Posted by nancy on July 11th, 2014 at 6:09 pm
You are ALL the best!
Picking just one exhibitor this year was next to impossible. So we won't.
Wink was, by far, one of the best new companies. Their frozen dessert products are free of gluten, dairy, and nuts (but not free of taste), and their display was jam-packed with personality, creativity, and joy. Plus, the team is all under 30. From their imaginative booth to their enthusiastic sales team, their show presence was everything a booth should be. We loved it!
Posted by nancy on July 11th, 2014 at 6:08 pm
The people who are serving the food (and how they serve it) can make all the difference!
Foodies Who Care
Mamma Chia herself (Janie Hoffman) "adopted us" as if we were her own little chia kids and served us shots of chia-infused beverages while sharing her health and business philosophies.
Another woman who is giving back while growing her brand is Barb ("bobbysue") Kobren of Bobbysue's Nuts. The nuts may be small, but her heart is big, as evidenced by her wonderful welcome to her boo...
Posted by nancy on July 11th, 2014 at 6:07 pm
Some show organizers and exhibitors realize that the media these days can make or break new brands. The press room was flawlessly run by The Specialty Food Association and I was handed a simple guide to show news, saving me tons of time. The shelves were well-stocked with some of the most creative press kits I've seen in ages. The organizers made covering the show easy as pie!
And, if you want to influence taste-makers, what better way than to give them a taste of their product...
Posted by nancy on July 11th, 2014 at 6:04 pm
The Retail Experience Some exhibitors really think through every aspect of their public presentation -- from what the product is named and how it looks on the shelf, to how they showcase it their booth, to even how their staff dresses to demo the product line. Retailers can be confident that the products will "show well" as well as taste good. Booth Bravado Wink, Sweet Riot, Lola Granola, and BumbleBerry Farms and Goodie Girl Tribeca deserve special mention here. They created displays that com...
Posted by nancy on July 10th, 2014 at 2:36 pm
If attendees have to think too hard about the tie-in between a display and the food/beverage that's being served, the exhibitor has missed the mark. Although scratching our heads and shrugging our shoulders burned calories, we'd prefer to know exactly what you're trying to sell. Some marketing ideas should never leave the conference room white board.
No Soup for You!
Food sampling is all about generosity of spirit; gathering around a table (or booth) and sharing, compari...
Posted by nancy on June 19th, 2014 at 6:18 pm
Know your product, love your product, but please don't force your product (or bag) on me!
We were so impressed by the level of enthusiasm most exhibitors showed -- gushing about their tasty treats like cute newborn babies. Most of the exhibitors made you want to gobble up their wares with gusto, telling fabulous stories about content, origin, back-story, and more.
But one simply forced a sample into our hands, while another insisted we try the product, even though it contained something...
Posted by nancy on June 19th, 2014 at 6:17 pm
The people behind the food are as unique as the food itself.
Food with a mission always warms our hearts and our stomachs. These peanut butter and chocolate "pups" were not only cute and edible, but Gearharts Fine Chocolates donates a percent of every sale to Companions for Heroes.
And while we're talking about peanut butter, we'd like to give a huge shout-out to the woman at the BetterBody Foods booth, who was so warm, friendly, and informed that we could have spent hours at her table, ...
Posted by nancy on June 19th, 2014 at 6:14 pm
Booze. Cocoa. Booze + Cocoa.
Now add jalapenos, men in straw hats, and a bartender who doesn't scrimp on the pour. Of course we're compelled to pronounce Solbeso Best of Show. Plus, their brand ambassador really knew the product.
And they served in REAL glasses. After an hour of eating and drinking out of plastic, it was a welcome touch.
Posted by nancy on June 19th, 2014 at 6:13 pm
Looking good enough to eat!
The food itself was beautiful. But space was limited Glamming up goodies on a small round table could present a challenge. But these companies made their presentations extra-awesome:
Dave's Killer Bread turned bread into an art form. Not only is their packaging way beyond "white bread blah," they really know how to integrate their brand into everything from tee shirts to guitar picks to non-traditional brochures.
We've heard of salad bars and sundae bars b...
Posted by nancy on June 19th, 2014 at 6:08 pm
What a night! What a feast!
Food companies (and the journalists who love them) met one evening. The format was elegant tabletop displays. The booze flowed, thanks to PR sponsor Colangelo PR and new beverage company Solbeso (see "Best of Show").
The keyword seems to be FREE these days (and we don't just mean free samples). Gluten-free, dairy-free, and sugar-free. But certainly not taste-free....