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Industry Updates

Behind the Growth of Specialty Foods


Specialty food sales outpaced the growth of all food at retail – up 10.3 percent versus 3.1 percent – last year, reaching $148.7 billion. Seventy-six percent of sales were accounted for through retail, and foodservice represents 22 percent of sales. The Specialty Food Association (SFA) attributes much of the industry’s success to product innovation and the wider availability of specialty foods through mass market outlets.

“Diverse consumer lifestyles are taking specialty foods mainstream,” SFA President Phil Kafarakis says. “To reach these consumers and increase their own sales, food merchants have embraced the vast assortment of specialty products.”

Decision-makers in foodservice and retail will come face-to-face with producers at the Moscone Center in San Francisco from Jan. 19-21, 2020, for the Winter Fancy Food Show to learn more about the 90,000 specialty food products that will be showcased. The Winter Fancy Food Show is an industry-only show that features more than 1,400 exhibitors displaying the latest in innovation and authentic food products from across the United States and around the world. 

Winter Fancy Food Show is the largest specialty food and beverage trade show on the West Coast. It features the latest in innovative specialty food products. The most influential buyers from retail, foodservice, e-commerce and hospitality will be attending to taste trends and network. 

“Our Winter Fancy Food Show is the premier place for buyers and retailers to find the highest-quality and most innovative products on the market,” Kafarakis says. “We bring producers together with the decision-makers for retailers and foodservice, many of them attending the show to set trends and tastes for the whole year. It’s really a must-see event.”

Winter Fancy Food Show highlights will include:

• What’s New, What’s Hot: Presents on-trend products;

• Incubator Village: An expanded showcase for food incubators with new specialty food stars on hand to display their products at the earliest stage;

• 8th annual Leadership Awards Ceremony honoring inspirational industry leaders;

• New Brands on the Shelf: Up-and-coming SFA Member Candidates share their products;

• Taste it Live: Demos and sampling;

• Daily trends shared in the Specialty Food News Show Daily from the SFA Trendspotter Panel;

• Front Burner: A dynamic foodservice pitch competition judged by professionals from the industry; and

• Major food donation at the show’s end to Feed the Hungry. 

SFA was founded in New York City in 1952 to be the leading advocate for the specialty food industry. The association represents makers, importers, entrepreneurs, retailers, distributors and others in the trade by championing, nurturing and connecting its members to deliver traditional and innovative new products to consumers. With more than 3,800 member companies, SFA helps its members by providing information, research and educational events, and by celebrating the industry through its awards program. In addition to hosting the Winter Fancy Food Show, SFA also hosts the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City, which will be held June 28-30, 2020, in the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. For more information and to register for this year’s Winter Fancy Food Show, visit www.specialtyfood.com.  


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