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.
Advertisements

The Final Day Of The Food Show…Records Are Broken And Lives Are Touched

June 30, 2010

Tuesday, June 29th 2010 was the final day of the Summer Fancy Food Show at the Javits Center. And amid a back drop of World Cup matches that played on every television imaginable, the real focus of the day was on our exhibitors making great connections with foodservice retailers and buyers…and this year there was that in abundance.

In fact, today we learned that the Fancy Food Show had:

* a 25% increase in tickets sold to sofi Awards Ceremony

* a 17% increase in attendance to education seminars, over 20 sessions presented

* over 2,000 meetings held including Business Builders 1-to-1 and Private Interview Sessions

* the highest number of registrations to Show to date

We also learned late in the day that the floor space for next year in Washington DC has sold at a rate we simply were not expecting and that exhibitors really need to make plans NOW for that show based on the floor space that sold throughout the show.

In addition to so many exhibitors featuring celebrity chefs, and with over 1300 media personnel in attendance, the excitement on the floor was constant. And it showed as we walked from booth to booth hearing from so many of our excited members:

“I think this show has been amazing. We weren’t sure how we would be received…but the response has been overwhelming. We’ve literally gotten TONS of retailer and buyer interest. We are… definitely going to Washington DC next year. We are totally thrilled.”

Debbie Marks
Sexy Gourmet Food

But it was what happened as the show wrapped at 4pm that also left such lasting memories.

At that time, 250 volunteers and 50 staff members from City Harvest flowed into the Javits to collect the excess food from our exhibitors that they would then turn around and deliver to the needy throughout New York.

It was expected that 150,000 pounds of perishable (which went out immediately) and non perishable food was collected, loaded into colorful large boxes by the excited volunteers and then loaded out.

It was, to be honest, a touching moment and perhaps the most fitting way for us to thank New York for hosting this show.

All of us at the NASFT are so very proud of the way the 2010 Summer Fancy Food Show came to be and the impact it has had on so many.

And we surely hope to see everyone again in Washington in 2011.


Winter Fancy Food Video Coverage!

February 10, 2010

We have finally wrapped up the final visual pieces of the 2010 Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco. The lists below consist of the links including live interview footage with Nicole Ravlin from the Social Media Booth, and featured floor segments, as well as links to other coverage!


Livestream Interviews

  1. 1300 on Fillmore, David Lawrence
  2. Amrani Chocolates, Antoine Amrani and Martha Seidner
  3. Bambu, Jeff Delkin
  4. Bedford Industries, Gene Story
  5. Bella Chi Cha, Chi-Cha Russo-Boyes
  6. Bella Cucina, Alisa Barry
  7. Best of the West, Peter Wyckoff
  8. Black Market Bakery, Rachel Klemek
  9. Braswell’s, Chris McMahon
  10. Char Crust, Susan Eriksen
  11. Chocoveda, Julia Lungin
  12. CulinaryMuse.com, Karletta Moniz
  13. Culinary Papers, Scott Mille
  14. Eat More Heat, James Beck
  15. Elaine’s Toffee, Janet A. Long
  16. Fall River Wild Rice, Hiram Oilar
  17. Feed the Hungry, David Flowers
  18. Jer’s Chocolates, Jerry Swain
  19. Larry Chiang
  20. Little Cow Cookies, Rae Stacks
  21. Lotus Foods, Caryl Levine
  22. Mediterranean Snacks, Vincent James
  23. Meyenberg, Tracy Darrimon
  24. Mrs. Renfro’s, Dan Fore
  25. Nature’s Indulgence, Rebbi Burdett
  26. Olivia’s Croutons, Francie Caccavo
  27. Original Juan, Greg Dennis
  28. Pamela’s, Stephanie Robbins
  29. Plocky’s, Paul Cipolla
  30. Pollen Ranch, Rebb Firman
  31. Republic of Tea, Kristina Richens
  32. Sables Gourmet Cookie Dough, Barbara Hazen
  33. Salsa Buena, Leah Aguayo
  34. Savor California, Jane St. Claire
  35. Silence Tea, Ross Darroodi
  36. Simply Boulder, Seth Mendelsohn
  37. Slow Cow, Keith Whitlock
  38. Smoked Olive, Brenda Chatelain
  39. Spice Hunter, Heidi Ripplinger
  40. Tanka Bar, Mark A. Tilsen
  41. Thatsanice!, Anthony Marciona and Joseph Lobue
  42. Valor Chocolates, Gonzalo Sanchez
  43. Vibrant Flavors, Donna Dockins
  44. Waffle Lady, Jeanne Scott
  45. Wine Soiree, Andrew Lazorchak

