Every year, thousands of food brands head to New York to show off their wares and entice buyers from grocery stores to stock their products. It’s a trade show called the Fancy Foods Show, and it’s one of the best places to catch trends before they hit grocery store shelves: New products make their debut here, and months later, they appear on the shelves of your local Whole Foods
Sixteen specialty food firms from five Southern Africa countries exhibited at the Summer Fancy Food Show (SFF Show) under the Africa Fine Food Pavilion, from June 30 to July 2, 2018, in New York. The pavilion comprised anchor exhibitors and first-time exhibitors, showcasing a range of products such as dried fruits and nuts, sauces and spices, beverages (crafted, rooibos infused, moringa infused drinks and teas), bean-to-bar chocolates, healthy snacks, olives and extra virgin olive oil, a luxury range of cookies, premium quality frozen pastry products for the cross-over market, marula and baobab based jams and moringa products.
The SFF Show provided an opportunity to meet existing customers and new prospects. First-time exhibitors such as Bakali Foodstuffs, Breva Beverages, Maungo Craft, and Uber Flavour learned about competitor packaging and pricing, buyer expectations, and gained first-hand understanding of the structure of the U.S. specialty food market and distribution channel.
Major United States and international retailers/buyers/distributors that visited the Africa Fine Foods Pavilion included Amazon, Allied International, Andrea Jourdan Fine Foods Grocery, Cost Plus, Encore Importers, Fairway Market, FoodMatch, Giant Food Stores, Glen’s Garden, Homegoods, Prime Olive, QuickCheck, United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI), Steins Foods (UK), Wegmans Food Markets, Inc., and Whole Foods Market. One of the exhibitors, Brenda Wilkinson from Rip Largo Olive Oil in the Western Cape, South Africa, remarked that she has “never been to a show where buyers show so much interest in South African olive oil.”