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April 25, 2008

Global Food & Style Expo will enable Illinois food companies to market their products around the world

CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced 35 Illinois food companies wanting to expand their export business will participate in the inaugural Global Food & Style Expo.
The Expo, scheduled April 27-29 at McCormick Place in Chicago, will give the companies a rare opportunity to pitch their products to more than 2,200 international food buyers from 100 countries without leaving the state. 
“The global exposure gained from this show is important because Illinois agriculture depends on foreign trade for almost half of its annual cash receipts,” Gov. Blagojevich said.  “Each food sale will help create demand for our crops and support jobs in our many processing plants.”
The Global Food & Style Expo resulted from a partnership between three food shows:  the U.S. Food Export Showcase, Fancy Food Show and All Things Organic Conference and Trade Show.  Together, they will create the largest display of specialty, ethnic, natural, organic and American-made, ready-to-export food products under one roof in the United States.
The Illinois Department of Agriculture will sponsor pavilions at two of the shows.  Twenty of Illinois’ participating food companies will have a booth in the department’s pavilion at the U.S. Food Export Showcase.  Fifteen will exhibit in the department’s pavilion at All Things Organic. 
“Organic food sales are growing much faster than the rate of conventional food sales and are projected to reach nearly $20 billion this year,” acting Agriculture Director Tom Jennings said.  “Our pavilion will help Illinois companies gain a share of this rapidly developing market.”
In 2007, Illinois was the fourth-largest exporter of agricultural commodities in the United States with sales of $3.8 billion, up from $3.3 billion the year before.  Its $149 billion in sales of processed food products rank first among all states and its 89,864 food processing jobs rank third. 
Exhibitors in the Illinois pavilions primarily are small to medium-sized companies.  The Illinois Department of Agriculture provides them booth space at a discounted price through the Governor’s Opportunity Returns economic development program, making the show a cost-effective means to build name recognition and increase export sales. 
A list of the Illinois participants in the two shows follows:
U.S. Food Export Showcase
Al Gelato Bornay, Franklin Park
Barrington Packaging Systems, Barrington
Columbus Foods, Chicago
Coupla Guys Foods, Chicago
Cup Pac Contract Packagers, South Beloit
E. Formella & Sons, Woodridge
Eli’s Cheesecake, Chicago
Galli Gourmet, St. Charles
Honey Wafer Baking Co., Crestwood
Jiminy Snacking, Rosemont
John B. Sanfilippo & Son, Elgin
La Preferida, Chicago
Meats by Linz, Calumet City
Mr. Dee’s, Libertyville
New Packing Co., Chicago
Nonni’s Food Company, Naperville
Nutrilicious Natural Bakery, South Elgin
Pelago Valley Italian Seasonings, Deerfield
Pronto Foods, Chicago
Sahagian & Associates, Oak Park

All Things Organic

Ayuroma, Aurora
Crummy Brothers, Chicago
E Sutras, Chicago
Eco-Heaven, Chicago
EpicureanArt Foods, Chicago
Fine Italian Food, Naperville
Futters Nut Butters, Buffalo Grove
Green Mountain Flavors, Oswego
Harvest Food Group, Warrenville
Ineeka, Chicago
Lifeway Foods, Morton Grove
Schafer Fisheries, Thomson
Sethness Caramel Color, Lincolnwood
TinPax Corporation, Warrenville
Zota Beverage Company, Northfield



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