As part of a discussion about the three-day event, BevNET CEO John Craven noted that “the types of products really evolved,” at the Fancy Food Show to that point that beverages “you’d see at the Natural Products Expo has really bled into this show.”
“It seems like it’s not really just about specialty food trade anymore,” Craven said.
The evolution has attracted increased attendance from large retailers from Target to Whole Foods, who, taking heed of rapid growth in emerging categories, are seeking out on-trend brands and products. Those representatives certainly found handfuls of cold-pressed juices, along with matcha-based drinks, raw coconut waters and kombucha drinks. Yet while the Fancy Food Show remains a food-focused event first and foremost, soaring interest for craft cocktail mixers gave way to a surge in exhibitors of tonics, syrups, bitters and ready-to-mix blends. The common thread to these mixer products? Natural formulations and clean labels.
In this video, filmed on-location at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City, Craven and BevNET Managing Editor Ray Latif took a deeper look at how the Fancy Food Show has evolved in recent years, with particular regard to the progress shown by categories that are aligned with cutting-edge trends. Craven and Latif also discuss how natural brands that have incubated and grown in Whole Foods are looking to the speciality channel and retail opportunities from the event to expand sales and distribution.