Summer Fancy Food Show 2004 Recap

Seth Goldman of Honest Tea
New all natural Boylans
Matt Collins (right) and the Metromint crew
Sampling at the Zico booth.
Joe and Heather of IZZE show off the new bottles.
Jeannette and Steve, founders of GuS.
Eric and Steve of Steaz
Alex of Inko's White Tea
Geoff and Eldon of Fentimans

BY JOHN CRAVEN, BEVNET.COM EDITOR

NEW YORK – Another Summer Fancy Food Show is in the books. The annual show (held at the Jacob Javits Center in NYC) offers a variety of high-end and gourmet food & beverage products. In the past, the Fancy Food Show was a place where many companies launched new products – or themselves. Recent years have shown a stiff drop-off of new companies and the show has become more of a showcase for mid-sized players in the New Age beverage industry.

Also of note was the lack of low-carb and energy drinks – trends which typically monopolize press in the industry. Instead, most of the companies exhibiting at the show were premium, all-natural, or USDA organic. In fact, more than 50% of the companies that we spoke to mentioned having their products in (or under contract to be in) Whole Foods in some part of the country.

Here’s a run down of the new products of note from this year’s show:

Honest Tea: New PET bottles – Four of the “tad sweet” Honest Tea flavors are now available in a slick new proprietary PET bottle. Spoke with Seth Goldman, Tea-EO, who feels that the PET bottles will allow them to sell in places that they previously were unable. In addition, we admire their commitment to quality: the PET version of Green Dragon was dumped after Goldman and crew noticed the brew of tea wasn’t quite right. They’ll produce again in a few weeks.

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Boylans – New all naturals – Ron Fiorina showed us the new All Natural Boylans, a line extension which will be available in four flavors: Black Cherry, Crème Vanilla, Root Beer, and Cane Cola. Boylans hopes to expand penetration into Whole Foods and similar channels with the formulations. The bottle design offers a retro-style design which begs the question – why don’t they just make all of the flavors all-natural with a new design?

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Revolution Tea – RTD White Tea – David Watson, founder of Revolution Tea, says that he doesn’t care if he’s the most expensive white tea product on the market as long as he’s the best. This product features a beautiful proprietary PET bottle with a full wrap and formulas that use very light fruit flavors.

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Metromint Mint Water – Metromint proves that simple is sometimes better, using a formula of spring water from the Rockies and peppermint. Slick packaging will also help lure in the consumer.

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ZICO Coconut Water – Traditionally an ethnic beverage, Zico will try to take coconut water to the mainstream by promoting its health benefits. Still, the product has a very ethnic feeling to it and packaged in a tetra-pak, the product may struggle to get shelf space and distribution.

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IZZE Sparkling: New 16 oz Package – IZZE is rolling out a new 16 oz proprietary glass bottle. This package will join the existing 12 oz glass and 8 oz can packages.

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Fizzy Lizzy – Fuji Apple – Liz Marlin has introduced a new Fuji Apple flavor to the product lineup. Fuji Apple appeals to higher end and adult consumers.

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Fentimans – New Dandelion & Burdock

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Also at the show:

GuS – This show marks GuS’s first anniversary – and they sure do have a lot to be happy about. A switch to cane sugar, new flavors, and great distribution deals (Big Geyser in NYC being the cornerstone) mean that GuS is definitely on the right track.

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Steaz Green Tea Soda — Are these guys at every show? We know one thing: they are still cruising right along and each month is getting better and better for them.

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Inko’s White Tea — One of our favorite products, Inko’s White Tea is experiencing major growth and starting to get the distribution that this fine product deserves.

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Barritts Ginger Beer — Stan Rottell was on hand to sample Barritts Ginger Beer and Pineapple Ginger Beer.

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Skylar Haley — Sampling essn, AchievOne, and the dried fruit products that Blue Sun also sells.

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Wild Fruitz — New diet line coming soon.

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Republic of Tea – Plastic bottles – According to the Republic of Tea, these products are selling like crazy. We really liked their innovative bottle rack (pictured below).

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