The way we produce, sell, and eat food is changing at a rapid clip, with snacking and single-serve products at the top of the menu of innovations. The Specialty Food Association's Winter Fancy Food Show will present a full slate of sessions that delve into these changes and provide insight into the future of the specialty food business.
The show is the largest marketplace devoted exclusively to specialty food on the West Coast. It takes place Jan. 17 – 19, 2016, at Moscone Center in San Francisco. Education sessions start Saturday, January 16.
"We are dedicated to guiding, supporting, and growing the specialty food businesses that make our industry so vibrant," says Ann Daw, president of the Specialty Food Association, owner and producer of the Fancy Food Show. We choose speakers who can challenge the specialty food trade to think creatively and in ways that drive our ever-changing industry."
Looking at the converging trends of dining alone and snacking, Melissa Abbott, vice president of culinary insights for The Hartman Group, will address how specialty food producers and retailers can better reach and serve the needs of the solo eater in Party of One: How Snacking and Single-Serve Trends Will Drive the Specialty Food Business. The session is Monday, January 18, 8 – 9 a.m.
A panel of problem solvers, disrupters, and thinkers will tackle some of the food world's most complex issues in The Future is Now: Innovations That Will Change How We Produce, Sell, and Eat, a session of short talks on innovation in retail, distribution, ecommerce, and entrepreneurship. Speakers include Miriam Lueck Avery, research director, Institute for the Future; Mike Lee, founder and CEO, of Studio Industries and Future Market; Craig Kanarick, CEO, Mouth; Scott Drummond and Tim Young, co-founders, eatsa; and Shen Tong, founder, FOOD-X. The session is Tuesday, January 19, 8 – 10 a.m.
New to the 2016 Show is Shelf Showdown: A Specialty Food Pitch Competition. In keeping with the theme of innovation, first-time exhibitors will have the chance to pitch a new product to a panel of buyers in this live competition taking place in front of an audience of Show attendees. All contestants will get exposure and feedback for their products and the winner will receive a promotional package from the Specialty Food Association. Attendance to the event, scheduled for Saturday, January 16, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. is free to all badge holders.
Also speaking is writer, editor, critic, and multiple James Beard Journalism Award winner Corby Kummer, on What's in a (Sustainable) Name? The Status of Value-Based Terms. Kummer will explore the value to producers, retailers, and consumers of trendy terms such as farm-to-table, sustainable, and local. The session is Monday, January 18, 9 – 10 a.m.
Show seminars are designed for all levels of the specialty food trade, from newcomers curious about turning their favorite recipe into a business, to veterans looking to create a succession plan. Highlights include:
The Basics – The Business of Specialty Food (full-day workshop for beginners)
Elevate Your Pitch: How to Sell to Buyers, Investors, and Media (3-hour modular workshop)
Start Right, Grow Strong: 9 Critical Steps
Sell Smart: The Best Channels for Your Product
Price It Right: Using Costs to Create Real-World Price Sheets