Expo Agenda

As the largest food producing state in the nation in both fresh and finished products, the California Food Expo is now exclusively featuring California food & beverage brands. Our one-stop trade event makes connecting to California food brands more convenient, efficient and accessible, and is your go-to resource for all of California’s finest products.

KAREN ROSS, Secretary of the California Department of Food & Agriculture

Featured Keynote Speaker at the 2018 Welcome Breakfast

Karen Ross was appointed Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture on January 12, 2011, by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. Secretary Ross has deep leadership experience in agricultural issues nationally, internationally, and here in California. Prior to joining CDFA, Secretary Ross was chief of staff for U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, a position she accepted in 2009. Prior to that appointment, she served as President of the California Association of Winegrape Growers from 1996- 2009, and as Vice-President of the Agricultural Council of California from 1989-1996. Before moving to California, Secretary Ross served as Director of Government Relations for the Nebraska Rural Electric Association and as Field Representative for U.S. Senator Edward Zorinsky.

Secretary Ross is passionate about fostering the reconnection of consumers to the land and the people who produce their food, and to improving the access of all California citizens to healthy, nutritious California-grown agricultural products, celebrated for their diversity and abundance in serving local, national and global markets.

During Secretary Ross' tenure, the Department has focused on core functions to protect and promote California agriculture in a time of significant budget reductions, and it has emphasized change-management to position the agency to more effectively and efficiently serve its stakeholders in meeting the challenges of the 21st Century.

Secretary Ross has strengthened partnerships across government, academia and the non- profit sector in the drive to maintain and improve environmental stewardship and to develop adaptation strategies for the specific impacts of climate change. She has initiated programs to provide greater opportunities for farmers and ranchers to engage in sustainable environmental stewardship practices through water conservation, energy efficiency, nutrient management and ecosystem services.

Secretary Ross grew up as a 4-H kid on a farm in western Nebraska. She and her husband, Barry, own 800 acres of the family farm where her younger brother, a fourth-generation farmer, grows dryland wheat, feed grains and cattle. The Secretary has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and is a graduate of the Nebraska Ag Leadership Program. She has served on numerous boards and committees in California agriculture and with various academic institutions.

PHIL LEMPERT, the Supermarket Guru &
California Retail Advisory Committee Co-Chair

Featured New Product Award Judge

For more than 25 years Phil Lempert, an expert analyst on consumer behavior and retail trends, has been on the forefront of the rapidly changing environments in the retail and foodservice industries, identifying and explaining impending trends to the food industry's most influential business leaders.

Phil has served as food trends editor and correspondent for NBC News’ Today show, reporting on consumer trends, food safety and money-saving tips, as well as showcasing new products, with regular appearances on ABC’s The View, FOX Business, Dr. Oz, The Oprah Winfrey Show, 20/20, CNN, CNBC, and FOX.

Phil Lempert was one of the pioneers of the new information media, founding SupermarketGuru.com in 1994. The website is now one of the leading food resources on the Internet, visited by more than 9 million people each year. SupermarketGuru.com offers thorough food ratings, analyzes trends in food marketing and retail, and features health advice, unique recipes, nutrition analysis, allergy alerts and many other resources to help consumers understand their food, health, lifestyle and shopping options.

Phil is the founder and editor of The Lempert Report, Food, Nutrition & Science, Facts, Figures & the Future, and The Food Journal. He is contributing editor of Progressive Grocer, which exclusively runs his trade columns and videos both in its magazine and on its website as well as a strategic alliance to develop and manage industry initiatives.

He has been profiled and interviewed by USA Today, The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Newsweek and Ad Age.

SIMON MAJUMDAR, Broadcaster, Food Writer, Speaker, Author & Cook

Featured Judge for the 2018 EXPOLICIOUS Restaurant Awards

Simon Majumdar is a world-renowned broadcaster, food writer, speaker, author and cook who has dedicated the second half of his time on this planet to fulfill his ambition to “Go Everywhere. Eat Everything.” It is a journey that has taken him to all fifty states and to dozens of countries around the world. He is currently the restaurant critic for Time Out Los Angeles and has written hundreds of articles for such outlets as The Guardian, Foodnetwork.com, The Times of London and The Daily Beast. He has also written three books: “Eat My Globe” (2009), “Eating for Britain” (2011), and his latest book, “Fed, White and Blue” (2015), catalogs his journey to American citizenship. Simon is also a well-recognized television personality, regularly appearing on shows such as Iron Chef America, Cutthroat Kitchen, Beat Bobby Flay, Cooks Vs Cons, The Next Iron Chef (Food Network), The Best Thing I Ever Ate (Food Network and Cooking Channel), and EAT: The Story of Food (Nat Geo). He lives in Los Angeles.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Welcome Breakfast & Keynote

8:00 AM to 10:00 AM
Fresno Convention & Entertainment Center, Halls II & III
Pre-registered, qualified buyers, sponsors and exhibitors

Start your day with a delicious breakfast prepared with an abundant selection of California’s freshest produce and breakfast offerings. Breakfast will be followed by an exciting morning agenda kicked off with the announcement of the 2018 New Product Award Winners and a Keynote delivered by California Secretary, Karen Ross, about the State of Food in California.

All Sponsors and Exhibitors are given a specified number of tickets through their ConnectMe Dashboard, where additional tickets can also be purchased if desired.

Pre-Qualified buyers are provided a ticket with their registration, but must confirm their attendance through their ConnectMe Dashboard.

Please Note: Breakfast will only be available until 9 a.m.

Business to Business Trade Event

10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Fresno Convention & Entertainment Center, Hall I
Pre-registered, qualified buyers, sponsors and exhibitors

Come to taste, learn, experience and connect with California’s biggest brands and innovative new food trends. Over 150 Exhibitor Booths. Innovative New Products. Live Cooking Demonstrations.

Exhibitor Happy Hour

3:00 PM to 4:30 PM
Fresno Convention & Entertainment Center, Upstairs
Pre-registered, qualified buyers, sponsors and exhibitors

Take a break from the show floor and head upstairs for the Wells Fargo Happy Hour.


5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Fresno Convention & Entertainment Center, Halls I, II & III
Pre-registered, qualified buyers, sponsors, exhibitors & consumers.

The Expo’s evening celebration is truly unique because unlike any other food industry tradeshow, it highlights the power and impact of the consumer; offering invaluable consumer insight to buyers who stay for the experience, and a premier opportunity for exhibitors to build brand ambassadors.

It’s not just delicious, it’s EXPOLICIOUS!



8:00 PM
Tioga Sequoia Brewing Company
Open to the public

The party doesn’t stop after Expolicious, join us at Tioga Sequoia Brewing Company for more fun!