Viva Fresh Expo Announces Gateway to Innovation Awards Finalists

Viva Fresh Expo Announces Gateway to Innovation Awards Finalists

MISSION, TX - The Viva Fresh Expo, hosted by the Texas International Produce Association (TIPA), is just around the corner! In preparation for the big event, Viva Fresh has announced the category finalists for the first annual Gateway to Innovation Awards recognizing expansion in the Tex-Mex produce corridor and excellence in areas like packaging design, new product development, food safety, machinery, software, and technology. With the opportunity to chair this year’s inaugural awards committee, I was able to immerse myself in the wonder and ingenuity that makes this show and region so dynamic. While these are the finalists for this program, may I say that all entries were innovative and exciting.

Dante Galeazzi, President & CEO, TIPA“We received a fantastic response for a first-year award program,” said Dante Galeazzi, President and CEO of TIPA. “The category finalists and winners will be prominently displayed outside the exhibit hall on Saturday, April 7 starting at 8:00 am so attendees will be able to view the region’s best products or services in the award category areas as they head to the show floor. We’ve created a unique and original display as a ‘wow’ moment for the Expo.”

Viva Fresh Expo 2017

This year’s award contest was open to all Viva Fresh exhibitors, according to a press release, with category finalists and winners examined based on a strict set of criteria and chosen by a panel of judges that included retail, foodservice, and produce industry veterans. The 2018 Gateway to Innovation Award Finalists include:

Most Innovative Fruit Product:

  • Marvelous Jackfruit as Meat Substitute from Cabefruit Produce LLC (Booth 97)
  • Mission Minis (Conventional and Organic) from Mission Produce (Booth 28)
  • Winter Sweetz from Lone Star Citrus Growers (Booth 79)

Most Innovative Vegetable Product:

  • Honey + Vinegar Golden Beets from Love Beets USA (Booth 32)
  • Lorabella Blossom 'blissfully bright' tomato from Village Farms (Booth 129)
  • SUNSET® Aloha™ Peppers from Mastronardi Produce (Booth 146)

Most Innovative Fruit Packaging or POS Solution:

  • Autumn Glory Pouch Bags from Domex Superfresh Growers (Booth 5)
  • Black Label by London Fruit (Booth 67)
  • Halos Tree and Tractor Display from Wonderful Citrus (Booth 82)
  • Winter Sweetz from Lone Star Citrus Growers (Booth 79)

Most Innovative Vegetable Packaging or POS Solution:

  • Cherto Gourmet Cherry Tomatoes On The Vine from Mucci Farms (Booth 86)
  • SUNSET® Sweet Bites® Pail with SUNSET Snack Pack™ from Mastronardi Produce (Booth 146)
  • Veggies To Go from Mucci Farms (Booth 86)

Most Innovative Value-Added Solution

  • Beet Salsa by Love Beets USA (Booth 32)
  • Hummus (Homestyle Hummus, Parsley Hummus and Red Pepper Hummus) from Del Monte Fresh Produce (Booth 149)
  • SUNSET® You Make Me™ Pasta Kits from Mastronardi Produce (Booth 146)

Most Innovative Technology Application or Software

  • ALC Dock Scheduling from ALC Logistics (Booth 38)
  • Food Safety by ScanTech Sciences
  • Micro-budded, small tree, and higher-density citrus farming under HLB conditions by US Citrus, LLC (Booth 44)
  • Mucci International Logistics App by Mucci Farms (Booth 86)

Most Innovative Product Solution

  • Single Entry: Food Safety by ScanTech Sciences

Most Innovative Equipment:

  • Single Entry: Pouch Bagger by Fox Packaging (Booth 64)

And, if you’re planning on attending this year’s event, don’t forget to vote via text or online! A Best of Show winner will be selected by popular vote on Saturday, April 7, and announced at 3 pm during the Expo. For more information on this must-attend event, visit

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