We’re back from the Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo, sponsored by the California Restaurant Association. This three day foodservice event took place at the Los Angeles Convention Center on August 27-29. The event is open to trade and business members and features many educational seminars, food demos, a tradeshow, and lots of free food.
The tradeshow featured over 500 vendors, including the new Healthy Pavilion. We noticed an increase in vegan, Asian, beverage (e.g., ginger ale, aloe drinks) and oatmeal vendors. The show handed out several awards, including the Best New Products awards and the Torch Award to Chef Curtis Stone.
We were intrigued by the drink serving robot called Bbot Robotics. Customers can order and receive their drinks with the robot.
We were looking for frozen yogurt and froyo relevant trends. The vendors were mostly the same ones we saw last year and they had gelato and non-dairy offerings.
- Joe Froyo was a new exhibitor. Joe Froyo started with a frozen dispensed probiotic cold brew coffee beverage. The expanded product line includes fresh bulk one gallon jugs and bottled lattes.
- Tribest/Presidential Foodservice had shaved snow, Honey Hill soft serve, toppings station, soft serve machines, spoons, and cups. We didn’t spot any new froyo flavors.
- Mami’s Gelato was back with Froconut, a vegan coconut cream soft serve gelato.
- Sweet Chills distributes Rainbow’s End and Miss Karen’s frozen yogurt. They now offer soft serve gelato. They were part of the California Milk area. Their Cold Brew coffee froyo was a hit with the attendees. They also had a soft serve vanilla gelato.
- Taylor Freezers of California and Vollrath were both exhibitors. Vollrath didn’t have any soft serve machines on display.
- Printbyme, Inc. makes beautiful custom LED letter signs, including the Pinkberry signs.