In February of 2022, Hilltop Ranch of Ballico, California, participated in the world’s largest annual food and beverage trade show, Gulfood. Through the Market Access Program and WUSATA’s Branded (FundMatch) program, Hilltop Ranch received partial reimbursement for their booth space, freight costs, and other travel expenses. This year’s trip to Gulfood was critical due to an ownership change in January. It was especially important for Hilltop Ranch to see their customers and display their quality of products will not decline but continue to improve.
The Chief Operating Officer, Raj Samran, had this to say about his Branded program experience for this activity. “FundMatch was a great asset to utilize for Hilltop to make attending the trade show more affordable. WUSATA has always been a great resource for Hilltop Ranch to help market our California Almonds.” The connections Hilltop Ranch made at Gulfood resulted in a growing customer list with 50 new distributorships, expansion to new markets, and they saw a 15% spike in sales due to their participation. Their total export sales from this activity were around $2,000,000.
With the help of WUSATA and the Branded program, Hilltop Ranch has been able to expand their brand by being physically present at these tradeshows, it has been integral in growing their business. Without the help of the Branded program, they would not be able to participate in as many shows as they have. A direct quote from Raj Samran, “Hilltop Ranch is grateful for organizations like WUSATA that make selling almonds worldwide possible. We look forward to continuing our work with WUSATA and taking Hilltop Ranch, Inc. to even higher levels.”