Reach new buyers through the Making It In Michigan Virtual Trade Show

Michigan food businesses are invited to participate in the event starting April 29, 2021.

The Michigan State University Product Center team is taking the Making It In Michigan Trade Show to a virtual format in 2021. The conference and trade show will be held from April 29 to May 6, 2021.  The virtual trade show will provide a space for Michigan food entrepreneurs to make connections with buyers through a customized virtual catalog. The cost is only $50 to have your product(s) listed. All Michigan-based food businesses are invited to participate. Please note that cottage food products will not be accepted for this event.

Is this virtual trade show worth your time? Buyers from Kroger, Meijer, Whole Foods, SpartanNash and several other retail and specialty food stores will be participating. During COVID-19, buyers are sourcing new products online. Participating in this virtual trade show is a way to grow your distribution during this challenging time. 

Attendees need to register for the trade show. Plan on registration taking at least 15 minutes to complete the process. Consider preparing the needed information in advance. Click here to preview the registration form. Items you will need to register as a vendor include:

  • Company website address
  • Social media page links
  • Company story (a paragraph)
  • Attach a copy of your food license to your registration (or a license from your co-packer)
  • Description of your products
  • Sell sheets
  • Pricing sheets (optional, but recommended for buyers)
  • If you have 2016 formatted Nutritional values on your label (yes or no answer)
  • If you have GS1 barcodes (yes or no answer)
  • Eco attributes (locally sourced ingredients or recyclable packaging, for example)
  • How many retail locations your products are sold in
  • Which parts of Michigan you are able to distribute products to
  • Distribution methods
  • Largest number of cases you can produce within a 2-3 week time frame to fulfill a purchase order
  • Demographic information. This is optional but we collect this data, so we know if we are reaching all populations and areas of our state.

In addition, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Michigan Department of Economic Development Pure Michigan Business Connect are partnering to offer a unique and FREE matchmaking opportunity for buyers and sellers. Information can be found at this registration link.

Don’t forget to check out the conference featuring in-depth educational sessions, networking opportunities and take-home resources. Joining the program this year will be a Michigan Good Food Fund pitch competition and a collegiate chef recipe showdown in partnership with the Michigan Bean Commission.  For detailed conference or trade show information visit, or contact ANR Event Services at

Michigan State University Extension and the MSU Product Center support entrepreneurs in the food industry by offering food product businesses the information and tools they need to succeed today. Previous Making It In Michigan conferences have attracted nearly 200 food product businesses and dozens of food business buyers.  

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