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UPDATE: Delta Variant Throws Wrench into Fall Food-Event Schedule

flat lay photography of sliced apples, sausages, chips and brown sauce

The Specialty Food Association (SFA) has canceled the in-person component of this year’s Fancy Food Show, which was scheduled for September in New York City, due to concerns about the Delta coronavirus variant.

Fancy Food 24/7, the digital component of the show, will run as planned from September 27 through October 8.

“The Specialty Food Association has been steadfast in creatively supporting our members and our $170.4 billion industry during this incredibly challenging time, and we remain committed to providing opportunities in the safest way possible,” said Bill Lynch, president of the SFA, in a press release. “While we will miss that special feeling of in-person connections with our industry colleagues, safety remains our number one priority.”


Plans for the Winter Fancy Food Show, expected to take place January 16-18 in San Francisco, currently remain in place.

Fancy Food is just the latest industry event to cancel due to coronavirus concerns. Several weeks ago, the North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers (NAFEM) called off its gathering at the Orange County Convention Center, reported Click Orlando (Aug. 4).

The NAFEM Show was scheduled in Orlando for August 26-28. Florida continues to break COVID-related hospitalization records, according to numbers from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


Notably, New Hope Network’s Natural Products Expo East is still scheduled to take place in Philadelphia in late September. Based on feedback, the organization decided to enhance safety measures, implement a mask mandate, and require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test for all participants.

Product sampling will be allowed at the event and broken into two categories, with open sampling requiring gloves, a sneeze guard and hand washing kits in addition to face masks required for all.

With COVID-19 concerns evolving seemingly by the day, the future of trade shows continues to remain in question. Share your thoughts by voting in our Twitter poll below.