Attending the prestigious National Restaurant Association Show has long been a tradition of Hormel Foods Corporation (NYSE: HRL), an annual opportunity for the Fortune 500 global-branded food company to highlight its extensive product offerings to foodservice operators from around the country. This year’s show takes place May 20-23 at McCormick Place in Chicago and will feature more than 2,100 exhibits hosted by hundreds of U.S. manufacturers and suppliers. But none of those exhibits promises to be as eye popping as what Hormel Foods is bringing to the showroom floor.
For the second straight year, Hormel Foods will feature a full-service restaurant as part of its multifaceted exhibit. As for the kitchen within it, the company is bringing its incredible culinary talent to prepare and serve samples far beyond the quality of typical event offerings.
“We’ve got fryers, flattop grills and convection ovens, not to mention a full staff of extremely talented and inspired chefs. The exhibit really is one of a kind,” said Blake Flores, Hormel Foods Foodservice innovation team lead. “This is the marquee event of food shows, so it’s a big deal for us. It’s always a tremendous opportunity for the company to showcase what it’s bringing to the table in terms of innovation and quality, and to provide value-added and labor-saving products that can really make a difference for foodservice operators everywhere.”
The new Hormel Foods Culinary Collective — the company’s corps of in-house chefs, which will be on site preparing food throughout the show — has dedicated considerable time and effort into developing not only a delectable menu, but also the overall layout and design of the exhibit as a whole.
“There are a lot of hands on deck to make sure that everything is up to par,” said Patty Riedl, Hormel Foods Foodservice director of marketing. “With this innovative exhibit, we’re able to deliver on site the food quality that we expect our restauranteurs would be able to deliver from their own kitchens. Our guests will be treated to a true restaurant experience, complete with delicious food, of course.”
As for the menu, eight mouthwatering options will be made available to guests, including flank steak shashlik, a dish that will feature the company’s FIRE BRAISED™ flank steak, served alongside golden couscous with a pine-nut vinaigrette, pomegranate and fresh herbs. All eight menu items — not to mention a build-your-own-flatbread option, meant to showcase the company’s prowess in the pizza game — will spotlight at least one of the company’s foodservice products, giving showroom attendants a firsthand opportunity to experience Hormel Foods products as prepared in a restaurant setting, perhaps inspiring them to implement the same products within their own culinary operations. The taste tests won’t be limited to the restaurant area, either. Guests can also sample foodservice products at seven additional stations within the exhibit, where items from the company’s house of brands will be available for passersby to try.
“We put an extensive game plan together for how we want to execute this as one house of brands,” Flores said. “We look forward to connecting with everyone who stops by our exhibit and giving them a real taste of what we have to offer.”