On the road again
Catch up with the Excalibur sales team for reflections on the many benefits of fully returning to the trade show and convention circuit.
At the Pennsylvania Association of Meat Processors (PAMP) show in early May, Excalibur Sales & Marketing Consultant Kip Padgelek displayed a lineup of select seasoning blends at his booth developed by the R&D team. As attendees stopped by, he discovered a growing excitement surrounding several of Excalibur’s new flavor profiles.
“We don’t sell a lot of bratwursts on the East Coast like we do in the Midwest, so we came up with a Philly and Reuben Bratwurst blend and there was incredible interest,” says Padgelek. “People wiped me out of Excalibur’s top-selling sales sheets for fresh and smoked sausage, jerky and patty blends. They were all looking for new and innovative ideas.”
With additional stops in Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin earlier this year and AAMP still to come in July, Excalibur sales consultants say making the trip to conferences and trade shows is essential to the industry.
“In-person conferences are valuable because they bring people together to converse with others going through the same day-to-day challenges,” says Rick McLimans, Excalibur Sales & Marketing Consultant. “It also gives them a chance to observe the latest technology and trends – a firsthand experience that cannot be replaced.”
McLimans worked state shows in St. Cloud, Minnesota and Middleton, Wisconsin. Like Padgelek, he was also at PAMP to assist judges from Germany at the International Meat Competition in State College, Pennsylvania. He picked up on a central theme throughout his travels so far this year.
“People seem to be adjusting to the fact that in today’s post-pandemic world, there are things that we used to take for granted before that are no longer an option now,” recalls McLimans. “Labor shortages, and longer lead times for supplies have forced people to plan well in advance and be proactive instead of reactive.”
Back at PAMP, Padgelek is grateful to be talking face-to-face with people, making those in-person connections and securing fresh leads that come from being out on the road.
“More than one person told us they use Excalibur’s seasonings because they are crisp, flavorful and bolder than anything else out there,” says Padgelek. “We make everything to order and customize more blends because people tell us they don’t have the capacity to mix their own seasonings. Our lab does a great job with flavor development and matching. It’s one of our selling points.”