The World of the Latino Cuisine Food Show made its second year debut at the Meadowlands Expo Center in Secaucus, New Jersey last month. With the explosive growth of the Hispanic population and restaurant community the show was embraced by the Tri-State foodservice industry.
The event was dedicated to Latino food products, produce, beverages, and non-food products. This trade show included food producers and importers from the Caribbean and most Latin American countries as exhibitors and the participation of buyers, distributors, retail operators, supermarket chains, independents and bodegas.
Exhibit categories included frozen goods, groceries, organic products of all kinds, and non-food products. A 2015 highlight was the participation of culinary students preparing Latino food specials for the enjoyment of the participants at the show.
A number of major sponsors were featured at the show. Acosta Sales & Marketing, the largest Sales Agent in North America was the corporate sponsor of the “World of the Latino Cuisine.”
Acosta, founded in 1927, represents the most No.1 and No.2 CPG brands in North America and is a proven resource for top retailers from coast to coast. Household name brands such as Bush, Campbell’s, Clorox, Colgate-Palmolive, Heinz, Domino Sugar and Hormel Foods are represented by Acosta. “We are pleased to support this trade show,” said Stan Barrasso, Senior Vice President. “We believe it is a great opportunity to showcase America’s diversity and recognize the continued growth of our industry in the Hispanic community,” added Barrasso.
In addition to domestic exhibitors, the show featured the participation of producers from México, Peru, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, El Salvador, Colombia, Guatemala, Jamaica, Brazil, Chile and Spain.
Among the highlights was the keynote presentation by one of the true breakout celebrities of Latin Cuisine: Chef Wilo Benet. The iconic Puerto Rican toque gave the keynote speech where he spoke about young chefs and how tradition should not be abandoned, how the fundamentals of each culture have to grow in time, “while not ‘unanchoring’ it or fusing it with another culture.”
Benet noted that, “Everything in Puerto Rico is highly seasoned. Probably things that go against the nature of culinary school,” Benet noted. “You don’t season meat with salt the day before you cook it because you will draw the juices out of it. It does rid itself of some of the juices, but at the same time, people like their meat well-done, kind of on the dry side, and this provided for that and made for a tremendous potency in terms of flavor.”
“World of Latino was created to enable smart mainstream companies who recognize the opportunity for growth in the Hispanic segment to work towards accomplishing that goal.” Our event certainly has gotten the ball rolling,” concluded the show’s founder William Colon.