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Five standouts from the Viva Fresh Expo

viva fresh 2024
Few show floors stay busy ’til they shut the lights off. Viva Fresh looked like this with an hour to go.

HOUSTON — It was an absolutely packed trade show floor at the Viva Fresh Expo on April 13. Organizers counted more than 2,700 attendees, another record, up from last year’s 2,600 in Grapevine.

As is usual with Viva Fresh, attendees stick around ‘til closing time, so my regular trade show harvest of new products and ideas was a bit more challenging.

I found these five standouts:

With tropicals a big part of Viva Fresh’s exhibitors, these mangos from Melissa’s, Los Angeles, {{BB #:111686}caught my eye. Dubbed Pink Elephant, they’re grown in Vietnam. Stay tuned to the Produce with Pamela TikTok challenge for a review once it gets a chance to ripen.

Speaking of tropicals, Spring Valley Fruits, Pharr {{BB #:262664}} now offers compostable packaging for its baby guava program. This joins the familiar 1-pound pouch bag and clamshell options.

Before I depart the tropical train, how about more mangos? Coast Tropical, McAllen {{BB #:151413}} has this cute Honey Chicks branding on its boxes, along with a branded, clear PLU code I haven’t seen out in circulation before.

Soli Organic, Harrisonburg, VA, {{BB #: 187801}} is here for two reasons. The company, which grows in a soil-based controlled environment, has a few new salad options including Baby Romaine, a 50/50 Mix, and Baby Arugula, as well as this one-bunch bagged Italian parsley designed for retailers without wet rack capabilities. They’re also planning a grand opening for their new San Antonio facility this summer. Stay tuned for more on that.

Trend alert: Maglio Companies, Milwaukee, WI, {{BB #: 105281}} is tapping into the Boba trend with several new products in the juice category, including Boba Blends milk teas and Boba Blends lemonades. I see these drinks all over social media – definitely something I haven’t seen yet in the produce category.


Pamela Riemenschneider is the Retail Editor for Blue Book Services.