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The 2015 Food Show


The Summer 2015 Specialty Fancy Food Show took over New York’s Javits Center 30 June-2 July. It was a huge serving of aromas, texture, mouth feel and flavor.  According to show officials, more than 22,000 attendees traipsed past 2,600 specialty food companies from 50 countries, including Brooklyn.

It was a carnival of madness, surprise and delight.

Vegetarian Gazette was there to learn what valuable foodstuffs were out there for us. We found a cavalcade of juices, gluten-free this-that-and-everythings, coffees, teas, cheeses, prepared foods, sauces, salads, seeds, baked goods, pickles, condiments, fruits and vegetables in all imaginable and never before imagined forms. There were other things, which we need not discuss here.

Trade shows by their nature reveal industry consumer trends. A duly authorized panel of heavy hitters offered their observations. Here are the official trends — as well as companies and products that embody these categories.

  1. Gazpacho to Go
    Tio Gazpacho – Gazpacho de Sol
    Gina Cucina – Watermelon Habanero Gazpacho
    Bodega & Co. Mucho Gazpacho – Green Gazpacho
    The Splendid Spoon – Market Gazpacho

  2. Can’t Beat Beets
    Love Beets – Beet-Blueberry Bar
    Health-Ade – Beet Kombucha
    Eat Well Embrace Life – Beet Hummus
    Gringo Jack’s – Beet, Orange & Quinoa Salsa

  3. Flower Power
    Belvoir Fruit Farms – Elderflower & Rose Lemonade
    Masala Pop – Saffron Rose Popcorn
    Rogue Creamery – La-Di-Da Lavender Cheese
    Vosges Haut-Chocolat – Blood Orange Hibiscus Caramel Marshmallows

  4. Cocktail Culture
    Bissell Maple Farm – Pappy & Company Bourbon Barrel-Aged Syrup
    Colonel Pabst – All Malt Amber-Lager Worcestershire Sauce
    Brooklyn Brine Co. – Hop-Pickles
    L.A. Creamery – The Manhattan

  5. The Maize Craze
    Kiddylicious – Sweetcorn Rice Rounds
    Off the Cob – Sweet Corn Tortilla Chips
    Pop Art Snacks – Tandoori Yogurt Popcorn
    Pipsnacks – Pipcorn

The show’s set- up and support allowed exhibitors to be at their best. (61 years of putting on an extravaganza can give show management a bit of expertise.) Yes. the raison d'etre was the attendee browsing and the exhibitor pitching; but there was an infrastructure of talks, panels, events, classes, exhibits  and lots of facilitating communcation.

Walking the aisles can deaden the feet, but oh how it stirred the senses. Even so, two significant facts should not be lost in the shuffle (and we do mean shuffle).

The Specialty Fancy Food Show is a great gathering of entrepreneurs —exhibitors and attendees. Such an assemblage brings a zeitgeist of energy, hope, smarts, a soupçon of bipolar, a sprinkle of anxiety, and a widespread sense of achievement. We spoke with exhibitors, and, in the coming weeks, we will share some of their stories.

The Specialty Fancy Food Show also is a community. Several exhibitors explained various ways their causes were advanced by event programs and general fellowship.

Two years ago Vanessa Miller, of Get Dressed salad dressings and marinades, was chosen as one of the top new entrepreneurs for the New Brands On The Shelf Pavilion. This designation and, of course, her participation clearly helped give her sales a decent shake.

“One of the coolest things I found,” said Harry Foster, of Georgia Grinders premium nut butters, “ is that our biggest competitor — I won’t say his name — came over here and talked to us. And we’re all sitting in the room and having a good time. Our competitors call us and we call them to bounce things off each other. And one of the surprises is how cordial everyone is.”

Giovannina Bellino, of Goddess Gourmet, brought her Flavor Bombs cooking bases to last year’s show. At the time her products were in three stores. Now she's up to 300 and growing.

“One of the best things I’ve done for the past five years is come to this show,” she said. “I take all the classes they offer, and walk the show. I have all the pamphlets they give you at the show. I refer to them and that really helped me progress.”

In future posts, we will tell about some of the products we encountered and also feature interviews with some of the fascinating exhibitors.