Winter Fancy Food Show Attendance up 9 percent–Renewed Momentum for Specialty Food Industry

New York, N.Y. (Jan. 27, 2010) – The 35th Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco last week had the highest attendance of any Winter Show in the past five years. The three-day event at Moscone Center, which ended Jan. 19,

Opening Day of the Winter Show. Over 16,500 people attendeed this year..a 9% increase from last year.

drew 16,780 buyers of specialty food from across the U.S. and around the world.

The show’s 1,300 exhibitors presented 80,000 specialty products from the U.S. and 45 countries, including Australia, Italy, Korea and Tunisia. There were 184 first-time exhibitors, and space was sold out for a pavilion featuring emerging food entrepreneurs. Participation was up 47 percent for the education program of 19 seminars, workshops and tours.

“The mood was very positive,” says Ann Daw, president of the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade in New York City. “There is clearly positive momentum in our industry as consumers start to spend again on distinctive foods and beverages that add enjoyment to their meals.”

The Winter Fancy Food Show is the largest marketplace for specialty food on the West Coast. Attendees this year represented some of the most important names in retailing, including Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe’s, Costco, Amazon.com, Macy’s, numerous local and regional specialty and natural food stores, gift shops, and even Alaska Airlines. They were in search of the next hot products and the best in chocolate, cheese, olive oil, salsas, snacks and more.

A huge variety of olives were part of 80,000 specialty products to see and taste

Trends that generated buzz included good-for-you-foods; coconut products; gluten-free; exotic citrus and nostalgic foods. There were new twists on bacon, including as ingredients in pancake mix and nut brittle, and flavors from India, Japan, and Morocco were plentiful. Craft beers were featured at a new pavilion from the Brewer’s Association, and dozens of artisan cheeses were presented by the American Cheese Society.

Exhibitors have a long tradition of giving back. This year amid continuing economic hardship for many Americans, exhibitors donated a record 130,000 pounds of food, enough to fill three tractor trailers, to Bay Area anti-hunger programs. More than 5,000 families received grocery bags filled with specialty items. Amid the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Haiti, the NASFT urged exhibitors to support relief efforts with financial contributions, and provided information on organizations that are collecting funds. The trade association also pledged to match contributions made by its staff members.

The NASFT presents two Fancy Food Shows each year. The 56th Summer Fancy Food Show will be June 27 – 29, 2010 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City. The Winter Show returns to Moscone Center Jan. 16 – 18, 2011.

NASFT MEDIA CONTACTS:

Ron Tanner, VP, Communications & Education; 646-878-0115, rtanner@nasft.org
Louise Kramer, Communications Director; 646-878-0130, lkramer@nasft.org

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