Over 800 exhibiting companies featured new products at the Winter Fancy Food Show, held February 6-8 in Las Vegas. Hosted by the Specialty Food Association, this one-of-a-kind event was their first live trade show in two years. Roy was eager to attend, and I was eager to get his thoughts on it! Here is my interview with our business development specialist Roy McAfee.
So, Roy! I know you love to travel. Why did you choose to attend the Winter Fancy Food Show?
I go to meet people and see what’s coming in the food industry.
Isn’t this the same show where you met our customer who makes those amazing goat cheese spreads?
Yes, at the last show! I helped them source better tubs and foil lids. We now manage twenty different items for them.
How many people did you meet at this year’s show?
I probably had about 50 conversations. Eleven of those people had issues that we can help with, and we’re in the process of solving them.
What surprised you about the convention?
It was so big! I wasn’t expecting that. When this show was in San Francisco, it was smaller.
Who do you find attends and who exhibits?
Mostly buyers walk the floor. I saw a lot more co-packed brands this year, and business incubators like the Chicago Hatchery- they are very cool, I recommend you Google them. You’ll see lots of small brands who I’m sure are hoping to get bought up by a large company like Kraft or one of the investors from SharkTank.
What’s going to be a big trend in 2022?
Comfort foods with healthy or unique ingredients, for sure. I saw pastas with spinach, beets, hemp, and even one with cuttlefish ink.
(Food Business News offers a great recap of all trends; read more at the full article here:
What was your favorite dish that you tried?
I go for the savory foods over the sweet ones, so I would say pasta with marinara! The line was huge, so I knew it had to be good. The samples with the longest lines are sure to be the best! At this show, you can eat all day and never buy food outside of the convention.
I asked Nathan, so I must know: where did you stay in Las Vegas?
I stayed at the Stratosphere, but I prefer the Palazzo at the Venetian.
Anything else you’d like to add about your trip?
The NFL Pro Bowl and the NHL All-Star weekend happened to be going on in Vegas at the same time, which was pretty cool!
Thanks for your time, Roy!
No problem! Your blog is the best, Crystal, and I would do anything for you. (OK, he didn’t really say this last part…)
Got a problem to shoot by Roy? Reach out him at firstname.lastname@example.org!
To learn more about the Specialty Food Association, check out their website: https://www.specialtyfood.com/shows-events/