Looking fancy

The Summer Fancy Food Show is a launching pad for all types of gourmet goodies.

By Richard Turcsik

Some see this month’s Sum­mer Fancy Food Show as a chance to gorge themselves on free samples of gourmet foods, but to Domonic Biggi it is a fertile field in which to plant the seeds of the next great product. “We’ll be bringing some prototypes,” says the vice president of Beaverton Foods, a Beaverton, Ore.-based manufacturer of Inglehoffer, Beaver Brand and other upscale mustards. “We have our brokers, customers and people we respect come by and actually taste the product. It is kind of like an unofficial focus group. If store buyers say to us, ‘You should come out with this,’ that is a pretty good reason to execute the label and actually deliver,” he says.

“This is such a great show,” Biggi says. “We use it as much for market research as we do for launching new items and just doing business with our existing customer base.”

Projections look strong for both attendance and booth rentals, says Louise Kramer, communications director for the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade, the New York-based trade association that runs the show, held June 27-29 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York. “This year started on a really positive note at our winter show and the momentum is continuing,” she says. “It’s now come down to finding [booth] space for people, which is a really good sign, so we’re really pleased.”

New York-based American Roland Food put in for its biggest booth yet—a 20-by-50-footer. It needs it to showcase all of the new products it is debuting. “We’re launching a line of frozen foods,” says Lisa A. Kartzman, director of marketing. “We’re bringing in frozen Danish from Denmark and crepes from Belgium,” she says. “We’ll also be sampling a special line of chocolate from Belgium. Plus, we have Indian food that we debuted in San Francisco and a new tri-color couscous imported from Israel.”

On June 28, Lucini Italia will be hosting a “surprise” TV celebrity chef at its booth (No. 5505) where attendees can sample the Miami-based company’s line of imported pasta sauces and cheeses, as well its Limited Reserve 100% Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil and CharmaVi Balsamico, a superfruit-infused vinegar produced, aged and bottled on a single estate in the Italian province of Modena that is unique to the American market.

“Lucini’s reputation for premium quality and high standards are exemplified in the redesign of our booth,” says Meagan Parrado, communications manager. “Partnering with Matrex Exhibits, an industry leader in tradeshow exhibits, our booth embraces the look and feel of a modern Tuscan kitchen with a stainless steel countertop, sleek hardwood floors and dedicated product shelving.”

Byron Bay Gourmet Foods, an Australian company that won a 2010 Silver Sofi Award from NASFT for its rich-in-taste Gluten-Free Rosemary & Sea Salt Crispbreads, will be sampling them and other products. “Byron Bay Gourmet Crispbread Crackers will be a main focus,” says Richard Raffaelli, managing director. “We’ll also be presenting our completely redesigned Luken & May English Tea Biscuit Line. And for those shopping for the holidays, we’ll have a wonderful range of cookie and biscuit items to show.”

Visitors to the Ford’s Gourmet Foods booth are in for a real treat. Not only can they sample the Raleigh, N.C.-based company’s new Bone Suckin’ Honey Mustard, they can try its new beef jerky too. “It’s nitrate free and made with totally clean ingredients by American Indians out in Oregon,” says vice president Patrick Ford.

Transatlantic Foods, a New York-based purveyor of French-style artisan meat products, is moving its booth from the lower level up to the main floor this year, where it will be sampling its line of artisanal bacon, along with its truffle butter and natural duck fat.

“We’re going to really have fun because we have breakfast, lunch and late afternoon items,” says Amy Farges, director of marketing. “We’re sending out an e-mail to people who have attended the show in the past, and it hits their BlackBerrys right when we’re cooking.”

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