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New York City braces for the latest in fancy food

3 min read


Manhattan, always a mecca for new food trends and a melting pot of diverse flavors, will take it up a notch this weekend, as food and beverage companies from around the globe gather in New York City for the Specialty Food Association’s Summer Fancy Food Show. The celebration of chocolates, cheeses, teas, coffees and a wide selection of other sweet and savory treats runs Sunday through Tuesday at the Jacob Javits Center, with a sold-out trade show floor.

This year’s show will include a New Brands on the Shelf pavilion to showcase emerging new specialty food ventures and goodies including green smoothie popsicles, beer cheese, coffee-flavored syrup and Lavender Martini mocktails.

The pavilions and trade show floor will provide plenty of tastes of the latest in fancy foods and trends, but there’s also an a la carte menu of educational opportunities, including a seminar for seasoned food entrepreneurs on the ins and outs of selling the businesses they’ve built.

The weekend will also include a roundtable to share the latest on the Food Safety Modernization Act, with a representative of the Food & Drug Administration, covering the new proposed safety rules, requirements and exemptions.

Laws and business details are important, but the main focus of the three-day event will be on the diverse array of international flavors, and the show is high-profile enough to inspire other food-focused happenings.

The German American Chamber of Commerce will hold a luncheon during the show to tout the growth of the country’s sweets industry, where exports hit 5.7 billion euros in 2011 and German confectioners are boosting their appeal in the U.S. by catering to growing tastes for imported specialty confections.

The Italian Trade Commission has gone even bigger, creating New York City’s first-ever Italian Restaurant Week to coincide with the show and commemorate the Year of Italian Culture in the U.S. During the 11-day event, 23 of the city’s Italian restaurants will offer three-course lunch and dinner menus for $26 and $40 respectively, to showcase the variety of tastes the cuisine has to offer.

Also at the show:

  • New York City will boast the most food businesses at the show with 215, followed by California, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Florida.
  • Attendees will get a chance to vote for their favorite among the 125 finalists in the 2013 specialty outstanding food innovations or “sofi” Awards.
  • Companies with a compelling story have a chance to get national notice with the Specialty Food Association’s contest to win a free national ad campaign. Companies can enter the during the show; the deadline is July 12.
  • The association has launched a mobile app with a searchable exhibitor list, customizable schedules and other features designed to help attendees make the most of their time at the show.

We’ll be there to bring you highlights from the show and more on the latest fancy food trends next week.