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SOURCE Specialty Food Association
Inaugural Lifetime Achievement Awards Presented, Foundation Launched
NEW YORK, July 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Summer Fancy Food Show, the largest since it was first presented in 1955, is drawing strong reviews from exhibitors and attendees alike. The sold-out exhibit halls, filling 361,000 sq. ft., featured more than 1,400 U.S. exhibitors and 1,291 from around the world.
The trade-only event took place June 29–July 1, 2014, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York. Amid record demand for specialty food, the show drew 22,000 attendees from top names in U.S. retailing and restaurants, including Whole Foods, Dean & DeLuca, Kroger and Le Pain Quotidien and buying delegations from Europe and countries as diverse as Uruguay, Paraguay, Albania, and China.
"There was optimism and positive energy in every aisle," says Ann Daw, president of the Specialty Food Association, owner and producer of show, the largest marketplace devoted exclusively to specialty foods and beverages in North America.
Show highlights included the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Awards honoring five pioneers in the Specialty Food Industry including Harold Anderson, founder of Haddon House Food Products, and Max Reiss, founder of Reiss Finer Foods, both honored posthumously, whose sons accepted their awards.
Also honored were Tony Matthews, president of Food From Britain, who helped build the presence of imported British foods in the U.S.; Russ Vernon, a pioneering specialty food retailer who opened the venerable West Point Market in Akron, Ohio; and Mario Foah, who helped launch the introduction of Italian food products in the U.S. and who was a founding member of today's Specialty Food Association.
Dominique Ansel, the acclaimed pastry chef and creator of treat sensation the Cronut®, a croissant-donut hybrid, delivered a keynote address on innovation. He announced the winners of the 42ndsofi™ Awards for the outstanding specialty foods of the year. The contest drew a record 2,737 entries across 32 awards. Lentil Rice Crispbread with Sesame and Pink Salt from East Hampton Gourmet Food in East Hampton, N.Y., won Outstanding New Product.
Chef Ansel, who said he faced hunger as a child in France, donated his speaking fee to City Harvest, the Summer Fancy Food Show's longtime anti-hunger charity. At the end of the show, exhibitors donated seven and a half tractor trailer loads of cheeses, hummus, produce, meats, and more to City Harvest, which delivered it to 12 emergency food programs in New York City. The donation was covered by the Associated Press in a story that was picked up all over the world. Full story.
Other show highlights:
Official launch of the Specialty Food Foundation, which will work to reduce hunger and increase food recovery efforts through grant making, education and industry events.
Seminars on Non-GMOs, sustainable packaging, public relations tips from top editors, responsive social media for restaurants, and 11 more important industry topics.
Debut of pre-show workshop for international companies on how to succeed in the U.S. specialty food market.
More than 300 first-time exhibitors.
Close to 900 journalists from top media outlets including Food & Wine, The New York Times, O, The Oprah Magazine, Food Network Magazine, Epicurious.com, ABC News, CNBC, CBS News and all the top food trade publications, including Restaurant Business, Gourmet Retailer, Gourmet News, Gourmet Business, Grocery Business and European Supermarket News.
Winter Fancy Food Show: Jan. 11–13, 2015, Moscone Center, San Francisco
Summer Fancy Food Show: June 28–30, 2015, Javits Center, New York
About the Specialty Food Association The Specialty Food Association is a thriving community of food artisans, importers and entrepreneurs who bring craft, care and joy to the distinctive foods they produce. Established in 1952 in New York, the not-for-profit trade association provides its 3,000 members in the U.S. and abroad the tools, knowledge and connections to champion and nurture their companies in an always-evolving marketplace. The Association (formerly the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade, Inc.) owns and produces the Winter and Summer Fancy Food Shows, and presents the sofi Awards honoring excellence in specialty food. Learn more at specialtyfood.com