As a newbie entrant in the food industry, I was counting down to this year’s Fancy Food Show in San Francisco and boy this event did not disappoint!!
So what is the Fancy Food Show? Every January, the Specialty Foods Association pulls together 1,400 food brands from across the globe for 20,000 visitors to feast their eyes (and palettes!) on and get first-hand insights on the year's upcoming food trends. Included in this pack were the most influential buying decision-makers from retail, foodservice, e-commerce, and hospitality! If you had an exciting new product to launch, this was the place to be.
Walking the 200 000+ square feet of event space, we were all in search of the latest and greatest in all things food. My biggest takeaway was that many specialty and niche foods and ingredients are slowly infiltrating into mainstream products. Dairy-free yogurts and desserts, plant-based snacks including jerky and superfood ingredients in virtually every food category were hot ticket items. I also could not walk past an aisle without sampling a new ice-cream concept (tiger nut ice cream was my fav!). What I loved was that there was something for every food lifestyle. Whether you are vegan, gluten-free, lactose-free, sugar-free, paleo or pretty much eat everything, there was something exciting and new for everyone to sample. And sample we did and by day 2 we realized that pre-show breakfast was a definite no-no!
Of course, my biggest takeaway was that so many foodpreneurs have taken their passion and dream and transformed this into unique product offerings for consumers to explore and enjoy. Post Fancy Food Show, I am more inspired than ever to create some disruption in the “sea of sameness” chili-based product vertical. Sachili is officially ready to take Canadian palettes on a new flavor journey!