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Apply now for new awards featured at Food Expo

Food vendors along Canal Street filled the air with the aromas of traditional dishes as they cooked for a hungry crowd.
The California Food Expo is inviting local food businesses, such as the numerous food vendors that fill Canal Street during parades and events in Downtown Merced, to participate in a contest that will provide them with increased brand awareness and opportunities to further their product. 

The California Food Expo has expanded its suite of awards and promises expanded brand exposure and exclusive new opportunities with the unveiling of the Golden State Award and the Fred Ruiz Award. Applications for these awards and the New Product Awards announced in June are available on the Expo’s website now through Aug. 23.

“The Expo’s first priority is connecting exhibiting companies with business opportunities through new retail and foodservice buyer introductions, heightened brand awareness, and valuable industry and peer network connections,” said Amy Fuentes, Manager of the California Food Expo. “Our award programs have served as a catalyst for new product launches and reinforced longstanding company brands in valuable retail stores including Whole Foods, William Sonoma, Safeway, Vons, Vallarta Supermarkets and others.”

The Golden State Award invites all exhibitors to submit a product of their choice for a chance to be voted the most ‘liked’ California Food Expo product. All submissions will be posted on the Expo’s Instagram page and Facebook where followers will be able to vote by liking the product of their choice beginning on Monday, Aug. 26 through Sunday, Sept. 8. Award participants are encouraged to rally their followers for a chance to win a complimentary 10×10 booth at the 2020 California Food Expo. All submissions will be displayed on a photo backdrop at this year’s Expo.

The Fred Ruiz Award, named in honor of Fred Ruiz, founder of Ruiz Food Products Inc., the largest frozen Mexican food manufacturer in the U.S. will recognize one innovative California food or beverage company who is recognized by their peers as a pioneer in innovation and a steward in their community. Award finalists will have the honor to present their company to a member of the Ruiz family and the Expo’s founding partners for an opportunity to be chosen as the sole winner of this prestigious award.

The New Product Awards announced in June offers awards in two distinct categories: the Buyer’s Choice Award and Consumer’s Choice Awards, giving participants an opportunity to have their entries reviewed and judged by both buyers and consumers for a chance to win 1st, 2nd or 3rd place in each category.

The Buyer’s Choice Award will be judged by the Expo’s Retail Advisory Council – an esteemed group of retail buyers who represent a diverse range of categories and store formats. The Consumer’s Choice Award will be judged by the Expo’s official Consumer Panel which mirrors the demographics of California for gender, ethnicity, age, income and education.

All award applications are available exclusively to 2019 confirmed exhibitors and are open for submission now through Aug. 23, at 5 p.m. For more information about the full suite of Expo awards, including complete contest rules and how to apply, please visit online at: awards.

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