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Largest Summer Fancy Food Show ends on high note

Turkey was represented by some 40 exhibitors showcasing a wide range of Turkish foods.

NEW YORK – The Summer Fancy Food Show, the largest since it was first presented in 1955, is drawing strong reviews from exhibitors and attendees alike. The sold-out exhibit halls, filling 361,000 sq. ft., featured more than 1,400 US exhibitors and 1,291 from around the world including 40 from Turkey. The trade-only event took place June 29–July 1, 2014, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York. Amid record demand for specialty food, the show drew 22,000 attendees from top names in U.S. retailing and restaurants, including Whole Foods, Dean & DeLuca, Kroger and Le Pain Quotidien and buying delegations from Europe and countries as diverse as Uruguay, Paraguay, Albania, and China

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“There was optimism and positive energy in every aisle,” says Ann Daw, president of the Specialty Food Association, owner and producer of show, the largest marketplace devoted exclusively to specialty foods and beverages in North America. Show highlights included the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Awards honoring five pioneers in the Specialty Food Industry including Harold Anderson, founder of Haddon House Food Products, and Max Reiss, founder of Reiss Finer Foods, both honored posthumously, whose sons accepted their awards. Also honored were Tony Matthews, president of Food From Britain, who helped build the presence of imported British foods in the U.S.; Russ Vernon, a pioneering specialty food retailer who opened the venerable West Point Market in Akron, Ohio; and Mario Foah, who helped launch the introduction of Italian food products in the U.S. and who was a founding member of today’s Specialty Food Association.

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Dominique Ansel, the acclaimed pastry chef and developer of treat sensation the Cronut®, a croissant-donut hybrid, delivered a keynote address on innovation. He announced the winners of the 42nd sofi™ Awards for the outstanding specialty foods of the year. The contest drew a record 2,737 entries across 32 awards. Lentil Rice Crispbread with Sesame and Pink Salt from East Hampton Gourmet Food in East Hampton, N.Y., won Outstanding New Product. “The Specialty Food Association seeks to be ahead of the trends,” says Ann Daw, president of the Association, the Summer Fancy Food Show’s owner and producer. “Our show celebrates what’s next in specialty food.” Other trends spotted include modern mayonnaise, even more twists on popcorn, new takes on yogurt, such as beet and sheep’s milk, and a next wave of seaweed snacks. Trends from past Fancy Food Shows with staying power include coconut, sriracha, ancient grains, healthier snack chips and innovation in gluten-free items.

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The Specialty Food Association trendspotters are Faith Durand, Executive Editor, TheKitchn; Nancy Hopkins, Senior Deputy Editor, Food and Entertainment, Better Homes & Gardens, Ariel Knutson, Assistant Editor, TheKitchn; Greg Morago, Food Editor,Houston Chronicle; Kara Nielsen, Culinary Director, Sterling-Rice Group; Charles Passy, reporter, MarketWatch/Wall Street Journal; Denise Purcell, Editor, Specialty Food Media, David Sax, food journalist, author of The Tastemakers, and Tina Ujlaki, Executive Editor, Food & Wine. The Specialty Food Association is a thriving community of food artisans, importers and entrepreneurs who bring craft, care and joy to the distinctive foods they produce. Established in 1952 in New York, the not-for-profit trade association provides its 3,000 members in the U.S. and abroad the tools, knowledge and connections to champion and nurture their companies in an always-evolving marketplace. The Association (formerly the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade, Inc.) owns and produces the Winter and Summer Fancy Food Shows, and presents the sofi Awards honoring excellence in specialty food. Future Show Dates * Winter Fancy Food Show: Jan. 11– 13, 2015, Moscone Center, San Francisco * Summer Fancy Food Show: June 28–30, 2015, Javits Center, New York.

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