2010 Summer Fancy Food Show a Success!

July 28, 2010

Exhibit Space Sells Out

The 56th Summer Fancy Food Show on June 27 – 29, 2010, was a great success. Exhibit space at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City was sold out. This year’s show drew 23,304 verified attendees from across the U.S. and around the world. Attendance exceeded last year’s strong showing, which was the highest at any Fancy Food Show in the past decade.

The event is the largest marketplace for specialty foods and beverages in North America and this year was no exception: 2,400 exhibitors filled 331,000 square feet of exhibit space. More than 80 countries presented their latest specialties, best-in-class foods and beverages, and products at the forefront of emerging trends. To view a photo gallery of the show click here.

“We are extremely pleased with our great results. There’s no question that our show is the place to be for the top buyers and suppliers of specialty food,” said Ann Daw, president of the NASFT. “Next summer’s show in Washington, DC, is already drawing strong sales. Our industry is clearly moving forward.”

Check out the buzz

The social media sites for the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade, Inc., the show’s owner, are still busy with show news and reviews. Share your show experiences and learn what your industry colleagues are saying in our communities on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn (NASFT Fancy Food Shows).

Show highlights included:

  • New Brands on the Shelf. This special pavilion presents tabletop displays with sampling
    from 37 participants in the NASFT’s Member Candidate program for newcomers
    to the industry.
  • Exhibitors from 80+ countries, and 41 international pavilions.
  • What’s New, What’s Hot! Showcases. This popular display featured hundreds of products representing the latest trends in natural and organics, gifts, and more, and opens two hours before the exhibit halls.
  • Social Media 101. The NASFT had 45 one-on-one consultations in the Exhibitor
    Lounge to help exhibitors brush up on the latest communications tools.
  • 253 first-time exhibitors.

In the Spotlight

The 56th Summer Fancy Food Show was a major media magnet. The show—and scores of exhibitor products–was featured on The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS News and Martha Stewart Radio. There was also coverage in the New York Times, New York Daily News, Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Epicurious, and Condé Nast’s food site. More than 1,000 journalists attended the show from the U.S. and abroad. See coverage here.

Buyer Mix

The show draws top buyers from all major food channels. This year saw a significant jump in attendance from the foodservice sector, up an impressive 25 percent over last year. There was also a 13.5 percent increase in the number of buyers from natural and organic, specialty food retailers, supermarkets and mass merchants. Buying organizations in attendance at the show have a combined purchasing power in the billions of dollars.

Big Names

The show was a who’s who of top specialty food purveyors. Some of the most important names in retailing were there, including Whole Foods, Costco, Sysco, Kroger, Winn-Dixie, Harry & David, Alaska Air, Pinkberry, Raley’s, Restaurant Associates, Barnes & Noble, Zingerman’s, The Fresh Market, and hundreds of top regional and local retailers, distributors, and importers.

Matchmaking Program Takes Off

The NASFT arranged 2,000 one-on-one sessions between buyers and suppliers, up from 1,343 in 2009, including 111 private sessions. These meetings were set up by NASFT staff in the months before the show. Cracker Barrel, Whole Foods, Crate & Barrel, and Kings Super Market were among the 227 retail, foodservice and distribution companies that took part in the program. The sessions got great reviews.

“The interview sessions were perfectly orchestrated – right buyer, right product and we are starting to rollout with [new] stores next month. Thank you NASFT.”
– Jeremy Isenberg, President, Chex Finer Foods.

