NEW YORK, NY – JULY 11 2006 – The biggest beverage-related topic of discussion at this year’s NASFT Summer Fancy Food Show wasn’t a new product or company, instead, it was about a company that wasn’t there. A rumor that the IZZE Beverage Company was being acquired by Pepsi, an idea that was first reported two weeks ago by Gerry Khermouch, editor of Beverage Business Insights and a Beverage Spectrum contributor, was the chief topic of many a liquid merchant. Fueling the discussion was the observation by many attendees that IZZE did not occupy the $6200 booth it was listed as having rented for the show.
But the company had canceled that booth several weeks before the Khermouch story broke, according to show staff, undermining the theory that an IZZE no-show was the result of a pending sale.
A company source said that IZZE had decided instead to maintain booths at the recently-completed FMI show and the upcoming Expo East, instead, and that the sparkling juice company had received a full refund. Another food company was present in the booth that had been reserved for IZZE.
Featuring approximately 30 beverage companies that are currently doing business in North America, the industry’s representation was mostly made up of companies selling in growth categories. That being said, it’s no surprise that water was a well-represented category with Iceland Springs, Ty Nant, Metromint, O Beverages, Hint, and Wild Waters all in attendance.
But of course, no Fancy Food Show would be complete without a stalwart showing of tea, juice, and organic exhibitors. This year’s show included Sweet Leaf, Ito En, Inko’s, Sambazon, New Leaf, Honest Tea, Tempest Tea, Luvli, Vita Coco, Republic of Tea, Taste Nirvana, Purity Organic, and Adina exhibiting.
Pure energy drinks were extremely limited, with only two exhibitors in the main exhibition space. Other functional product companies, such as Ardea and Hiball, were in attendance, but had a much smaller presence than other categories.
And last, but not least, there were the CSDs, including Regatta Ginger Beer, Snow, Ginger People, Lorina, Eurobubblies, Stirrings, and Steaz Green Tea Soda.
Given that the show is in the middle of the industry’s most important season, new product introductions are generally limited to line extensions and minor changes and this year was no different. New items included Purity Organic’s “Be Well” line of USDA Organic functional juice beverages; natural versions of Taste Nirvana’s Thai-style coffee, teas, and coconut juice; new Blue Tea from New Leaf Beverages; Tempest Tea’s new energy drink; Adina’s new labels and new “Pomagic” and “Sangri’la” flavors; Fizzy Lizzy’s new labels; a 16.9 ounce bottle for Honest Tea’s PET line; GuS’s new dry pomegranate flavor; and Regatta Ginger Beer.
Next up: Expo East, NACS, and InterBev in the fall.Stay tuned.