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Food Makers, Buyers, Entrepreneurs, and Innovators Fill SFA's Summer Fancy Food Show

NEW YORK, July 10, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The Specialty Food Association (SFA) hosted their Summer Fancy Food Show from June 30July 2 at the Jacob Javits Center in New York. The show featured over 2,400 exhibitors, including 270 from New York, and international exhibitors from 54 nations. It's the largest North American marketplace devoted exclusively to specialty food and beverage producers and buyers, with more than 200,000 specialty food products on display, covering six football fields of space.

This year's show continued to build upon and develop a stronger buyer-focused registration process designed to put more verified business contacts in the aisles of the Javits Center. Exhibitors attend the show specifically to make critical connections and SFA is committed to having high-quality contacts – top-line industry buyers – on the floor. Major companies represented were: 7-Eleven, Albertsons, Amazon, Fresh Market, Gate Gourmet, H-E-B, Hello Fresh,, King's, Kroger, Meijer, Peapod, Ritz-Carlton, Sodexo, Starbucks, Target, Wakefern, Wal-mart, Whole Foods, Zaxby's, and Zingerman's. 

"We are very pleased to see the number of senior level buyers growing year-over-year at the Summer Fancy Food Show," said Phil Kafarakis, SFA president. "The Association is building a stronger and more engaged buyer community within our membership, and like the products represented, the show has expanded to include all channels of food commerce. In addition, special events like our buyers' invitation-only Italian Gala and the successful SFANews Live programming, with segments produced directly on the floor, help bring people together to network and learn. The SFA's mission is to champion the specialty food industry, nurture businesses, and foster industry connections. The show allows us to flex all those muscles."

Several educational attractions were added to the Summer Fancy Food Show this year. Incubator Village, which hosted 11 incubators and featured 80 unique companies was an attendee favorite. SFA partners like SIAL's World Food Trends, Seeds&Chips, and the Future Market had larger spaces at the show and SFA's curated sessions reinforced the Association's position as a source of cutting-edge industry information and insights.

Other Summer Fancy Food Show highlights:  

Front Burner: a foodservice pitch competition emceed by Chef Robert Irvine. Products were judged on innovation, quality and chef-appeal for foodservice. This year's judging panel included Michael Fava, Italian Segment Manager at Sysco; Smitha Haneef, Assistant Vice President, University Services at Princeton University; and Patti Jackson, chef and proprietor of Delaware and Hudson in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The pitch winner was Mike's Hot Honey. A flavor combination Mike discovered while studying in Brazil, Mike's hot honey blends two of nature's most unique and delicious foods — honey and chili peppers. See press release for more.

Lifetime Achievement Awards: This year the SFA recognized two industry legends: Seymour Binstein, pioneer of the sales of specialty foods in foodservice distribution and founder of European Imports, and the late Paul Prudhomme of Magic Seasoning Blends, who is credited with popularizing Creole and Cajun cuisine. See press release for more.

Hall of Fame: 11 individuals were inducted into the Hall of Fame this year, each exemplifying the innovation and business acumen vital to growing the $140 billion dollar specialty food industry. They included: Fran Bigelow, Fran's Chocolates; Annie Chun & Stephen Broad, Annie Chun's/gimMe Snacks; Sue Conley & Peg Smith, Cowgirl Creamery; Craig & Cindy Makela, Santa Barbara Olive Co, California Coast Naturals, Oleavicin; Russell McCall, Gourmet Foods International; Sam Mogannum, Bi-Rite Family of Businesses; Doug Renfro, Renfro Foods, Inc.; and Nassem Ziyad, Ziyad Brothers Importing. See press release for more.

The Specialty Food Association Trendspotter Panel scoured the show floor for the latest innovations. The panel was comprised of Melanie Bartelme, global food analyst, Mintel; Ken Blanchette, quality assurance director, fresh departments, Center of Excellence, FreshDirect; Massimo Bottura, chef/owner, Osteria Francescana; Eleonora Cozzella, journalist, food writer, lecturer, & cookbook autho; Jonathan Deutsch, PhD, professional, culinary arts & food sciences, founder & director of The Drexel Food Lab, Drexel University; Melina Romeo, Manager, Trend Practice, CCD Innovation; Stan Sagner, writer, marketing & content consultant; Kriti Sehgal, CEO, Pure Fare; and Alison Tozzi Liu, vice president of marketing, communications and editorial, James Beard Foundation. A final trends report will be issued in mid-July.

Giving Back: At the end of the Show, exhibitors continued their long tradition of giving back by donating thousands of pounds of meat, cheese, produce, confections and snacks to the Specialty Food Foundation, which in turn donated the products to City Harvest.

For information on the 2019 Winter Fancy Food Show being held in San Francisco from January 13-15, click here.

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About the Specialty Food Association
The Specialty Food Association is a thriving community of food artisans, importers and entrepreneurs.  Established in 1952 in New York, the not-for-profit trade association provides its 3,600 members in the U.S. and abroad the tools, knowledge and connections to champion and nurture their companies in an always-evolving marketplace. The owns and produces the Winter and Summer Fancy Food Show, and presents the sofi Awards honoring excellence in specialty food. Learn more at

SOURCE Specialty Food Association

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