Big Draw from Around the World

Buyers from more than 95 countries flocked to New York for the show this year. The three-day event provides a great way to source the best foods and beverages the U.S. has to offer, plus great products from the more than 80 countries that showcased their wares. Attendees were from:

BELIZE
BERMUDA
BRAZIL
BULGARIA
CANADA
CAPE VERDE ISLANDS
CAYMAN ISLANDS
CHILE
CHINA
COLOMBIA
COSTA RICA
CROATIA
CYPRUS
CZECH REPUBLIC
DENMARK
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
ECUADOR
EGYPT
EL SALVADOR
ENGLAND
FRANCE
FRENCH POLYNESIA
GAMBIA
GERMANY
GREECE
GUATEMALA
GUYANA
HONDURAS
HONG KONG
ICELAND
INDIA
INDONESIA
IRAQ
IRELAND
ISRAEL
ITALY
JAMAICA
JAPAN
JORDAN
KUWAIT
LEBANON
LIBYA
MACEDONIA
MALAYSIA
MARTINIQUE
MEXICO
MONGOLIA
MOROCCO
NETHERLANDS
NEW ZEALAND
NIGERIA
NORTH KOREA
NORWAY
PAKISTAN
PALESTINE
PANAMA
PARAGUAY
PERU
PHILIPPINES
POLAND
PORTUGAL
RUSSIA
SAUDI ARABIA
SERBIA
SIERRA LEONE
SINGAPORE
SLOVENIA
SOUTH AFRICA
SOUTH KOREA
SPAIN
SRI LANKA
ST LUCIA
SWEDEN
SWITZERLAND
SYRIA
TAIWAN ROC
THAILAND
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO


sofi™ Awards Break Records

The 38th sofi Awards were a special highlight of the show. This year was the most competitive sofi contest ever. Members submitted 2,258 of their outstanding specialty foods and beverages across all 33 categories, up from the prior high of 2,091 in 2008. All 140 Silver Finalists were featured in a special showcase at the show. Gold Winners were selected by attendees at the show, who sampled and evaluated the finalists in a special judging room monitored by an outside accounting firm.

And the Winner Is….

The sofi Gold Winners were announced at a red-carpet ceremony at the show by Executive Chef Dan Barber, who is a leader in the artisanal food movement and well known for his restaurants, Blue Hill in New York City, and Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, N.Y. The NASFT was honored to make a contribution to City Harvest in honor of Barber, in lieu of a speaking fee. City Harvest is the Fancy Food Show’s longtime charity of choice. The sofi Gold Winner for Outstanding New Product of 2010 is the South African Consulate for Rozendal Hibiscus Vinegar. View all 33 Gold Winners here.

Hunger for Knowledge

Education sessions at the show were packed. Attendance was up 15 percent above last year. The best-attended seminars were “Understanding Pricing for a Beginning Manufacturer” and “Taking Your Products to the Marketplace.” There were 20+ seminars, tasting sessions and tours, including presentations by industry experts on trends research and roundtables on trends in Kosher, Halal, and Sustainability.

Other seminars included:

  • How to Become a Media Darling
  • Pricing Your Gift Baskets with Profit and Goals
  • 7 Ways to Evaluate Your Product’s Branding and Packaging to Respond to Changing Markets
  • Tasting Terroir: The Skinny on Bean to Bar Origin Chocolate

Giving Back

For the 21st year, Fancy Food Show exhibitors made a major donation to City Harvest, a leading anti-hunger organization in New York City. Exhibitors donated 100,000 pounds of chocolate, cheese, olive oil, snacks and much more, enough to fill eight tractor trailers. The food was collected by 250 volunteers right after the exhibit halls closed, and deployed to 200 community food pantries and soup kitchens. One recipient, the Community Food Pantry of Highbridge, Bronx, N.Y., received 2,962 pounds of food. “As an agency that serves a mostly immigrant population, we were grateful to receive high quality food that is also culturally familiar to our clients. It was a real treat for them.” — Nurah Amat’ullah, Community Food Pantry of Highbridge.

