CHICAGO — The 2017 National Restaurant Association (NRA) Show experienced strong growth in international attendees and exhibitors, highlighting the event’s increasing global reach. The NRA Show featured exhibiting companies from more than 30 countries and offered 55-per-cent more international pavilions than the previous year.
NRA Show 2017, which took place May 19 to 22 at McCormick Place in Chicago, featured established and emerging supplier brands showcasing more than 900 product categories. At more than 695,000 sq. ft., it was the largest NRA Show to date.
The show featured a wide selection of exhibitors, invited chefs and specialty areas, as well as the newly launched Innovation Hub. This zone was comprised of three distinctive areas: the Innovation Theater, Tech Talks and Startup Alley.
Innovation was also present with the new products introduced at the show. In 2017, while wandering through the exhibition floor, attendees were able to find the most delicious, unique and exciting food and beverage products that benefit restaurant operators and consumers alike. This year’s 36 Food-and-Beverage Innovation (FABI) Award recipients included products, such as a revolutionary low-sodium salt; a naturally flavoured beverage with ginger, cane sugar and blood-orange extract called Blood Orange Ginger Beer; and the world’s first plant-based burger that looks, cooks and satisfies like fresh ground beef.
Forward-thinking equipment solutions were also center stage at NRA Show 2017. For more than a decade, the KI (Kitchen Innovation) Awards have recognized products that meaningfully improve the back of the house. The 18 selected innovations that were present at the KI Pavilion addressed operator concerns from labour, energy and water efficiency to food safety, sanitation, cross-functionality and space-saving.