Wednesday, January 20, 2010
The 2010 SF Winter Fancy Food Show: Greatest Hits
Really rad chocolate sculpting demo...
Last Sunday I headed to San Francisco with Catherine of Munchie Musings to attend the Fancy Food show. On her blog, she has written a few different posts detailing many of the trends and topics showcased at this year's event. We also ran into Shankari, Rajesh (her husband), and Eileen who writes the Just the Two of Us blog. More awesome pics and rundown of the show there.
We were inundated with samples and literature from the hundred of different vendors. It must be so hard to break into the food world with a new product.
You have to: 1. Convince the customer they want it/need it. 2. Convince the customer your product is better than the one already out there.
A lot of this convincing is done with a clever marketing scheme and fancy packaging. A lot of times it has little to do with how the product actually TASTES.
This year, one of the reasons I attended the show was to obtain product samples from as many gluten-free vendors as I could find. As I stated in a previous post, my boyfriend's coworker is gluten intolerant, and has to avoid many of the yummy treats that many of us take for granted. I have to say this year the gluten-free thing has really taken off and could be considered one of the "trends" of the show.
Other popular show items were all sorts of chocolate (candies), coffee, olive oils, cheese, and cured meats.
Here are some of the things I spotted that really grabbed my attention:
Baconsalt -- This product was at the show last year, but they have ramped up their marketing with twitter and facebook and have quite a few bacon-tastic items they produce, such as Baconnaise, Bacon Pop, Bacon Ranch Dressing & Dip Mix, & Mmmvelopes. I put this stuff on carrots and other veggies and it tastes spectacular! You can find their full line of products here.
Figamajigs -- Dark chocolate covered fig Pieces in a candy shell. Sort of like a chewy M & M.
Justin's Nut Butter--Not only does Justin's produce a high-quality organic peanut butter, they also make several flavored nut butters that come in easy-to-spread portioned packets. Some of the varieties include: honey peanut butter, cinnamon peanut butter, almond butter, honey almond butter, maple almond butter, chocolate hazelnut butter, chocolate peanut butter, and chocolate almond butter. Yes to all of the above, please!
Antoine Amrani Chocolates -- For me, there was just something so elegant about these chocolates that I have never seen before, not to mention the taste.
The bon bons and palats have generous ganache centers and thin, delicate chocolate shells. Amrani's chocolates have eco-friendly brown and lime green packaging: The paperboard is made of 100% recycled and 90% post-consumer content, everything is 100% recyclable.
The Idaho Candy Company -- A candy company that began in 1901, in T.O. Smith's garage. He started selling his candy door to door, and the rest is history. In 1909 Mr. Smith built a modern factory at 412 South 8th Street in Boise to meet the needs of his customers. They sell a candy called the "Idaho Spud": A potato shaped combination of a light cocoa flavored marshmallow center drenched with a dark chocolate coating and then sprinkled with coconut. They also sell a combo pack just in case you need a real fix: It contains 6 Idaho Spud Bars, 4 Old Faithful Bars, 4 Cherry Cocktail Bars, 1 pound of their famous Bite Sized Owyhee Butter Toffee.
Mama Fresh Injera -- Injera is the Ethiopian staple bread (a flat bread on which dishes such as Wots, Tibs and Fitfit are served). The breads come ready to serve and make finally Ethiopian food worth making at home. By the way, this "bread" is also gluten free and has the mouth feel of a pancake or a crepe.
Wow Baking Company -- Their line of individually packaged cookies, cookie doughs, boxed cookies, bakery tubs, and cake mixes are missing gluten but not the flavor!
Tahitian Vanilla -- I am loving their vanilla paste. Such a wonderful flavor concentration that helps really infuse vanilla into fillings and cakes. They also make vanilla sugar and vanilla fleur de sel!
Rodelle Vanilla -- Thanks to John who gave us sample beans & chucked with us when two ladies tried to chew on some pods like tobacco. Fellow blogger Garrett would have probably gone off the track at such a sight.
Vibrant Flavor Pretzels -- Very good maple bacon pretzels. A bit of a novelty right now, but still so, so good! Good news calorie counters: they clock in at the same as normal pretzels.
The Graceful Cookie Company -- I liked the particularly dainty looking line of products they displayed and that their company is located in Vallejo. If you own a local coffee shop, you might want to consider this company as a supplier. They make ready-to-bake doughs and your customers will never know your secret recipe unless you decide to share it!
Island Treasures Gourmet Rum Cake -- I tasted a square of this cake at the show and it was very rummy & yummy!! Here is a pic of their booth:
These were the products at the show the made an impression on me. If you are reading and attended the show, what are your thoughts? What were your favorites?