Food & Beverage Expo Energizes and Excites With New Products for the Holidays
MIRA’s 23rd Annual Holiday Food and Beverage Show took place at Suburban Collection Showplace on September 20th. Members gathered from all over the Midwest to showcase their newest products or shop for the hottest items to put in their retail stores.
The recovery from COVID-19 has been a long road, according to MIRA members, who were excited to be back to events and shopping for products. The show was lively, featuring raffles, gifts, and other member opportunities. Mary Ann Yono, who tabled MIRA’s booth at the front of the show, said she saw hundreds of people and dozens of new faces attending the event.
Many of the booths featured new and innovative takes on liquor as well as simple classics. The most animated booth must go to Floh Vodka, which brought a large corner bar that flipped through the color wheel every few seconds. Courtney Hammerle, one of Floh Vodka’s representatives, said the booth represented the products. “Our alcohol is colorful and stylish,” she said. “And we brought that to the holiday show.”
All of the booths gave out a plethora of samples to potential customers. Competition was fierce among liquor, wine, beer, and seltzer vendors, whose products were put to the test by independent retailers.
Another popular liquor section was provided by Benchmark Beverage Company, who offered shots of their new, colorful mixers. Benchmark Beverage Company is especially important to MIRA. Just last year, at the Annual Holiday Show, MIRA sold their 10% share of the up-and-coming business. Benchmark Beverage Company showed that it has room to grow and is back better than ever. “The selection of products we have now is astonishing,” said Naomi, who was working the Benchmark booth.
Many other suppliers besides alcohol vendors came to the massive event hall to show off their products. Faygo, a local but large business, touted their ever-changing soda flavors. Mr. Vapor and Breeze, two of the largest vape brands in the Midwest, were both present at the event flaunting their newest flavors and products. Mr. Vapor has recently come out with a disposable vaporizer that includes mesh coils to match the quality of Breeze Pro.
Even more vendors attended that, at first glance, may seem out of place, but were able to network with many interested customers and surely gained a lot of business. Insurance and security companies were well-represented, as well as Prairie Farms Dairy Co., a dairy cooperative based in Illinois.
The event had a live DJ who took turns queuing music and making various announcements including several raffle winners. The curtaining was a light and bright red color, which added to the holiday feel. Presents were scattered along the ground and in front of the DJ booth.
Another popular booth, and a sponsor of the show, was U.S. Ice. Marcus Abbo was representing his family business at the holiday show, and said he had an excellent time. “It’s so great to be involved in organizations like this. It’s good for business and we all help each other,” he said. “I’ve been working with my dad, Saad Abbo, in the ice business for a while now. He’s one of the best to learn from.”
MIRA will continue the holiday show tradition next year on September 26th in the same location in Novi, Michigan.