Specialty Food Association Winter Fancy Food Show Welcomes Innovators and Entrepreneurs

NEW YORK — The specialty food industry, representing nearly $150 billion in annual sales, is gathering in San Francisco for the Winter Fancy Food Show from Sunday, January 19 through Tuesday, January 21. Hosted by the Specialty Food Association (SFA), a not-for-profit association with over 3,800 members, the show features 1,400+ companies exhibiting over 80,000 specialty foods – something for every palate.

“The Winter Fancy Food Show is the first show of the decade to bring together the entire industry to taste, see, and buy what innovators are bringing to market,” said Phil Kafarakis, SFA president. “Moscone Center will be filled with top makers, buyers and other industry professionals, gathering to share the latest trends, network, and conduct critical business. These are the folks who will be bringing consumers the best of the best in food this year.”

The largest show for specialty food and beverage on the West Coast, the show features specialty food companies from around the world. California boasts the largest state presence with more than 382 food companies, followed by New York and Oregon. The partner country is Italy, and more than 40 other countries will be participating.


  • Incubator Village: Incubator Village features ten incubators from around the U.S. showcasing dozens of companies they have helped launch or grow.
  • Education Sessions: The SFA is presenting a full program of workshops and business-building seminars to help startups, established manufacturers, and buyers with all levels of expertise succeed in the ever-changing marketplace. All sessions open to press, space permitting. Full Schedule
  • sofi™ Awards Showcases for Outstanding Specialty Foods of 2019: Established in 1972, the sofi Awards advance culinary excellence and creativity worldwide by recognizing the outstanding work of SFA member companies. The 2019 sofi Awards produced 139 winners in the Gold, Silver, Bronze, and New Product categories.
  • Leadership Awards Ceremony, Sunday, January 19, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm, Main Stage, celebrating the outstanding modern contributions of three remarkable Association members in Business Leadership, Citizenship and Vision.
  • Front Burner: Foodservice Pitch Competition, Monday, January 20, 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm, Main Stage: Three exhibitors, Bob Trently, Pourable Cream Cheese, Savencia Cheese; Christine Lantinen, Fizzy Drink Bombs, Maud Borup; Dinesh Tadepalli, incrEDIBLE – Spoons you Eat!, Planeteer, will pitch their foodservice-ready products to a panel of specialty food buyers in this live competition. All contestants get feedback on their products, and the winner will receive a promotional package from the SFA.
  • What’s NEXT in Food!, South Building – Level 2, Room 202 – an interactive ‘show within the show featuring:
    • The Mediterranean Diet Roundtable will host exhibits and feature leading scholars, analysts, and foodservice experts from around the world presenting scientific findings, trends, and other insight about the health values, commercial benefits, and market trends for Mediterranean foods. “The Science Behind the Mediterranean Diet” program is a show add-on seminar running on Monday.
    • The FCIA Fine Chocolate Pavilion is focused on the artistry and craftsmanship of fine chocolate professionals and products, the FCIA believes in using best practices in cacao processing and chocolate production and transparent labeling and marketing practices. The Fine Chocolate Pavilion will feature specialty talks from experts in the fine chocolate industry, 20 exhibitor kiosks, chocolate pairings, and so much more.
    • Industry Newcomers — “New Brands on the Shelf” will feature up-and-coming specialty food producers who are Specialty Food Association Member Candidates. They will showcase dozens of niche and artisanal products.
    • Plant-based food producers – many never before at a Fancy Food Show. See the latest in plant-based food products.
  • The SFA Trendspotter Panel: Scouting the show in search of the latest innovations will be Melanie Zanoza Bartelme, analyst, Mintel; Andrew Freeman, founder, af&co.; Illyanna Maisonet, Puerto Rican food columnist; Chef Tu David Phu, Top Chef Alumni, TDP Enterprises LLC.; Wendy Robinson, Buyer, Market Hall Foods; Bryant Terry, author, educator, and Chef-in-Residence at the Museum of the African Diaspora SF (MoAD); and Leith Steel, Trendspotter, Carbonate. The Show Daily from Specialty Food News will release preliminary findings, with a final trends report issued mid-February.
  • Giving Back: At the end of the show, exhibitors will continue their long tradition of giving back by donating thousands of pounds of unopened meat, cheese, produce, confections, and snacks to the Specialty Food Foundation, which will in turn donate the products to Food Recovery Network, the Winter Fancy Food Show’s longtime charity of choice.

The Winter Fancy Food Show is a trade-only event. It requires verification of industry-affiliation at registration. For more information please visit specialtyfood.com

About the Specialty Food Association
Founded in 1952 in New York City, the Specialty Food Association (SFA) is the leading advocate for the $148.7 billion specialty food industry. Representing makers, importers, entrepreneurs, retailers, distributors and others in the trade, the SFA aims to champion, nurture and connect its members to deliver traditional and innovative new products to consumers that expand consumption of specialty foods. With over 3,800 member companies, the Association helps its members through providing information, research, educational events, and celebrating the industry through its awards programs. The SFA is known for hosting the Winter and Summer Fancy Food Shows, and presents the sofi™ Awards honoring excellence in specialty food. Learn more at specialtyfood.com.

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