Friday, January 21, 2005

Off to the Fancy Foods Show!

Today I am off on my yearly pilgrimage to the NASFT show in San Francisco!

What is the NASFT? It is the National Association of Specialty Food Trade. Every January they hold the winter edition of the show in San Francisco. Then in the spring, in May, they hold one in Chicago and the mother of shows is held in New York in the summertime - July to be exact. “The NASFT® has sponsored and produced the high profile, well-attended International Fancy Food & Confection Shows® since 1955. They are well funded, aggressively marketed, and highly regarded by attendees and exhibitors alike.” To quote their website.

This year there will be 900 domestic vendor/exhibitor and about 250 international exhibitors. The international exhibitors include the countries of India, Japan, Germany, Australia, Spain, Italy - Tuscany has their own spot, France, New Zealand, Brazil and Canada.

The types of things we always get to see and sample are Candies, Chocolate, Appetizers, Cheese, Ice Cream, Sorbets, Snack Foods, Vegetables, Meats, Jam and Jellies, Olive and other seasoned oils, Honey, Fruits, Breads, Cakes and Cookies, Rice. They also have a Beer and Wine Pavilion, and plenty of Coffee and Tea vendors. There are also some vendors with kitchen and cooking accessories. This year there is even a vendor for our favorite friends – pets!

Over 30,000 people usually attend this three-day shindig. It is a great way to see what’s new, what’s innovative and what new vegetable is hot! They have great short seminars geared to the industry and each year they have a vote for the best of show categories in foods. It is a great honor to have been awarded an NASFT award and when you peruse the net you’ll see many specialty food vendors feature the fact that they won an award during one of the shows.

It is a good way to spend a few days networking and sharing ideas and seeing old friends. I will post when I can anything new or different I see. It’s fun and work at the same time! So off I go to the show!