NEW YORK , June 29, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 30,000 specialty food and beverage industry professionals registered for the Specialty Food Association's (SFA) sold-out 67th Summer Fancy Food Show, June 25-27 at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City . Registration was up 20% over 2022, and the Show achieved year-over-year increases in all key qualified buyer categories attending the Show, including a 21% increase in retailers; a 20% increase in food service, and a 12% increase in distributors.
The Fancy Food Shows are the largest specialty food industry events in North America for product discovery, trendspotting, and networking. Exhibit space sold out in mid-May, and more than 2,200 domestic and international companies across 40+ specialty food and beverage categories exhibited at the Show. In addition to makers and buyers, the show attracted industry affiliates, press, influencers, investors, and trendspotters.
"As a not-for-profit membership trade association, the Specialty Food Association operates the Fancy Food Shows as a service to our more than 3,000 member companies," said SFA President Bill Lynch . "The Fancy Food Shows were created to help facilitate the growth of the specialty food industry, and they are the premiere destination for those who want to see, taste, and experience the incredible breadth of specialty products available today. Specialty food and beverage makers are innovators and trendsetters, and that was on full display during this year's Summer Fancy Food Show."
Sales of specialty foods and beverages are projected to reach $207 billion in 2023, according to data from the 2023-24 State of the Specialty Food Industry Report . Specialty products make up nearly 22 percent of food sales, up from less than 14 percent a decade ago.
Exhibitors Love the Summer Fancy Food Show
"Attending the Fancy Food Show as a diverse founder with
, a collective for BIPOC cpg founders, gave us such a memorable spot in the key attendees' minds. It was so refreshing to see attendees loving our products for the clean label ingredients and our focus on uplifting the goodness of actual fruits and veggies rather than imitating meat or dairy. As a first generation immigrant, the SFA's support for diverse founders like me has provided us with opportunities to bring the best of our cultures to grocery carts in America."
— Aman Blana , Founder, Growee Foods
"By the SFA vetting a range of buyers across a wide array of channels, the Fancy Food Shows never feel like a circus. Beyond the impact of the all-important sales and publicity for our small business, the connections and selfless exchange of strategies, referrals and insights also makes a difference to our bottom line. I will be exhibiting again." — Julie Busha , Founder, Slawsa
"The Summer Fancy Food Show was terrific. I found it to be the best one in a long time. The Show was extremely organized and we received a lot of business."
— Zachary Farber , Director of Consumer Packaged Goods, Mighty Quinn's Barbeque
"There was an amazing current of energy and excitement in the room this year. Everyone seemed poised to make a deal, to do business, or just to learn and try something new. We've put a lot of work into developing our brand, so it was awesome to get almost unanimous thumbs up from those who visited our booth. The three days flew by, and we made great connections. We are excited to see if we can now convert these opportunities into real growth for our business." — Karl Franz Williams , Founder, Uncle Waithley's
"The 2023 Summer Fancy Food Show felt extremely energized and focused on growth, innovation, and connection. Few industry opportunities present themselves to us that allow us to share our story, products, mission, and values with such a large percentage of the specialty food trade (on both the retail and manufacturing side). The event continues to be a cornerstone of our trade and corporate marketing plan, and we look forward to 2024!"
— Brandon Gross , VP Marketing, FOODMatch & Divina
"We've been blown away with our success at the Summer Fancy Food Show. We could have gone home the first day with everything we needed. It's been a great experience and we definitely will be back."
— Gary Mac Herring, Jr. , Founder and CEO of Mary Mack's
"The Summer Fancy Food Show surpassed all expectations, delivering unprecedented success. In the 10+ years that we have exhibited, never have we witnessed such a remarkable influx of qualified leads. While our trend-setting premium products have garnered attention, credit also must be given to the diligent efforts of the SFA in attracting the right buyers to this remarkable event!"
— Adam Kobren , President of BobbySue's Nuts
Summer Fancy Food Show Highlights
Giada De Laurentiis : The Four Trends in Food That Matter Now, Keynote Session Celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis discussed the emerging trends in the food space that are propelling her businesses, including restaurants, catering, and her Italian food and lifestyle website Giadzy. Giada covered the rising demand for at-home culinary experiences, product sourcing strategy, and the public perception of clean ingredients and minimal processing as a function of authenticity, among others.