Featured Video Descriptions

  1. Charcuterie– The best charcuterie from all around the world featuring Framani Handcrafted Salumi, Fabrique Delices, Colombo Importing & Trois Petits Cochons.
  2. ChocolatesThe delicious chocolates of the NASFT’s 35th Winter Fancy Food Show. Featuring Fairytale Brownies, John Kelly Chocolates, TCHO Chocolate, and Xan Confections.
  3. Cold Beverages– A selection of some of the cold beverages found at NASFT’s 35th Winter Fancy Food Show. Featuring beverages from Activate, the Brewer’s Association, Dream Foods International, and Fizzy Lizzy.
  4. Feed the Hungry Donation VideoWhen NASFT’s 35th Winter Fancy Food Show ended, Feed The Hungry came in and collected donations from all the exhibitors. In total, over 130,000lbs were donated.
  5. Hot BeveragesHot Beverages from NASFT’s 35th Winter Fancy Food Show. Featuring products from Adagio Teas, Choice Organic Teas, Peerless Coffee and Tea, and Tom and Sally’s Handmade Chocolates.
  6. International Exhibitors– Many of the different countries and international vendors exhibiting at NASFT’s 35th Winter Fancy Food Show. Featuring Fabio Imports from Italy, Mrs. Palmer’s Pantry from Canada, and Isigny Ste Mere and Chevaliers D’Argouges, both from France.
  7. New Products– Some of the new products being introduced and exhibited at NASFT’s 35th Winter Fancy Food Show. Featuring products from Crazy Uncle Jester’s, Cugino’s, Hotlips Soda and Kenny’s Candy Company.
  8. Non-Chocolate CandiesNon-chocolate candy at the 2010 Winter Fancy Food Show including Hammond’s Candies, Sahagian & Associates, Kenny’s Candy Company, & Linda’s Lollies.
  9. Organics and Natural Foods– A sampling of the many tasty organic and natural products at this years Winter Fancy Food Show. Featuring Amy E’s Bakery, Caffe Ibis, Coffaro’s Baking Company, and Pearl River Pastry
  10. People of the Show– Video of attendees, buyers and exhibitors at NASFT’s 35th Winter Fancy Food Show.
  11. Snacks– Snack foods at NASFT’s 35th Winter Fancy Food Show. Featuring snacks from Deep River Snacks, KIND Healthy Snacks, Popcornopolis, and KIND Healthy Snacks.
  12. Sofi Winners– A video highlighting just a few of the many Sofi Winners exhibiting at NASFT’s 35th Winter Fancy Food Show. Featuring Anette’s Chocolates, The Ginger People, Nutorious Nut Confections, and Oregon Growers and Shippers.
  13. Trends– A few products from the show that fit into the trends at NASFT’s 35th Winter Fancy Food Show. Featuring products from Aliseo, Bissinger’s, Black Garlic, Kitchen Naturals, Savory Creations and Shakespeare’s Gourmet Chocolate.

Other Coverage:

  1. FoodChannel Food Channel coverage expanded throughout the week at the 2010 Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco. They have multiple articles and video interviews!
  2. Feed the Hungry NASFT members donated 130,000 lbs of donated food for the Feed the Hungry local and international efforts after the 2010 Winter Fancy Food Show. Click here to watch an exclusive video.

We hope you enjoyed the coverage of the 2010 Winter Fancy Food Show, including some of our featured product and company segments.  We look forward to seeing you at the 2010 Summer Fancy Food Show for live coverage at the Social Media Lounge and product features on the show floors!


Giving Back In Style

July 31, 2009

For close to 20 years, I’ve been volunteering for anti-hunger organizations. First I was a prep cook for an AIDS organization. Then I made sandwiches at a soup kitchen for homeless men. Now, on Saturday mornings, I deliver meals to homebound elderly men and women for Citymeals-on-Wheels, an organization co-founded by James Beard and Gael Greene.

Drew Nieporent at Citymeals bash

Drew Nieporent at Citymeals bash

All this was separate from my professional life as a business journalist. But last year the personal and professional started to connect when I shifted careers and joined the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade as Communications Director. It turns out that the NASFT has a direct and strong connection to anti-hunger efforts.

We are a not-for-profit trade association that helps food artisans, entrepreneurs and specialty food importers grow their businesses and succeed in markets around the world. But we’re also committed to sharing our bounty with people in need. After our Fancy Food Shows in New York and San Francisco, our exhibitors donate crazy amounts of chocolate, cheese and olive oil, not to mention produce, pâté, salami and biscotti, to area food programs.

This year, exhibitors at our 55th Summer Fancy Food Show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center donated 204,100 pounds of specialty food and beverages to City Harvest at the end of the three-day show. That’s enough to fill five tractor trailers, and the shelves of hundreds of food pantries throughout New York City. Stay tuned for more on this amazing effort!

Another recent donation was to Citymeals-on-Wheels. We reached out to many of the 128 finalists for our 2009 sofi Awards to donate their finalist products to an annual fundraiser at Rockefeller Center in New York. The sofi Awards recognize excellence in specialty foods and beverages and our considered our industry’s Oscars.

The Citymeals event featured some of the most prominent chefs in the United States, who all donated their time and food to help raise money for the organization. Our members donated chocolate, pasta, spice rubs, snazzy snack chips, harissa, unusual rice and more for gift bags for the chefs.

Chef Alfred Portale donating his time to Citymeals event at Rockefeller Center

Chef Alfred Portale donating his time to Citymeals event at Rockefeller Center

The roster included Daniel Boulud, Alfred Portale, and Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Restaurateur Drew Nieporent, partner in Myriad Restaurant Group of Nobu, Corton and Tribeca Grill fame, was there, as was John Schenk, executive chef of Strip House. Schenk declared his good bag, brimming with sofi products, “the best gift bag ever.” I had a chance to attend, and it was a fabulous New York night. The food was spectacular, and even the design was beautiful, donated by David Rockwell, the architect and designer.

For me, what made our small gift bag effort so nice was the eagerness of our members to contribute. Of course they wanted to get their food in the hands of these great chefs, but there was a true desire to help a great food cause too. Also, my colleague Betsy Schwartz, our creative director, jumped in and made a beautiful thank-you card to all the chefs for donating their time.

My only regret is that we had to turn away some of the sofi finalists who wanted to donate. The gift bags weren’t big enough, and we had to limit the donations to products the chefs could transport on airplanes. So there are a few great olive oils and vinegars that did not make it into the bags because they were too heavy, and exceeded that pesky 3-oz. limit for liquids in carry-on bags.

–Louise Kramer