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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Business Travel to The Summer Fancy Food Show in New York

I've been so busy in a blessed kind of way. I just flew back in from the USA to continue working on growing our business there. Specifically to launch 555 Tuna as a second brand to our flagship, Century Tuna and capitalize on the growing demand for variety and stronger flavored dishes in that market.

What better platform to launch a specialty food than the annual Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City. The Fancy Food Show has been staged annually since 1955 and attracts over 40,000 visitors consisting of retailers, distributors, restaurateurs, media, food and ingredients suppliers and related businesses. Companies from over 80 countries exhibit their latest creations, innovations and new food and beverage ideas to generate sales globally under one roof. There are two shows a year - the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco and the Summer version in New York City.

Exhibitor at the Summer Fancy Food Show
The Show is usually held at the Javits Convention Center in Manhattan along 11th Avenue. This is a appropriate venue given the large number of exhibitors the event attracts each year. A total of three major sized halls were occupied by this year's show. And it takes as much as 3 days to complete a walk through of all the booths.

Believers in the saying "there is strength in numbers", major foodie countries like Italy, Germany, France, Spain, etc grouped their exhibitors together and formed a block of booths to make it easier for the visitors to appreciate the specialties showcased by each of the nations.

Italian Section
Ola Argentina!

Entrance at the Javits Convention Center - NYC

Booth Numbers reached 5600 - a huge Show indeed.
I was like a kid set loose in a candy store seeing all the great food and beverage products showcased in the Show. Sampling and food tasting were free flowing for the 10am to 5pm daily for the duration of the show. Here are some of my favorite food products that I saw (and tasted) on display.

The finest cheeses in the world.

Award winning specialty baked goods.
World's Best Olives!
Deli Items

Frozen Seafood.
Bakery Goods that allow maximum creativity.

Olive Oil marketed almost like wine.
Exotic Teas!

Though dramatically outnumbered and with a so much lesser budget, two bold Philippine companies were front and center in showcasing our brands and products. I am happy to report that we stood proudly and generated a lot of interest as well for our products.

USA version of 555 Tuna catering to Asian+Hispanic Market.
More flavorful tuna.

Standing at the Mama Sita's Booth.
Aside from the lectures and demos, one of the biggest highlights of the Show is the annual SOFI (specialty foods industry) awards which recognizes excellence in overall quality, taste, presentation and uniqueness of the brands and products showcased. The awards night is equivalent to the Oscars of the food industry. We'll win one of these one day, promise.

Here are some of the pictures of the red carpet feel leading to the awards event:

The SOFI Awards

Red Carpet leading to the SOFI Awards Hall.

I consider myself so fortunate to have been able to join both the Winter and Summer Fancy Food Shows and be a key driver of the push for growing sales of Philippine products and brands globally.  It was also a great learning experience and an excellent means of seeing best practices from all over the world. The Food Show was very well organized and the venue well laid out.

Registration Area
Ample Booth Areas.
Spacious Aisles.
 I'm looking forward to seeing a very strong presence of our brands in the USA because of our active presence in these types of trade activities.

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