Hosted by the Texas International Produce Association (TIPA), the fifth annual Viva Fresh Produce Expo is open for retail, foodservice and attendee registration at Mark your calendar for April 25-27, 2019, when the expo returns to the luxurious JW Marriott Resort & Spa in San Antonio.

Viva Fresh began in 2015 as a small regional tradeshow with the goal of shining a light on the importance of the Rio Grande Valley as an emerging trade corridor and production zone. Now, the show consistently draws sold out crowds, and buyer attendance alone has increased by over 110%.

“This Tex-Mex corridor has grown to become one of the most promising and important regions for fresh produce year-round,” said Tony Fisher, Director of Sourcing for Walmart. “Viva Fresh offers a great opportunity to connect, learn and gain an inside perspective on companies that make this region so successful, which is why I look forward to attending every year.”

By 2025, more than half of all U.S. produce imports from Mexico are expected to cross through Texas. Already, fruit and vegetable imports coming through Texas have grown a staggering 107% since 2007. With more than 60 different commodities and almost $1 billion of fresh fruits and vegetables grown in Texas, the region is truly a one-stop shop for produce sources throughout North America.

The Viva Fresh Expo is focused on connecting this rapidly growing corridor to retail and foodservice buyers, which is why the majority of exhibitors are grower/shippers from Texas and Mexico.

“We’ve been determined to create a more intimate and relaxed trade show experience which is why we have limited the Expo to 168 booths,” remarked Dante Galeazzi, President & CEO of Texas International Produce Association. “The Expo has been described by buyers as being ‘more manageable,’ providing access to regional suppliers and growers often not able to exhibit at larger industry Expos, thus expanding vendor options.”

A strong education program will continue to be a priority with sessions covering a wide-range of topics impacting the region and the produce industry as a whole in an interactive, engaging format. 2019 will also welcome back the Gateway to Innovation Awards Showcase to recognize new products and innovation throughout the Tex-Mex corridor.

Because everything is bigger in Texas, expect big displays and big flavors in 2019. Chef-inspired dishes featuring produce and flavors from this region will be served at events and receptions with an exceptional foodie flair.