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2015 Western Foodservice and Hospitality Expo adds new trend-centric pavilions

The California Restaurant Association (CRA) is the largest state restaurant association in the country, and its annual Western Foodservice and Hospitali...

Frazer Jones
|May 28|magazine8 min read

The California Restaurant Association (CRA) is the largest state restaurant association in the country, and its annual Western Foodservice and Hospitality Expo (WFHE) is among the largest conventions serving professionals throughout all aspects of the restaurant and foodservice industries. As an event of this magnitude, with a stated objective of “dishing up the newest trends and insights to maximize business profits,” highlighting the latest restaurant and consumer food trends is paramount. So this year’s upcoming 2015 WFHE is expanding, creating all-new pavilions to place even greater focus on the latest food trends coming into view.

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International cuisines are always top trends, and this year several experts predicted trends focusing on various facets of Japanese cuisine from ramen to charcoal grilling techniques. Seemingly in response to this focus, the WFHE 2015 has launched a new expanded International Showcase anchored by two key pavilions—a Latino Foods Pavilion, expanding on the trade show’s long running Expo Comida Latina portion and showcasing new and traditional products for the Hispanic and Latin American markets, as well as a Japan Pavilion inviting attendees to explore and draw inspiration from umami-based flavors like miso and kombu.

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It’s also hard to deny the rapidly growing craft beer trend that has been on the rise in the last several years. Along with being a great beverage to enjoy alongside a meal, the trend is inexorably tied to the restaurant industry in other ways—craft beers have inspired recipes, beer and food pairings, and limitless collaboration. So it makes sense that craft beer is being welcomed into WFHE 2015 with a brand new California Craft Brewers Pavilion. “The CCBA is proud to represent the rich and diverse collection of artisans and entrepreneurs that make up the family of California's craft brewers,” states the press release. In addition to beer brewers like San Diego’s Karl Strauss and Berkeley’s Trumer Pils Brewery, the pavilion is featuring non-alcoholic beverage brewers like KomBucha Dog as well.

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While it’s not a new feature for the trade show, WFHE 2015’s all-encompassing Food Trends Experience is a great way to round out the event’s trendworthy spaces. “The Food Trends Experience is a tasting adventure providing direct access to product, flavors and ingredients driving the most recent trends in the market – healthy, organic, sustainable, ethnic, artisanal, and more,” reads the WHFE site. This year’s Food Trends Experience event will feature new and upcoming products from a range of companies, from more niche brands like Lifeway and Daiya to global megabrands like Kraft.

This year’s event takes place August 23-25 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Check out the WFHE 2015 website to see all the other events and pavilions that this year’s trade show has to offer.