Illinois companies will get a chance to find some new customers at the Illinois Products Expo this weekend. More than 70 will be giving away samples at the Orr Building on the state fairgrounds in Springfield, offering everything from barbecue sauce to beer.

Jennifer Tirey, bureau chief of marketing and promotions at the Illinois Department of Agriculture, says most don’t know the wide range of products made in-state.  “I think we are so busy with our everyday lives that sometimes you just don’t have time to check the labels at grocery stores,” Tirey said, “but then they’re pleasantly surprised to find out ‘Hey, I’ve purchased this, this is an Illinois-made product.’”

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Tirey says the goal of the expo is not only to find everyday customers, but also give small businesses a chance to meet with buyers from grocery stores and specialty shops and hopefully get more Illinois products on store shelves.

The show is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on today, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $5, but children 10 years old and under get in for free.

 (Copyright WBGZ Radio /