Specialty Food Media: The Top Source for Industry News You Can Use

The NASFT’s media platforms were front and center at the show, including:

  • Specialty Food Media: The NASFT’s information source for the trade and the key
    vehicle to reach buying professionals across call channels. Providing total market
    access by connecting buyers and sellers year-round through a variety of food and
    beverage focused channels: Specialty Food Magazine, http://www.specialtyfood.com
    and Specialty Food News.
  • Foodspring.com: Connecting consumers to specialty foods. Foodspring.com offers the adventuresome food consumer an insider’s look at specialty foods and the people who make them.
  • Foodspring Network: Linking the world’s best specialty food sites. The Foodspring Network links NASFT member websites and foodspring.com
    to help them reach more consumers, simplify their marketing and save
    time and money while offering a professional online presence.
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Interview with Winter Fancy Food Show Trend Game winner, Eddi Marie of Beckles Candies

May 20, 2010

Q: Please tell us about your current job and what it entails. Tell us something about yourself and your lovely shop in Modesto, California.
A: We have owned and operated Beckles Candies and Gifts in Modesto, California, since December of 1988. For the most part, Jim and I oversee the daily operation of the shop, including  making and selecting products, packaging, and interacting with the customers. We have known some of them since they were children!  Although Jim is not at the shop every day, he is a very important part of the business and readily “on call!”  Our daughter worked with us during her teenage years, and still covers for us in emergencies.

Beckles is an old time candy shop, selling chocolates, our on-site-made fudge,  gourmet truffles, a variety of licorices and candy jar favorites, including a nice selection of sugar free products.  We like to shop for things we believe our customer will enjoy. Custom packages are prepared in any gift item or container the customer selects and we pre-package in traditional and non-traditional containers. We also enjoy helping corporate clients and special event planners meet their unique needs and successfully stay within their budgets.

Q: How did you become so knowledgeable of food trends coming into the Winter Show? What professional food related publications, blogs, etc. do you read regularly?
A: I’m not at all sure I am that knowledgeable! I do try to listen, pay attention to food trends, and generally be aware of what is going on in our area.  The California Central Valley is known for it’s agricultural success. Staying “green” and being self-sustaining are very important to us. Personally, I am quite health conscious, while still allowing myself the joys of treats, sweets, and special indulgences. 

Several trade publications come across my desk regularly and I always find interesting material in them. Reading printed matter I can hold in my hands is more my style than reading screens! Although, blogs and Internet information is sometimes handy, indeed!

Q: When you go out to eat—do you go to the same place or do you explore other cultures and types of restaurants?
A: We have long time favorites and are basically traditionalists.  However, new places must be investigated, and authentically prepared food of other cultures can be most interesting and even enlightening! I am more adventurous than Jim!

Q: What is your favorite type of food? Favorite meal/dish?
A: I like Salmon or Halibut, usually baked (sans oiliness)! Al dente steamed vegetables rank high on my list, as do fresh fruits and vegetables of most any kind. Southern barbecue, but not too spicy hot, is another favorite. And, of course great chocolate desserts!!! I use lots of nuts when preparing dishes and, although I like both, I go for weeks without eating beef or pork.

Q: How was your experience at the Winter Fancy Food Show? What was your favorite part?
A: Jim and I had a really good time. It was a quick, one-day trip from Modesto. I think our favorite part is anything that directly relates to our business, especially items we can almost link to specific customers. At times it becomes a game we play.

The displays were great,  the vendors were most cordial, the products were varied, and the attendees were enthusiastic. While conscious of the economic situation, people were not overwhelmed with gloom! We mentioned that en route home.

Q: Have you ever been to a Summer Fancy Food Show? If yes, what are the major differences between the Winter Show and Summer Show?
A: We have never attended the Summer Show, but we are excited!

Q: Do you have any tips to offer for attending/walking the show?
A: I go with a plan, or at least a list of items about which  folks have inquired or in which I have a particular interest.  We usually go for the “What’s new “area first,  then walk the rest of the show rooms. Some of the seminars would be helpful; however, we are always on a limited time schedule.

Q: What are you most excited about for the upcoming Summer Fancy Food Show in New York?
A:
It is a new adventure! I’ve been told it is bigger than the Winter Show. It will be interesting to see how some of the winter focused items are doing, how they may have been adapted, and what’s new!

Q: Are you on any social media? (Twitter, Facebook or do you have a blog?) Website?
A: We do have a Beckles website.  It is in a stage of reconstruction, but viewable.  You can find it at BecklesCandiesandGifts.com