Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Erin Goldfarb of Baker Peterson Franlin, left, talks with Shelby Magee and Vincent Ricchiuti of Enzo Olive Oil during the Fresno Food Expo New Product Awards preview event at the Double Tree on Wednesday evening.
Featuring Madera-grown olives, Enzo Olive Oil’s ENZO Fresno Chili Crush will compete with nine other finalists for the Buyer’s Choice Award at this year’s Fresno Food Expo.
To determine the finalists, 28 new products from 26 Valley businesses were reviewed and narrowed down by a panel of marketing and food industry leaders Wednesday at a New Product Awards Preview, “Taste, Tally & Tweet.” All 28 entrants will be eligible for the People’s Choice Award, chosen at the expo later this month.
This year’s entries range from cold brew coffee milk and handcrafted vodka to sour strawberry-flavored golden raisins and almond butter. But the nine other finalists are: Busseto Foods’ California PartyPack – Wine Trail Edition; Cardella Winery’s 2014 Barbera Reserve; Pappy’s Fine Foods’ Steak ‘N Grill Seasoning; Enzo Olive Oil’s ENZO Fresno Chili Crush; Jasper Specialty Foods’ Bloody Mary Almonds; L.T. Sue Company’s Ho Tai Chai; Rosa Brothers Milk Company and Lanna Coffee Co.’s Cold Brew Coffee Milk; Sun-Maid Growers of California’s Sour Strawberry Flavored Golden Raisins; The Brioche Lady’s Purple Yam Brioche; and Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Company’s Half Dome California Wheat.
These 10 products will advance to a Celebrity Judging Panel on July 26. The panel consists of retail, restaurant, foodservice and packaging professionals including “Supermarket Guru” Phil Lempert, who will also be the Expo’s featured keynote speaker July 26; Chef Erna Kubin-Clanin, owner of 5-star Erna’s Elderberry House and Chateau du Sureau in Oakhurst.
“The innovation, the vision, the drive to create quality products for the marketplace can be seen in this diverse new product line-up,” said general manager David Nalchajian, of the Fresno Food Expo. “The New Product Awards continue to showcase the inventive and entrepreneurial spirit that exists in Central California, and helps us tell the story about what makes our region truly unique.”
The People’s Choice Award is entirely determined by the public through online voting. To vote for a favorite new product, visit the Fresno Food Expo’s website or Facebook page. Votes are counted by the number of “Likes” each product receives on Facebook, combined with all votes cast via email through the Fresno Food Expo website. Voting is officially open and ends 5 p.m. July 25.
To date more than 160 new products have been entered into the Fresno Food Expo New Product Awards. This year’s winners will be announced at the 2017 Fresno Food Expo set for July 26-27.
Tickets to the celebration Expolicious, 5-8 p.m. July 27, are available to the public for $50 and can be purchased at any Ticketmaster Box Office, online at www.FresnoFoodExpo.com or at Cumulus Broadcasting. Discount codes for tickets can be obtained on the expo’s social media pages through July 22.