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May 14, 2009

Chicago Trade Show Represents World Of Opportunity For Illinois Food Companies
National Restaurant Association Show to bring food buyers from 102 countries to McCormick Place May 16-19

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

The companies will exhibit their products next week in the Illinois Department of Agriculture pavilion at the National Restaurant Association’s American Food Fair, the world’s largest food service industry trade show.  The show, which attracts more than 70,000 buyers, will be held May 16-19 at McCormick Place in Chicago. 

“The NRA Show is a great way for Illinois food companies to build name recognition in foreign markets, meet new customers and grow their export business,” Agriculture Director Tom Jennings said.  “Last year alone, trade leads developed at the show produced $1.4 million in 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 all 50 states and 102 countries to shop the show’s more than 2,200 exhibitors.

“Exports are extremely important to our agricultural economy,” Jennings added.  “The industry derives about 40 percent of its cash receipts from international sales.”

Illinois exported $4.7 billion in agricultural products in 2007, fourth most in the nation.

This is the ninth year the Illinois Department of Agriculture has sponsored a pavilion in the NRA Show.  A list of the Illinois food companies participating this year follows:

Azteca Foods, Chicago
Bay Valley Foods, Westchester
Beverage Specialties
Clown-Gysin Brands, Northbrook
Coffee, Tea & Me, Woodridge
Distinctive Foods, Wheeling
Dutch Valley Foods, South Holland
E. Formella & Sons, Woodridge
La Mexicana, Chicago
Manny’s Delicatessen Frozen Foods, Chicago
Marconi Foods, Chicago
Nicole’s, Chicago
Perfect Pasta, Addison
Pronto Foods, Chicago
Vanee Foods, Berkeley
Vita Food Products, Chicago
Wiscon Corporation, Melrose Park


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