PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies and Reston, Va.-based owner and producer of the PACK EXPO portfolio of tradeshows, Koelnmesse, Germany-based producer of Anuga FoodTec, and the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Washington, D.C., joined forces to launch ProFood Tech, a new event that will focus on processing and production technologies serving the food and beverage industry. ProFood Tech will make its debut April 4-6, 2017 at McCormick Place in Chicago.

Refrigerated & Frozen Foods’ editor-in-chief Marina Mayer spoke with Tom Egan, vice president of industry services for PMMI, about the details of the show and why PACK EXPO exhibitors and attendees must make room for this show on their calendar.

Refrigerated & Frozen Foods: How did the partnership between PMMI, Koelnmesse and IDFA come about?

Tom Egan: PMMI does a very good job of talking with and evaluating feedback from exhibitors and attendees from past and current shows. As a result, we identified the need for a comprehensive processing event where food and beverage companies could find crossover technologies from multiple vertical markets. Conversations led to the collaboration between PMMI, Koelnmesse and IDFA to create an unprecedented event that would address all of the issues facing food and beverage processing operations in the North American marketplace like sustainability, improved operations and food safety.

Refrigerated & Frozen Foods: What does each organization bring to the table?

Egan: PMMI and PACK EXPO bring the whole of packaging and processing solutions. Putting on a good tradeshow experience is a strong capability for us. The opportunity with Anuga is the global reach, with their ability to expand into other locations around the world. And, IDFA has been successful putting on a dairy show for many years. So, it’s three groups, three very successful organizations with three great show portfolios coming together to put on the ultimate solutions-based show for everyone in the food and beverage industry.

Refrigerated & Frozen Foods: For those that already exhibit and/or attend the PACK EXPO shows, why should they do both shows (PACK EXPO and ProFood Tech)?

Egan: For the exhibitor, it’s an opportunity to say, “I can provide an even more focused solution.” PACK EXPO East for example, is a more concentrated show for East coast exhibitors. It provides a more in-depth look at solutions and allows attendees to talk more one on one in a more in-depth setting.

On the exhibitor side, they have solutions that work in processing but are also applicable to packaging at the packaging shows.

For the attendees, the business goes on. ProFood Tech is more focused on food and beverage processing, and offers a solutions set that’s more concentrated for the attendees. For the attendees, they may only find one part of the solution at PACK EXPO, whereas ProFood Tech allows them to find the next part of the solution. It’s an opportunity to interact with exhibitors and gain additional solutions.​

The educational part is a continuing important ​element​. ProFood Tech ​will provide an additional on-floor opportunity for the food and beverage processing teams, as ​the Innovation Stage presentations at PACK EXPO Las Vegas and pharmaceutical-concentrated sessions at Pharma EXPO have done. It will have a ​concentration where an attendee can say, “this is going to help me with my business and meet the exhibitors who are going to help me solve my problems.”

Refrigerated & Frozen Foods: What makes ProFood Tech a unique show?

Egan: There’s something strong here, and we’re really excited about bringing this opportunity to our members, exhibitors and attendees. It’s the “ah ha” moment of bringing everything that the food and beverage industry needs in one setting.