Specialty Food Association Brings Top Influencers, Innovators and Disruptors to 2019 Summer Fancy Food Show

NEW YORK — The Specialty Food Association’s (SFA) 65th Summer Fancy Food Show brought together thousands of food buyers, brokers and distributors with over 2,600 exhibitors, including 239 companies from New York, and international exhibitors from 54 nations. The SFA’s Summer Show, which ran from June 23-25, 2019 at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City, is 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, the show featured something for every palate.

This year’s show again demonstrated the SFA’s commitment to attract the highest-quality industry contacts, helping to foster connections and ensure that great business deals are made at the show. Thousands of companies were represented, including 7-Eleven; Albertson’s; Amazon; Aramark; Bed, Bath & Beyond; Big Lots; BlueApron; Buc-ee’s; Chopt; Compass Group; Costco Wholesale; Delta Air Lines; Disney; Dunkin’ Brands; Eataly; H-E-B; Harris Teeter; HelloFresh; Hyatt; Kroger; QVC; Sodexo; Starbuck’s; Stop and Shop; Sur la Table; Trader Joe’s, Wal-Mart; Whole Foods Market; and Williams Sonoma.

“The Specialty Food Association has a mission to bring the best of the best together to connect, network, and learn. This year’s Summer Fancy Food Show was exciting, inspirational, and productive,” said Phil Kafarakis, SFA president. “At every Fancy Food Show, we offer education programs and SFA networking opportunities, as well as access to incredible, innovative producers. We continue to grow activities like our Incubator Village, which showcases early start-ups, giving people a window into the future of food.”

Summer Fancy Food Show highlights

Front Burner: a foodservice pitch competition emceed by celebrity chef and author Elizabeth Falkner. Products were judged on innovation, quality, and chef-appeal for foodservice. This year’s judging panel included Angela Flenoy, director of innovation and strategy, SYSCO; Ken Toong, executive director of University of Massachusetts AmherstAuxiliary Enterprises; and Sean Buchanan, vice president of sales and marketing for sustainable and specialty foods at Reinhart Foodservice. The pitch winner was Wild Hibiscus Flower Company’s Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Syrup.

Disrupt or Be Disrupted: a panel discussion with two senior level buyers from Walmart. After the session, SFA arranged a “meet and greet” with eight additional Walmart buyers — representing $20 billion in food purchasing power. Attendees had the opportunity for one-on-one conversations with these buyers in the hour following the formal session.

Hall of Fame & Lifetime Achievement Awards: The Specialty Food Association honored the past and inspired the future through the Hall of Fame and Lifetime Achievement Awards Ceremony. The Hall of Fame added eight new inductees. Three SFA members were also honored for their career achievements in specialty food. A full list of honorees can be found here.

The Specialty Food Association Trendspotter Panel: Six professionals from diverse areas of the culinary world scouted the show floor for the latest innovations. The panel consisted of Melanie Zanoza Bartelme, Mintel; Jonathan Deutsch, Drexel University; Tonya Hopkins, Food Griot; Victoria Jordan, James Beard Foundation; Vallery Lomas, Foodie in New York; and Kara Nielsen, CCD Helmsman. A final trends report will be issued mid-July.

Giving Back: At the end of the show, exhibitors continued their long tradition of giving back by donating 95,000 pounds of unopened meat, cheese, produce, confections and snacks to the Specialty Food Foundation, which in turn were donated to City Harvest, the Summer Fancy Food Show’s longtime charity of choice. More than 110 pallets full of specialty food were donated to help feed hungry New Yorkers.

For information on the 2020 Winter Fancy Food Show being held in San Francisco, CA from January 19-21, 2020 click here.

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 3,800 members in the U.S. and abroad the tools, knowledge and connections to champion and nurture their companies in an always-evolving marketplace. The Association owns and produces the Winter and Summer Fancy Food Shows, and presents the sofi™ Awards honoring excellence in specialty food. Learn more at specialtyfood.com.