Last week, from April 25 - 27, the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) organized their annual convention and trade show. For the first time since 2017, the event took place in Toronto, Ontario. More than 300 companies exhibited, and last year’s attendance record was broken.
“Despite the higher numbers, it was still a very family-like atmosphere,” said Ernst van Eeghen with Church Brothers Farms. What is driving the growth of CPMA’s event? “It’s important for us to have a presence here,” says Michael DuPuis with Divine Flavor. “Canada is a key component of our sales, and we want to support Canada.” Comments from Mark Cassius of Sol Group Marketing were along the same lines. “Canada is a great market for us, and we want to meet with our customers here,” he said.
Click here for the photo report from the show.
The trade show was held during the afternoons of April 26 and April 27. On the first day, the show floor was busy from the beginning. This could likely be attributed to the short time people had on the floor, as it was a 4-hour event. Exhibitors and buyers were very focused on meeting each other and used their time efficiently. Produce companies as well as buyers were represented by senior decision makers. "Traffic has been great," says George Pitsikoulis with Canadawide. In addition to visitors from Canada and the US, Pitsikoulis said there was more international traffic this year. "I saw visitors from Mexico, Spain, Turkey, Greece, the Netherlands, Guatemala, and Honduras."
On the second day, the trade show was a 5-hour event and most exhibitors shared that there was less foot traffic compared to the first day. Nevertheless, exhibitors were very pleased with the turnout. “It has been a great event for us,” said Jim Grabowski with Well Pict. “We’ve seen everyone we came to see.” The Agrolux team was also happy about their participation. “While there weren’t as many attendees on the second day, the leads were more interesting for us,” they said. “Ultimately, that’s what it is about.”
While most exhibiting companies came from Canada and the USA, several other countries were well represented. Mexico was represented by 28 companies and other exhibiting countries included Puerto Rico, Spain, the Netherlands, France, Greece, Belgium, Turkey, and Uganda.
Sustainable packaging continues to be one of the main trends. Lots of paper packaging was displayed, increasingly including colorful branding. In addition, one company is working on the development of plastic packaging that is backyard compostable. Snack size products continue to trend, as they were displayed in abundance. Small products in small bags or containers were visible everywhere on the show floor.
Click here to see the photo report from the show.
Next year, CPMA will be held in Vancouver from April 23 - 25.