aubrey’s Jerky was selected to receive the “Buyer’s Choice Award” first-place prize, followed by Tioga-Sequoia 99 Golden Ale in second place and Lanna Coffee Co. Cold Brew in third place. These winners have experienced significant achievements since their participation in the New Product Awards such as collaborating on new products with fellow Expo exhibitors and opening new store fronts and warehouse facilities due to the increased demand of their winning products. 

“The Fresno Food Expo has been an amazing platform that has helped us share our product with the community and has allowed us to create amazing partnerships with local businesses,” said Bryan Feil, CEO, Lanna Coffee. “Since our participation, we’ve built upon our relationship with JD Foods who now distributes our 2016 winning product, Cold Brew. We’ve also teamed up with longtime exhibitor and Expo sponsor, Rosa Brothers Milk Company, to create a new product that has debuted in the 2017 New Product Awards, Cold Brew Coffee Milk. The exposure, relationships and opportunities offered at the Expo are one-of-a-kind and worth experiencing.”  

The other coveted award is the People’s Choice Award, which is entirely determined by the public throughonline voting. The People’s Choice Award allows the public to share their thoughts as a consumer, voicing their opinion on what products stand out from others in the marketplace. It also is a great opportunity for the companies who submitted new products to get real-time consumer feedback. To vote for your favorite new product, visit the Fresno Food Expo’s website or Facebook page. Votes are counted by the number of “Likes” on each product receives on Facebook, combined with all votes cast via email through the Fresno Food Expo website. Voting is officially open as of today and continues until Monday, July 25 at 5 p.m. Last year, ARO Pistachio took home the People’s Choice Award for their Grower's Reserve with Himalayan Pink Salt. Since their product win in 2016, ARO Pistachio’s e-commerce site has seen a thirty percent boom in activity since their Expo participation since the 2016 Expo.

The winner for both the Buyer’s Choice and People’s Choice Awards will be announced during the Expo’s exclusive VIP event, Pairings, which is open to all pre-registered buyers and sponsors of the Fresno Food Expo on July 26. This event features live cooking stations hosted in partnership by the region’s leading food producers and manufacturers with local restaurants and celebrity chefs from Erna’s Elderberry House Restaurant, Max’s Bistro & Bar, Trelio Restaurant and The Painted Table, offering the exclusive opportunity to make meaningful connections for those food producers and buyer’s in attendance. 

The 2017 Fresno Food Expo will take place July 26-27, 2017. The agenda includes featured keynote speaker, Phil Lempert, the Supermarket Guru, followed by the Expo’s opening reception, Pairings, on July 26. The tradeshow portion will take place on Thursday, July 27 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., followed by Expolicious, the Expo’s evening celebration from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. Registration is currently open for buyers. More than 140 exhibitors are expected to participate.

Tickets to Expolicious, are available to the public for $50 and can be purchased at any Ticketmaster Box Office, online at or at Cumulus Broadcasting, while supplies last. For discount ticket information, you can Like the Fresno Food Expo on Facebook, or follow them on Instagram and Twitter. Special codes that can be used for discounted tickets will be on the Fresno Food Expo’s social media pages from July 13 to July 22. For more information on the Fresno Food Expo, visit

In This Story

The Fresno Food Expo is the largest regional food show in the nation, showcasing Central California's finest food and beverage related companies.

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