Since we focus on photography quite a bit at BevReview, including all those shots of "beverages next to a tree," we brought along an iPhone and were posting live photo updates during the event using the creative photo filters provided by Instagram.
In the coming months we'll be talking about some of the things in those photos and hope you discover something new. While the "Big 3" were in attendance (The Coca-Cola Company, PepsiCo, Dr Pepper Snapple Group), it often was the smaller brands that had the most interesting products and stories.
For those not familiar with the NRA show (not to be confused with that "other NRA"), it is primarily focused on the foodservice industry, restaurants, and hotels/motels, so when it comes to the beverage side of things, everything is filtered through that perspective.
As we gear up to write about many of these beverages, here's just a taste of what we saw…
We've got our credentials, let's head inside!
Fountains at McCormick Place
No, it's not the National Rifle Association
Hitting the convention floor at McCormick Place
How tall do you think this Coke Freestyle machine is?
Coke's large exhibit space
Honest Tea folks showcasing Honest Kids
Would you like a Pepsi?
A look at Pepsi's social vending machine
Have a conversation!
Unfortunately, SunDrop was not on tap
Count the Dr Pepper Snapple Group logos on this wall… Which is featured the most?
Yes, Facebook is at the food show (Groupon has a huge booth as well!)
Google pushing their Places service
Bruce Cost of Fresh Ginger Ale, one of our favs!
The good folks at Reed's… Neal and Emily
Very attractive packaging redesign for Numi Tea
A view of Lake Michigan from McCormick Place, home of the NRA Show
Smoothies from Main St Cafe. Very good!
2 new bottled Stevia flavors from Republic of Tea… Black & Green
Crave Chocolate Milk. Shelf-stable and very chocolaty
New 5-Hour Energy flavor hitting this summer… Extra Strength Grape
A lot of exhibitors are using QR codes
Yvette at Harney & Sons, showcasing their smooth new Organic Lemonade
What does Colin Powell have to do with food & restaurants?
Some syrup for your beverage?
Try the bottled Oolong Tea from Adagio
Flavored milk straws for kids. Nice idea
BeerTubes for drink dispensing… They'll hold about 2.5 pitchers of any beverage
Wouldn't you love a large Jarritos bottle?
2 new "Light" flavors of Jarritos (Mandarin & Tamarind) + new Mexican Cola flavor (very good!)