so..first of all...what is the fancy food show, you ask? the best way to describe it is a convention (you have all been to conventions, right? usually i would say insert groan here)...but this is the coolest trade show ever...where attendees spend three days tasting specialty food! the event is sponsored by the NASFT (national association for the specialty food trade, inc.) and they promote it this way"
"Produced by the NASFT since 1955, the Fancy Food Shows are North America's largest specialty food and beverage marketplace.
16,000 - 24,000 attendees
250,000 products including confections, cheese, coffee, snacks, spices, ethnic, natural, organic and more
1,300 - 2,500 exhibitors
81 countries represented"
ok...did you notice they said 250k products? and yes, they are all available for taste. so picture a massive convention center...in this case moscone center in san francisco...now imagine tables and tables and tables set up in no apparent order with tastes of chocolates, cheese, cookies, scones, olives, dips, oils, sauces, truffles, chorizo, teas, honey, chips, water, coffee, bbq sauce, salsas...etc. i cannot even list them all. then spend three days...each one from 10 am-5pm...doing nothing but tasting food? man...a tough job...but someone has to do it...(i did meet with a few of my organic ingredient suppliers, but honestly...that took very little time...really, i just ate...and ate)
in all seriousness...i was absolutely thrilled last year when i was able to attend for the first time.(you have to be in the trade) and i had a terrific time...this year was even better. i knew what to expect...paced myself (this is no time to even look at marginal food much less waste valuable space in your stomach) and had a game plan as to what i was looking to accomplish:
1. do i ever want to show my products there?
2. market research as to new trends and food items...what do i need to know to run a successful food business?
3. are there products that fit my brand's profile...organic/sustainably grown, eco-friendly, local and...most important...delicious?
4. what interesting items should i blog about?
well...there were so many ideas, concepts, business strategies and trends that emerged, i probably have a year of blog stories...and some interesting items to add to my "farmhouse food" assortment that i look forward to telling you about.
#2 my most enjoyable experience was talking to the people at a company called flamous organics...they make organic falafel chips and hummus bottled dressing. the sales rep was good...but in the middle of his pitch...the founder took over and this guy was hilarious! i should start by saying the products are delicious...and could sell themselves....but he started talking about how to eat his food, how to serve, gave recipes, told us about the "unlimited uses" for the items (remember, these are chips and salad dressing)...at one point he asked me to "feel his hand" to see how soft it was...he proceeded to tell me it was due to the "organic ingredients in the hummus" and recommend that...in addition to eating the dressing... i use it as a "face cream and hand lotion"! this man was very, very passionate about his products...and i love that. http://www.flamousbrands.com/
hands down...the most bizarre was a company called "cupless joe". walking by their booth, i was handed a small packet of capsules. the sales rep started talking about how the convenience of a capsule of coffee and a glass of water would change my life...for a minute i thought this was some new type of instant coffee...nope. the capsules are full of dried, concentrated coffee which you take to "get the coffee high without actually having to drink coffee". their marketing campaign says"
napa farmhouse 1885™
"live a green life of style™ "
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