The Fancy Food Show: a feast of food & beverage innovation

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winter summer fancy food show specialty food association

The Fancy Food Show is a biannual B2B event hosted by the Specialty Food Association that consists of the Summer Fancy Food Show and the Winter Fancy Food Show. These massive trade shows showcase the best and latest in food & beverage. They provide small food companies with the opportunity to showcase their products and ingredients to retailers, distributors, brokers, chefs and media.

The Fancy Food Show was initially created as a way for specialty food manufacturers, distributors and importers to network and increase business. The first show was held in New York’s Times Square on August 28-30, 1954. Due to its growing popularity, In 1959, the show expanded to include the Winter Fancy Food Show, which has become the largest specialty food trade show in the western United States.

The Summer Fancy Food Show

The Summer Fancy Food Show has been held since its inception over 60 years ago in New York City. It is known as the largest specialty food show in North America.

Where is the Summer Fancy Food Show held?

The Summer Fancy Food Show has traditionally been held in New York, New York each year.

In 2022, it will be held at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City. 

When is it typically held?

This annual summer food & beverage event is usually held in late June or early July.

In 2022, it is scheduled to be held from June 12-14.

winter fancy food show summer specialty food association
food & beverage booths a̶s̶ ̶f̶a̶r̶ ̶a̶s̶ beyond what the eye can see

The Winter Fancy Food Show

The Winter Fancy Food Show is the largest specialty foods trade event in the west coast focusing on gourmet, artisan, health and organic food and beverages.

The Winter Fancy Food Show has grown to become the premier marketplace for specialty foods industry professionals from around the globe to conduct business with one another and connect with new customers and clients. This show continues to break new ground in the industry with unique events focused on showcasing the newest and most interesting food & beverage products.

Where is the Winter Fancy Food Show held?

The Winter Fancy Food Show has been held for decades at The Moscone Center, located in downtown San Francisco, California. In 2022, the event moved to the convention center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

When is it typically held?

This annual winter food & beverage event is usually held in either January or February.

In 2023, it will be held on January 15-17 at the Las Vegas Convention Center – West Hall.

How can I attend or exhibit?

Those who are in the food & beverage industry and

  • wish to attend an upcoming Fancy Food Show can apply here.
  • wish to exhibit at an upcoming Fancy Food Show can apply here.

Special Tips for Attendees

  • Eat responsibly – These food shows can be likened to Costco samples on steroids. So with the seemingly endless array of specialty food and drink items on display, you’re bound to want to try as many of them as possible. Remember to bring your appetite (and perhaps some antacids) and pace yourself when sampling foods onsite. Bring samples to-go whenever possible. The last thing you want at a food show is a stomach ache or other digestive issues.
  • Bring a light backpack – There will likely be more samples at the Fancy Food Show than you’ve ever seen in your life (unless you’ve been to these events in prior years) and you will receive a complimentary reusable bag to carry those items. However, you won’t want to mix your personal items with your samples, so make sure to bring a separate backpack to make it easy to carry and access any personal items (cell phone, charging cable, keys, business cards, notepad, pens and other essentials).
  • Wear comfortable shoes – These showrooms are massive and you’ll do more walking than you expect, so it would be smart of you to bring some comfortable footwear. Whether its a nice pear of lifestyle sneakers, padded sandals, hybrid loafters or flats, you’ll be able to peruse through the booths without foot pain, Can’t bear to sacrifice your personal fashion for comfort? Then consider wearing cushioned insoles or orthodics inside your dress shoes. Your feet will thank you.
  • Be Understanding & Enjoy! – Keep in mind that when interacting with exhibitors, they have likely been working long hours at the same booth repeating the same information over and over. So, be respectful and understanding of each person’s situation. Be patient with exhibitors who are bombarded with guests and be friendly to those who are sitting bored without an audience. The kinder you are, the more likely you’ll gain some extra information (and maybe even goodies) as well as stronger business connections. Enjoy the show!

Special Tips for Exhibitors

From the point of view of an attendee, here are some tips that you may want to consider if you are exhibiting at the Fancy Food Show:

  • Provide convenient to-go samples – Those attending the Fancy Food Show will be bombarded with samples. Although many attendees would love to try all of them, they can only eat a finite amount on the spot. So if you plan on serving samples, make sure you have a packaged to-go version as well that they can try later on at their convenience. Additionally, make sure that your to-go samples are light, easy to carry and do not leak.
  • Include your company name & contact info on your to-go samples – With the large amount of samples guests collect, it can be quite difficult to pinpoint which company unlabled samples came from. Make it easy for attendees to remember you and clearly label each to-go sample with your business & contact info. Go the extra mile by makeing your labels smudge-proof and waterproof.
  • Make eye-contact first – One observation made by many attendees is that some exhibitors will look at your badge before even making eye-contact. Although the intention may be innocent and help properly direct the conversation, this gives off a negative impression, as if you are saying “Are you worth talking to?” Instead of looking at the attendee’s badge first, make eye-contact and ask them questions.
  • Have fun! – As an exhibitor, you obviously have your business on your mind, but that doesn’t mean you have to be serious and dry the entire time. Your interactions with attendees will be much more memorable if you show that your enjoy what you do, not just trying to rattle off a million facts about your product that your audience won’t even remember. Have a natural conversation answering any questions the attendees may have and leave the rest of the facts to your brochure and website. Enjoy the show!

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