Fresno Food Expo shows off new products

The Fresno BeeJune 20, 2014 

Valley food companies competing for the title of best new product at the 2014 Fresno Food Expo.

THEFRESNOBEE

Cotton candy wine, chocolate-covered pistachios and dried dark sweet cherries are just a few of the Valley-made products competing for new-product awards at the Fresno Food Expo.

The expo is July 24, but the public can already check out photos and information about the new products online and vote for favorites.

On Wednesday, 35 San Joaquin Valley food manufacturers debuted 44 new products in a private preview event. You can see a video of event at www.fresnobee.com.

The awards are divided into two categories: the People's Choice Award and the Buyer's Choice Award. Winners will be announced at the food expo next month.

Many more companies will show off their food products to potential buyers and the public at the expo, the only food trade show focusing solely on San Joaquin Valley producers.

Last year's expo attracted about 100 food producers and more than 500 buyers.

For now, the public can see a photos and descriptions of the new products and vote by visiting www.fresnofoodexpo.com and clicking on the new product showcase. Voting also happens on the Fresno Food Expo's Facebook page, and is determined by the number of likes the photos get.

Products in the running for the awards range from newly created wine and spirits, including a sweet potato vodka, to "value added" foods such as black truffle flavored almonds. Others competing were familiar foods in new packaging, such as a squash sauté kit with three squash packaged with seasoning.

A panel of food industry professionals named 10 finalists for the Buyer's Choice Award earlier this week. They are: Baloian Farms Squash Sauté Kits, Bella Viva Orchards Pure & Natural dried apple slices, Casa de Tamales pepperoni tamales, Flicks Candy Co. milk and dark chocolate-covered pistachios, G. Debbas Chocolatier cabernet sauvignon liquid wine-filled chocolates, L.T. Sue Co. San Joaquin Valley tea, Sunrise fresh dark sweet dried cherries, Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Co. Rush Hour breakfast stout, Wawona Frozen Foods gluten-free peach gems, and Wawona Frozen Foods Organic Day Break Cups.

The products can be sampled during the public portion of the expo at 5 p.m. July 24.

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6431, bclough@fresnobee.com or @BethanyClough on Twitter.

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