The Food Channel covers the national food shows – standing in for all you foodies out there who would love to spend a day surrounded by booth after booth of new product ideas, food samples, and people who combine innovation and a love of food. This week we are filing reports from the Fancy Food Show in New York City, at the Jacob Javits Center.
These shows attract 20,000+ attendees from specialty food, wine, gift and department stores, supermarkets, restaurants, mail-order and other related businesses. They are all here to see more than a thousand exhibitors from around the world, presenting and sampling in excess of 180,000 specialty foods.
We’ve been especially interested in the Chilean booths, where some of the most interesting flavors of the show have been introduced. Try myrtleberries mixed in with your blueberries for an amazing pie. Or Chilean Carica, a bright yellow fruit that is too hard to be eaten fresh, but once poached can be eaten plain, stuffed, made into a juice, or – our favorite – grilled. The avocado oil is truly delicious – a great flavor with difference, from the country that actually brings us many of the avocados we enjoy in the U.S. The pumpkin seed oil had mixed reviews, on the other hand. We’ll bring you more about the international offerings later in the week.
The trends we’re seeing include gluten-free products, blood orange flavors in everything from chocolate to fresh juice, sweet sauces as opposed to the usual BBQ tang, and patÃ© – a surprising luxury item selling well in a poor economy. We’re seeing lots of alternative flavors and spices, as well as increased use of goat’s milk as an ingredient, and probiotic foods.
The Fancy Food Show provides a decision-maker to decision-maker environment where product manufacturers meet directly with the distributors who make the purchasing decisions. So what starts here, may well end up on your dinner table or in your favorite restaurant before too long. Here’s a statistical rundown of who came to last year’s Summer Fancy Food Show:
* 6,200 specialty food retailers
* 3,754 chefs, restaurateurs and hoteliers
* 409 bakers
* 161 deli owners
* 1,300 gift store buyers
* 1,125 caterers
* 609 candy store buyers
* 2,036 supermarket buyers
We’ll bring you more reports, both this week and for weeks to come as we sort through everything we’ve learned and seen. Stay tuned, and you may just feel like you’ve been to the show!
Take a photo tour of the show.
See more here.