Expo Comida Latina Returns to LA and NYC in ’04 with Added...

Expo Comida Latina Returns to LA and NYC in ’04 with Added Sizzle

Largest International Food & Beverage Trade Show for Hispanic Foods Also Announces Texas Expansion in ‘05


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New York, NY and Los Angeles, CA–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–September 15, 2004–From national chains to local supermarkets, Hispanic foods have increasingly been gaining a foothold on shelves, displays and aisles across the country. Meanwhile, owners and chefs at national chain and independent restaurants are catering more and more to consumer palates by adding basic Latino foods and ingredients to menus.

With Hispanic mainstream consumer appetite for Latin foods sizzling, organizers of Expo Comida Latina (ECL) — the only major U.S.-based food and beverage trade show for Hispanic foods – announced the shows will return to Los Angeles and New York in 2004 after its successful bicoastal expansion last year.

This year’s West Coast version of ECL will be held October 3-5 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, while the East Coast expo is slated for October 26-27 at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City. The event, which debuted in Los Angeles in 2002 and expanded to New York in 2003, was created as a one stop marketplace to help bring together producers and suppliers of basic and specialty products to meet the needs and preferences of Hispanic consumers and the millions of other Americans who purchase Latin foods. Food and beverage buyers – such as foodservice, retail and distribution companies — can now register online at www.expo-comida-latina.com.

Diversified Business Communications (DBC), the company that organizes ECL among other international trade shows in the marketplace, also announced the addition of a San Antonio show at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center on April 24-25, 2005. The new expo aims to attract southwest regional buyers of Hispanic foods and beverages.

“When we created Expo Comida Latina we knew that the Hispanic marketplace was ripe for a unique show to help forge relationships between buyers and producers of Latin food and beverage products,” said H Stephen Phillips, ECL’s show director. “With the excellent participation the first two years, the increased popularity of Latin flavors and overall acceptance of Latin foods in all segments of the population, we decided to introduce Expo Comida Latina to other markets. San Antonio made sense based on our research and we expect continued growth, while expanding the scope of our shows in New York and Los Angeles this year.”

For example, the LA show will have 20% more space than last year, bringing the total floor space to 60,000 square feet. Phil Lempert, “The Supermarket Guru,” will deliver the Keynote address at both the LA and New York shows. Lempert is a respected food industry analyst who has an uncanny ability to identify and explain trends to both industry and consumers in a thought provoking and entertaining manner. Like last year, ECL ’04 will also feature culinary demonstrations with celebrity chefs and conference programs, addressing various aspects of the U.S.-Hispanic food and beverage market, identifying customer bases, penetrating the market and developing long-term and profitable relationships with new and repeat customers.

Show organizers are also enabling northeast attendees a chance to maximize their stay at this year’s New York show by creating one “supershow” for ethnic foods. For the first time, they will now co-locate ECL with the All Asia Food Expo and Kosherfest, two other leading ethnic food events also organized by DBC.

With population trends supporting growth in the market, it is easy to see why participation in the shows has grown. Hispanics numbered 37 million in 2001 and will comprise 24 percent of the country by 2050, according to the most recent Census Bureau. The group, which is the fastest growing minority in the U.S., now represents 13 percent of the U.S. population. Hispanic purchasing power is nearly $700 billion and is projected to reach as much as $1 trillion by 2010, according to HispanTelligence(R), based on analysis of U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis figures.

Hispanic food & beverage goods represent an opportunity for many companies to enter or expand product lines in this growing multi-billion dollar industry. On average, Hispanics spend 17.5% of their income on food compared to 13.7% for non-Hispanics, according to an Oregon St. University study. They also make more than twice the number of trips for grocery shopping than the average U.S. shopper and spend 34 percent more on groceries than the average shopper. Hispanics also tend to spend 19 to 58 percent more than non-Hispanics on dairy, fats & oils, beef, poultry and fresh produce.

Expo Comida Latina will continue to be the one-stop marketplace for retail, commercial and institutional foodservice food and beverage buyers to explore the many basic and specialty products that are available in order to cater to the broadening and more demanding tastes of Latin food lovers across the country. The shows feature producers, processors, distributors, wholesalers and importers of Hispanic food, beverages and ingredients, specialty foodservice equipment and computer software for foodservice and retail, among other items. The breadth of products displayed – produce, dried foods, canned foods, dairy products, beverages, meats, salsa, prepared foods and more – make it easy for attendees to source products that cater to the growing Hispanic population.

Last year’s LA show enabled more than 5,000 food professionals from retail, commercial and non-commercial institutions to source, compare and buy Hispanic foods and beverages from 379 exhibitors from Mexico, the U.S., Asia, Central and S. America. Even some of the most recognizable American companies such as SYSCO Corporation, JR Simplot Company and McCormick and Company exhibited or participated, and are expected for the 2004 shows. Southern California is also home to 21 percent of the nation’s Hispanic population. The 2003 New York show featured 138 exhibitors from Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Canada and the U.S., conducting business with more than 2,000 qualified trade buyers. New York is the nation’s second largest Latino population.

Participation in ECL meant increased sales, lead generations and new commercial relationships for many visitors and exhibitors, including Javier Ramirez of Del Real Mexican Food Products: “I found Expo Comida Latina to be absolutely superb. We had the opportunity to display our products, and while doing so, we met the Costco buyer and the Safeway buyer. Exhibiting was worth every penny. We believe the leads we got here will generate millions of dollars in sales.”

For more information about Expo Comida Latina, please visit the Web site at http://www.expo-comida-latina.com, email info@expo-comida-latina.com or call 207-842-5500.

Diversified Business Communications is a Portland, Maine-based company providing information and market access through trade exhibitions, magazine publishing, and online resources on five continents. Diversified’s food industry expositions include internationally recognized seafood shows such as the International Boston Seafood Show and the New England Food Service and Lodging Exposition organized by the US division. In addition, the Australian division organizes three Fine Food/Hospitality events.

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CONTACT:

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Steven Schwadron

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Expo Comida Latina Returns to LA and NYC in ’04 with Added Sizzle