Monday, June 28, 2010

Rants, Raves, Reviews & Musings from the 56th Summer Fancy Food Show

The upscale gourmet end of the food business is a harbinger of what will become mainstream on America’s plate. Gluten Free everything. Tea. Organic. Soft serve sorbet. Sweet Potato anything. Upscale pet treats. Greek style yogurts. Indian flavor profiles. Peach. Hibiscus. Pomegranate. More environmentally thoughtful packaging. Optimism. Co-operation. These were the takeaways from this year’s Fancy Food Show held at the Javitts Center.

Reports from last year’s show were that the vendors AND the retailers stayed home. We weren’t sure if the sky was really falling and what would be next. This year the vendors and the attendees all spoke in terms of gradual upswings which I took tremendous stock in. Like in the retail aspect, the wholesale end of this business also lost the companies that came in for the low hanging fruit. Gone were the never ending aisles of salsas, chutneys, dry rubs, readymade sauces that had clogged the aisles at this show pre September 2008. Being New Yorkers we take for granted that the world comes to our door with their wares. A good portion of the vendors and attendees come from elsewhere so their reports of the improving economy combined with our own feeling here in NY gave the mood at the show one of survivors of a shipwreck, a little giddy, helpful, happy and gosh darn it, glad to still be here.

Maybe I’ve watched one too many episodes of Dancing with the Stars but the relationship between attendee and vendor at these shows seems to be a Tango. The seasoned whore wants to entice the wary potential client into her dance; the wary client does not want to pay to play. You would think that the vendor is the seasoned pro and attendees the reluctant one. Not always. The vendors come with a wide variety of things to give away from tastes, eco bags, pens, samples, deals and more deals BUT in the pre 2008 days, they held onto these things brought to entice so the attendees would work to charm the vendor! NOT THIS YEAR. It was nice to wooed….

1 comment:

  1. Glad you made it out alive. The Fancy Food Show is INTENSE! And I think that's in large part because of the wooing factor. Great news for me that Gluten-Free is on the rise. Bring it on!