From January 5-7, more than 1,000 U.S. and international potato industry members joined the first-ever virtual Potato Expo. The annual event that kicks off the year for the industry, was brought online for the first time in response to the travel challenges imposed by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Despite the challenges, growers and supply chain members tuned in to the educational programming and virtual trade show to do business and prepare their operations for the future.
With an eye on the future, Potato Expo 2021 addressed many pressing issues from evolving consumer trends as a response to the pandemic to an increased focus on sustainability efforts. The event featured sessions on how COVID-19 is impacting the industry’s ability to get potatoes into the mouths of consumers, how changes in the political landscape are impacting the industry’s policy and trade efforts, and how changes in farming technology are helping the industry innovate.
The Let’s Get Cooking Competition hosted by Chef Joel Gamoran featured home chefs from across the country competing virtually to produce the most compelling potato croquettes. Among the dishes produced by the 15 teams, professional chefs Susan Comstock Holt, RJ Harvey, and Brandy Tucker, who served as judges, selected The Big Sky Bakers – Steve, Jill, and Paul Streich from Kalispell, Mont. – as the winners of the competition.
Attendees can access the recorded sessions through March 31, 2021 by visiting the event platform. Those interested in viewing the hours of on-demand content can still register by visiting potato-expo.com.
Potato Expo 2022 will be held January 5-6 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California.