2008 Winter Fancy Food Show Recap

Sponsored by Talking Rain


@@img1The 2008 Winter Fancy Food show took place at the San Diego Convention Center from Jan 13-15. The show is the first in a series of three Fancy Foods shows scheduled for 2008. Along with Chicago (April 27-29) and New York (June 29-July 1), the shows are the industry standard for bring together food and beverage manufacturers with specialty food retailers. As the first national beverage tradeshow of the year, the Winter Fancy Food is a great place to spot new beverage launches and line extensions.  


Flavored/enhanced waters were among the hottest category for new products. Talking Rain (sponsor of BevNET’s coverage of the 2008 Winter Fancy Food show) was busy sampling its Twist line-up, including its four recently introduced organic flavors (Mango Acai, West Indies Lime, Mandarin White Tea and Pomegranate Blueberry). Talking Rain also introduced actiVwater, a nutritionally-enhanced flavored water with half the calories of the market leader.


Other waters we found at the show included:

  • Hint Water—Four new flavors (Hibiscus Vanilla, Watermelon, Honeydew Hibiscus and Blackberry)
  • Valais – Leading still water brand in Switzerland is coming to the US
  • Llanllyr Source Spring Water – A premium bottled water from the UK
  • Function Water – A nutritionally enhanced water from Function Drinks
  • Ferrarelle – Italy’s #1 sparking water
  • Fonte Italia – Acqua Filette Premium Mineral Water from the Guarcino region in Italy available in natural, slightly sparkling, and sparkling
  • Tasmanian Rain – pure and natural rainwater from the Tarkine Rainforest, Tasmania, Australia

Coffees and teas are always a good source for new products at the Fancy Food shows. We were particularly impressed with a new premium RTD coffee from Jamaica called Jablum. The product is brewed using really Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee (thus the name). We found another tropical island coffee/tea brand in Hawaii Coffee Company. We sample one of their new RTD teas which is now available on the mainland (West Coast only at the present). Other new brewed RTD’s from the show included:

  • Honest Tea – Citrus Spice Decaf and Jasmine Green Energy (so called due the company’s purchasing of “green energy” credits)
  • Steaz – new decaffeinated Sparkling Green Teas in 12 oz cans for food service and Direct Store Delivery channels
  • Sweet Leaf – gave us a glimpse of its soon-to-launched Mango Green tea
  • Republic of Tea -Superfruit Teas now in ready-to-drink flavors including Blueberry Green Tea, Pomegranate Green, and Acai Green Tea.

 BevNET was also impressed with the range of high-end and enhanced mixers for cocktails. One new brand we ran across at the show was Modmix, the first organic premium cocktail mixer line-up. The flavors include: Citrus Margarita, French Martini, Lavender Lemon Drop, Mojito, Pomegranate Cosmopolitan. Similarly, we ran into Mixerz and Stirrings, both of which have line-ups of premium cocktail mixes. Carbonated mixers were also abounding with QTonic, Fever Tree, Stirrings and Hiball (which showed us their soon to launch all natural version).


Juices were also a strong category at the show. BevNET was very impressed with a new premium brand called Sun Tropics. The company gave us sample of three of its blends. The first two were mango blends (mango passion fruit and mango guava) and the third was a Calamansi lime. All three used juices from the Phillipines, which is known for the quality of its mangos. The line-up is currently available on the West Coast, but it was new to our East Coast taste buds and we were very impressed. The line-up is available both in single-serve and in 64 oz cartons.

Other juices we spotted at the show include:

  • Kaboom Infinite Wellness – new super premium juice blends in proprietary frosted glass bottles
  • Vita Coco – New tangerine coconut water flavor
  • Mountain Fresh Fruit Juices – various all-natural fruit juices from Australia
  • Square Enterprises – carrot-based fruit flavored nectar juices