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May 7, 2012

Chicago Trade Show Represents World Of Opportunity For Illinois Food Companies
National Restaurant Association Show to bring food buyers from more than 100 countries to McCormick Place

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Twenty Illinois food companies have an opportunity to increase their international sales without even leaving the state.

The companies will exhibit their products in the Illinois Department of Agriculture pavilion at the National Restaurant Association Show, the world’s largest food service industry trade show.  The show, which attracts 58,000 buyers, will be held May 5-8 at McCormick Place in Chicago.

“The NRA show is a great opportunity for Illinois companies to market products made and grown here in Illinois on the global stage," Governor Pat Quinn said. "We are committed to increasing the number of Illinois products sold in the global marketplace, and this show is another step toward our goal of doubling Illinois exports by 2014.”

Illinois exported $5.8 billion in agricultural products in 2010, fourth most in the nation.

“This show is a great way for Illinois food companies to build name recognition in foreign markets, meet new customers and grow their export business,” Acting Agriculture Director Bob Flider said.  “Last year alone, trade leads developed at the show produced $15.3 million in actual and projected sales for participants in the department’s pavilion.”

Buyers attending 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, Franklin Park
Bay Valley Foods, Oakbrook
Buedel Fine Meats and Provisions, Bridgeview
Caputo Cheese/Wiscon Corp., Melrose Park
Clown-Gysin Brands, Northbrook
Direct Food Service/Perfect Pasta, Bensenville
Distinctive Foods, Wheeling
E. Formella & Sons, Countryside
Fonterra USA Foodservice & Retail, Rosemont
GoPicnic Brands, Chicago
Gusto Packing Co., Montgomery
Hooray Puree, Park Ridge
Jackson County Dumplings Pierogies/Brandventure Foods Group, Chicago
La Mexicana, Chicago
Meats By Linz, Calumet City
National Pasteurized Eggs/Safest Choice, Lansing
R. Whittingham and Sons Meats, Alsip
Sokol and Co., Countryside
V. Formusa/Marconi Foods, Chicago
Vanee Foods, Berkeley


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