The 2019 Summer Fancy Food Show, organized by Specialty Food Association, will take place on June 23-25 at the Javits Center in New York City. The show features more than 200,000 specialty foods and beverages, over 2,500 exhibitors from 55 countries, educational sessions, awards, celebration, and much more.
This season’s Fancy Food Show will continue to up the ante on prior conferences, according to Phil Kafarakis, President of the Specialty Food Association and the former Chief Innovation Officer of the National Restaurant Association. For example, LevelUP will feature global food innovations, premier industry research, and the future of food and commerce. Notes Kafarakis, “This is an innovative and immersive addition to our Fancy Food Show format, one that will inform, entertain, and engage our attendees.” And the show will once again offer the world’s largest international exhibition of foodservice menu solutions from the far corners of the world.
Exclusive to members of the Specialty Food Association, this show will mark the second time that SFA has opened the show to the trade only. As a Business to Business (B2B) event, the 3-day conference will place a heavy emphasis on innovation, with the added benefit of LevelUP’s buying program catering to all channels of trade. Notes Kafarakis, “LevelUP’s benefits will be extended to all buyers, whether foodservice, retail, or convenience stores.”
In addition, this summer’s show will emphasize education across all facets of food entrepreneurship. As Kafarakis explained, “If you’re looking for new and creative ideas, whether for product innovation or social marketing or otherwise, it’s here at the Fancy Food Show.” Perhaps the biggest innovation showcase will be the Front Burner Pitch Competition, hosted by noted chef and author Elizabeth Falkner. This competition will feature three different product pitches to industry judges Angela Flenoy, Ken Toong, and Sean Buchanan. The winner will be able to proudly display their product as the Front Burner Pitch Competition Champion. And of course, there will be plenty of innovation on display throughout the thousands of exhibits on site.
As Kafarakis noted, this year’s Summer Fancy Food Show will feature many educational classes and opportunities. In addition to the exhibitions, the various educational sessions will ensure that every show participant can leave having learned something new about the industry. Phil especially hopes that Millennials who are new to the industry or new to owning a business within the industry will capitalize on the educational opportunities. “People want to be educated and prepared for bringing their products and ideas to market… You should have a methodical understanding of what you’re getting into,” said Kafarakis.
In light of the recent global tariffs placed on and by the United States, the Summer Fancy Food Show comes at a time where it is more important than ever for the international fancy food community to come together to discuss the issues at hand. Kafarakis has noted his strong opposition to the tariffs and has even advocated against Trump’s now-rescinded Mexican tariffs in a meeting with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.
What should attendees expect? In order to take full advantage of the event, Kafarakis recommends spending the night, doing a little homework, and using SFA’s mobile app to plan your visit around your favorite categories. He also recommends coming early for the educational platforms and joining the SFA on the first day for their report on their latest research.
And with the Javits Center’s ongoing $1 billion expansion due for completion in 2021, future shows promise to be bigger and better than ever before.
If you are interested in going to the Summer Fancy Food Show, you can register on the Specialty Food Association’s website www.specialtyfood.com, or you register at the door this Sunday.