May 24, 2017

Summer shows bring innovation to Windy City

The Global Cold Chain Expo, June 13-15, will again be co-located at McCormick Place Convention Center with the United Fresh shows – FreshTEC and FreshMKT – and the International Floriculture Expo. This year, the show will be located in McCormick’s West Hall, so all of the participating shows will be located on one level.

The Global Cold Chain Expo will grow by more than 50 percent from the inaugural year to 40,000 square feet of trade show space. More than 7,500 attendees representing various sectors of the cold chain industry are expected at this year’s show.

The Global Cold Chain Expo returns to Chicago with new innovations and trends.

The Global Cold Chain Expo will kick off the show with its own general session on Tuesday, June 13, at 1 p.m. Show attendees will be able to connect with industry representatives of the co-located shows during a joint opening party with United Fresh at the Shedd Aquarium later in the evening. A joint opening general session for all attendees will also be held June 14. A general session breakfast will be held June 15 to start the show’s final day.

Attendees can register for the All Access pass or the Expo Only pass. The All Access pass includes attendance at all Global Cold Chain Expo events including education sessions and networking opportunities. The Expo Only pass gives access to the show floor.

Two types of educational programming will be offered throughout the three-day show. Education sessions have been split into three tracks: transportation, engineering and cold chain solutions. The 55-minute sessions will be presented on Tuesday, June 13. Additional education presentations will be held right on the show floor June 14-15, highlighting innovations in the cold chain and new products and technologies impacting the supply chain.

Topics of interest across the three education tracks include:

  • Cost considerations to building food facilities
  • The Food Safety Modernization Act
  • Sanitary transportation of food
  • Designing a refrigerated distribution center
  • Building LTL consolidation programs
  • Fresh supply chain best practices
  • Low charge ammonia systems
  • Building relationships across the supply chain

Designed specifically for managers who make purchasing decisions, the Global Cold Chain Expo will provide networking opportunities and a look at the latest technology and trends. Attendance to this year’s show is for anyone involved in frozen, refrigerated, ambient and fresh operations.

Fruit and vegetable processors will gain insights and build connections through the expo in a number of ways. Processors can send managers in charge of supply chain and logistics services to source new temperature-controlled transportation and 3PL providers. Additionally, temperature-controlled building solutions will be displayed, including refrigeration equipment, doors, floors, temperature monitoring, insulated panels, racking and more.

Companies looking to renovate or build a new processing facility will have the opportunity to meet and talk with contractors and design/build firms exhibiting at the expo. These exhibitors specialize in building temperature-controlled facilities from warehousing to processing.

To register and view additional show information, visit

United Fresh

This year’s United Fresh show will be located between the International Floriculture Expo and the Global Cold Chain Expo in the West Hall of McCormick Place. The show will debut new expo features and sessions at the United FreshMKT Expo and United FreshTEC Expo. Each expo’s features will be customized to address the needs of each industry sector.

The latest technology for fruit and vegetable handling will be on display at United Fresh.

United FreshMKT Expo & Conference will be kicked off by keynote speaker Tony Sarsam, Ready Pac Foods CEO, on June 13. More than 40 organic products will be on display at the new Organic Produce Showcase. Prepared meals, snack items, juices and more will also be featured throughout the expo for retailers, wholesalers and foodservice companies.

Companies will again compete in multiple categories for the United Fresh Innovation Awards. Attendees will vote for their favorites and winners will be announced on the last day of the show.

The United FreshTEC Expo & Conference, geared toward the fresh-cut processing sector, will highlight innovations in mechanical harvesting, robotics, packaging and more. A new Food Safety Pavilion will show technologies that may help companies comply with regulations under the Food Safety Modernization Act.

Taylor Farms CEO Bruce Taylor will be the keynote speaker. Following Taylor’s presentation, attendees will participate in expert panel discussions on pre- and postharvest automation, food safety in packing and processing operations, and take a look at controlled growing environments.

New this year is the FutureTEC Zone, an area dedicated to ag technology start-up companies. Here visitors will find more than 25 companies in the early commercialization phase. Sixteen of these start-ups will deliver five-minute “TEC Talks” in the United FreshTEC Learning Center, offering a glimpse of their business models.

Western Growers will bring 10 companies to Chicago that currently participate in its Center for Innovation & Technology incubator program in Salinas, California. Other collaborators include Village Capital, Mixing Bowl, Royse AgTech Innovation Network, Food Systems6, Radicle Capital and Sidley Austin. Companies will display solutions for different applications across the produce and fresh foods supply chains. A list of participating companies is available at

Additional education opportunities at the FreshTEC Learning Center will provide new research and information geared toward preparing the fresh produce industry for the future. Industry members can participate in 45-minute sessions covering topics such as sanitary equipment design, transportation, cybersecurity, packaging, biotechnology and more. University faculty and students will share new technologies and solutions at the University Showcase. Engaging discussions on sanitation, product development supply chain management and more will be the focus of the FreshTEC X-Change. This area will provide exhibitors and attendees a place to connect and share perspectives on key issues.

United Fresh will present two new personal achievement awards for both United FreshMKT and United FreshTEC on June 13. Each award will honor an individual who has made significant innovations in advancing the fresh produce industry through marketing and merchandising and technology, respectively.

For more information on the co-located shows at United Fresh, visit

Ana Olvera, digital content editor