There’s something special about the #NRAShow [National Restaurant Association Show]. Billed as an “international foodservice marketplace”, the NRA Show is big news to a lot of people, perhaps because nearly one in 10 American workers are employed in the restaurant industry – ‘big’, to say the least. More than 60,000 buyers and suppliers are expected to attend the four day event at McCormick Place beginning this Saturday, May 18th.
There will be loads of educational sessions, guest speakers, (Starbuck’s CEO, Howard Schultz, will be doing the keynote), celebrity chefs, and numerous special exhibits such as a “fully functioning hydroponic garden that will grow local, all-natural, pesticide-free produce – on the show floor”. Hydroponics is a method of growing plants in a water and mineral nutrient solution without soil.
We are equally excited to be an exhibitor at the show again this year. In the meat industry this year’s hottest trends are: gourmet burgers, grass fed beef and local.
The definitions of “local” and “sustainable” are changing rapidly and expanding beyond environmental concerns as the marketplace responds to consumer interest for healthier eating, humane animal treatment and better food quality. ‘Local’ points to these issues and more – food safety, family farmers and sustainable agriculture – to name a few.
Our company is a family owned business and in honor of all local and family owned businesses we are launching a new program in show of support at the NRA Show. (Please feel free to use our local logo to share in the cause!) We’ve also put together a great little cheat sheet on How to Buy Local explaining the basics of what to look for when buying local and sustainable foods. Stop by the Buedel booth at the show for more information, #7864!
Part of the fun at the NRA Show is of course, the food. The exhibit halls are filled with new products to sample. Here are some of the new items we’ve put on our must see list:
Ditka Hot Beef Polish Sausage – an eight inch long, 1/3 lb. spicy sausage from Vienna Beef that’s geared to be a “Grabowski” classic.
Teaspoon Willies Everything Sauce – a gourmet, all natural, organic tomato based sauce to be used as a staple condiment at every meal. (We have to try it, just because of the name!)
Grandpa G’s Jalapeno Butter Mustard – noted as a “relish”, Grandpa G’s has fresh grated jalapenos mixed in with sugar tangy mustard.
All Butter Croissant Roll Round – round shaped croissants for sandwiches; great idea!