Last week, The Food Institute joined the Specialty Food Association (SFA) during its biannual Fancy Food Week show. Streaming live for hours per day as the primary media partner, The Food Institute staff experienced all the best the contemporary food world has to offer, from vegan chocolate to melt-in-your-mouth prosciutto; discussed the latest trends in food and bev such as clean ingredients and sustainable packaging, ESG initiatives, and the rise of spicy flavors and textures in American cuisines; and tried many of today’s functional beverages, including non-alcoholic (NA)-adjacent brands that offer an NA alternative that also doubles as a fine complement to the real thing.
Many of the world’s most notable food industry brands were there, handing out samples of cheese, meat, snacks, sushi, south-of-the-border fire and all the exotic spices and aromas from the Eastern and Western worlds. Featuring hundreds of vendors, thousands of foodgoers, and an infinite array of global cuisine, the food world came alive on the floor of the Las Vegas Convention Center.
This edition of The Weekender is a brief link round-up of some of the best of what we saw and experienced at the Winter Fancy Food Show. We hope you’ll enjoy it.
Highlights from Day 1 include:
- New/Now/Next with Ron Tanner – 00:30
- SFA Member & Relations Director Michelle MacDonald on noted segments and buyers at the show – 26:30
- Noma Lin, vice chair, SFA Board of Directors, live with Susan Choi about SFA challenges and opportunities for members – 46:00
- Live with Kari McGuinness, buyer with the Culinary Procurement Team at Whole Foods, on what she’s seeing as hot in 2023 – 1:31:28
Highlights from Day 2 include:
- A live segment with Sheree Williams from the Diversity Pavilion on Martin Luther King, Jr., Day – 17:26
- Jonathan Deutsch joined the booth in the #TrendSpotter series, revealing what to look for in the year ahead – 43:32
- David Lockwood joined the booth to share SFA market insights – 1:20:48
- SFA president Bill Lynch closed the show with what to look for in the year ahead – 1:59:05
Highlights from Day 3 include:
- The inaugural SFA buyer Leadership Award winners, Dwight Richmond (Town & Country Markets) and Luke Schneider (Fire Dept. Coffee) – 3:04
- Live with Jordan Wiklund from the Confectionary, Snacks & Sweets Pavilion – 14:15
- Live with SFA Emerging Leader Award winners, David Schmunk (African Dream Foods) and Dani Zuchovicki (The Hatchery) – 37:12