NEW NOW NEXT featured Startup (up and coming makers in business for less than a year and with under $1 million in sales) and Incubators+Accelerators Oregon State University Food Innovation Center, FoodFuture Co, Hudson Kitchen , CommonWealth Kitchen Inc., Rutgers Food Innovation Center, The Hatchery, Cornell AgriTech.
sofi™ Awards winners for 2023 ( s pecialty o utstanding f ood i nnovation) The sofi Awards present the winners for outstanding specialty foods and beverages in 53 distinct product categories. The sofi Awards for New Product of the Year and Product of the Year were voted on by buyers during the Summer Fancy Food Show. Mochidoki Vegan Passionfruit Mochi Ice Cream and Lewis Road Creamery 10 Star Certified Salted Butter were awarded the 2023 sofi Awards for New Product of the Year and Product of the Year, respectively.
Global Flavors: International pavilions featured exhibitors from more than 35 countries and regions across Africa , Asia , Europe , North America , Oceania, and South America .
Diversity Pavilion featuring (included) , which showcased BIPOC-led and founded companies.
Category-specific food and beverage Pavilions , including Bakery, Confectionery, Snacks, & Sweets (including Chocolate); Beverages; Deli, Olive Oil (Extra Virgin Alliance), and Plant-Based.
Hall of Fame & Lifetime Achievement Awards: The Specialty Food Association honored the past and inspired the future through the Hall of Fame and Lifetime Achievement Awards Ceremony. The Hall of Fame added nine new inductees. Five SFA members were also honored for their career achievements in specialty food. A full list of honorees can be found here.
The Specialty Food Association Trendspotter Panel: Eleven professionals from diverse areas of the culinary world scouted the show floor for the latest innovations . The panel consisted of Melanie Zanoza Bartelme , Mintel; Chef Osei Blackett , chef/owner Ariapita and Everything Oxtail; Jonathan Deutsch , Ph.D., CHE, CRC, Drexel University ; Mikel Cirkus and Hannah Rogers, DSM Firmenich; Jenn de la Vega , Randwiches; Thomas Joseph , Martha Stewart and Sur La Table; Chala June , Writer; Stan Sagner , We Work For Food LLC; Kantha Shelke , Ph.D., CFS, IFT Fellow, Corvus Blue LLC, Emily Schildt , founder, Pop-Up Grocer. A final trends report will be issued in mid-July.
The Specialty Food Association Junior Trendspotter Panel: A diverse group of Drexel University Food Lab students providing a Gen Z perspective of the Summer Fancy Food Show. A final trends report will be issued in mid-July.
A Fancy New York Pitch Slam - Naturally New York: Entrepreneurs representing five brands pitched their products to a panel of industry experts and audience members during this fast-paced competition. Peetachai "Neil" Dejkraisak of Jasberry , an organic superfood rice maker that transforms lives by solving farmer poverty, won the competition and received a prize package worth $130,000 .
Giving Back: At the end of the show, exhibitors continued their long tradition of giving back by donating tens of thousands of pounds of unopened meat, cheese, produce, confections and snacks to City Harvest . More than 94,000 pounds of food were donated to help feed hungry New Yorkers.
About the Specialty Food Association
The not-for-profit Specialty Food Association (SFA) is the leading membership trade association and source of information about the $194 billion specialty food industry. Founded in 1952 in New York City , the SFA prides itself on being an organization by the members and for the members, representing thousands of specialty food makers and manufacturers, importers, retailers, buyers, distributors, brokers, and others in the trade. The SFA owns and operates the Fancy Food Shows —which are the largest specialty food industry events in North America—as well as the sofi™ Awards —which have honored excellence in specialty food and beverage annually since 1972. The SFA produces the Trendspotter Panel annual predictions, the State of the Specialty Food Industry Report, Today's Specialty Food Consumer research, the Spill & Dish podcast, year-round educational programming for professionals at every stage in their business journey, and SFA Feed , the industry's go-to daily source for news, trends and new product information. Find out more online and connect with SFA on Facebook , Twitter , Instagram , LinkedIn , and TikTok .
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SOURCE Specialty Food Association