SFA's Summer Fancy Food Show Breaks Attendance Records Back in New York
After a two-year hiatus in Washington, D.C., the Specialty Food Association’s Summer Fancy Food Show broke attendance records back in New York City at its recent show.
The event ran June 30-July 2 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center of New York and drew a record 24,100 buyers, breaking its previous record when the show was held in New York in 2010.
In 2011 and 2012, the show had moved to D.C. because of renovations on the Javits Center.
“New York is the birthplace of the Fancy Food Show and its home. Our return to the city coincided with unprecedented interest in specialty food and the passionate entrepreneurs who create it,” said Ann Daw, SFA’s president.
She added, “With the record showing, all indications point to another strong year for our industry.”
The sold-out showfloor also broke records, with 354,000 square foot of exhibit space featuring 180,000 specialty foods and beverages from more than 1,500 U.S. exhibitors.
First-time pavilions were displayed by Bulgaria, Switzerland, Sri Lanka and Indonesia. Italy had the largest international presence, followed by Turkey, France and Spain.
Exhibitors gave the show positive reviews.
“The quality of the buyer who has come by has just catapulted. Balducci’s. Wegmans. Target,” said exhibitor Peggy Shannon of Cincinnati-based Queen City Cookies. “It has been the best show ever.”
The show opened with the president’s reception with a “Les Misérables” parody by Broadway actors signing "Les Digestibles,” about the craft, care and joy that go into making specialty food.
“Craft, care, and joy,” is the theme of the Specialty Food Association’s new brand for the industry that was prominently featured throughout the show.
Other show highlights included a keynote by Marcus Samuelsson, the internationally acclaimed chef, owner of Red Rooster in Harlem and The New York Times bestselling author of Yes, Chef; the presentation of the 41st annual sofi Awardsfor the outstanding specialty foods of the year; and several workshop and seminar sessions.
This year also marked a record one for the amount of food donated to local Nonprofit City Harvest - 220,300 pounds of specialty food.
The Winter Fancy Food Show will take place Jan. 19-21 in San Francisco.