NEW YORK – The Summer Fancy Food Show opened on June 23 and runs through June 25 at the Javits Center in Manhattan. Featuring food and drink from around the world, the event is the largest specialty food industry event in North America, and the premier showcase for industry innovation.
Specialty food is the fastest-growing segment of the food industry, at nearly $150 billion in annual sales. Presented by the Specialty Food Association (SFA), a not-for-profit association with over 3,800 members, including food artisans, importers, buyers and entrepreneurs, the show features 2,400+ companies exhibiting over 200,000 specialty foods, something for every palate.
“The Summer Fancy Food Show is where our industry’s remarkable creativity, drive, and spirit of innovation are on display for an audience of buyers from every channel of the food industry, domestic and international,” said Phil Kafarakis, SFA president. “We’ll fill all of the Javits Center this weekend. It’ll be the best place to see the trends, learn, network and conduct critical business to help serve every customer base and build success for 2020.”
More than 50 countries will be participating in the show, with Germany as this year’s partner country. Greece, last year’s partner country, is also present this year with 47 businesses and 58 booths highlighting wonderful products from the homeland.
“This year we have a record number of participants with 47 companies. This fills us with optimism, that things are better and that they will be better. The U.S. is not an easy market, as everyone knows, it’s terribly competitive. Italians dominate with similar products to ours but it is a step by step growth, which we believe and hope to continue in the years to come. Because exports are a national effort that should not be affected by any change of governments and administration,” Enterprise Greece Director of International Food and Drink Exhibitions Antonis Gravanis told The National Herald.
The Greek products, olives, extra virgin olive oil, feta, pites, and sweets, among others, were all available for tasting at the show. The traditional pies by Brakopoulos bakery were a special treat, hot out of the oven. Among the cheese pies available to sample was made with feta, peppers, tomatoes and olives. The enticing aroma alone brought attendees to the booth for a taste. One American couple had just returned to the U.S. from their vacation in Greece and after tasting the pie, told TNH it was a taste of Greece and they wanted to go back as soon as possible.
Among the well-known celebrities of the food industry, Chef Maria Loi was present at the Summer Fancy Food Show and picked up a Sofi Award for New Product in the Olive Oil category for her Loi Ladi Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Crete. She graciously posed for photos with her fans at the event and noted that her line of Greek products is available at Whole Foods, among many other stores. “We are everywhere,” she told TNH.
Loi continues to be an ambassador for Greek food and its health benefits at her eponymous restaurant in Manhattan and also with her innovative line of Greek products.
The full list of Sofi Award winners for 2019 is available online:https://www.specialtyfood.com/awards/sofi/winners/.