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Wed February 26, 2014
Illinois Products Expo This Weekend
Some of the best Illinois has to offer will be on display this weekend in Springfield. It's the annual Illinois Products Expo at the Orr Building on the state fairgrounds. More than 70 companies will be represented.
Jennifer Tyree, Bureau Chief of Marketing and Promotions with the Illinois Department of Agriculture, says it's a variety of offerings.
"We go from the Illinois Pork Producers selling their pork sandwiches to Oakland Noodle Company selling noodles," she said. Others will sell pizza, chocolate, popcorn, spices, chili mix, cheese, beer, wine and more.
Overall, Illinois ranks number 1 in the nation in food processing sales. That includes a lot of small businesses.
"Most of the time, the owners are standing at the booth ready to talk ton you about their product," she said.
Tyree says a main goal is to make sure the companies have a chance to meet with buyers, including those who stock store shelves. A special part of the event will enable buyers to sample products.
The Department is also asking consumers to take the Buy Illinois Challenge. It asks you to spend $10 of your weekly grocery bill on Illinois made products.
"You know if you've got a choice between an Illinois salsa and another state, choose Illinois because those local economy benefits can go so much further if we can encourage people to buy Illinois," Tyree said.
Admission for the Illinois Products Expo is $5. Children and 10 and under are free.
It's Saturday from 10 to 5 and Sunday from 10 to 3.