After a few weeks of recovery time from the holiday parties and meals, it was time to get back into the swing of work and building relationships. For owners of F&B brands, there is no better place to get this accomplished than at the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco.
Returning for its 39th year, The Specialty Food Organization or Craft. Care. Joy. as on Twitter, hosted #WFFS14 taking up the entire Moscone Center, the largest convention and exhibition complex in San Francisco, and trust me, it was all necessary with the amount of brands and buyers in attendance.
With over 1300 exhibitors (felt like more) there was plenty of cheese, meats, gluten free, and assorted beverage products from all over the world looking to be touched, tasted, and remembered. This being said, SFO did a great job of organizing and laying out brands in a way that they could be easily found, visited, and/or discovered by potential distributors, brokers, retailers, and media outlets.
With access to an paperback show directory organized by category, exhibitor name, and map, in addition to a mobile app to help you quickly navigate with your phone, the show was easy to manage, even for 2 people trying to walk every aisle in 3 days (not easy but accomplished).
Many of the brands in attendance were returning from previous years, making sure to booth and show off buyer favorites and new products being released during the show. For the new brands in attendance (and there were plenty of these to go around) owners and brand managers were able to no only take advantage of a tremendous amount of foot traffic coming to their booths, but also take some time to sit through the educational seminars featuring things like growing their business, working with distributors, and industry best practices.
If you are a food, beverage, or hospitality business, this is probably an event will want to keep on your radar for next year or if you live on the east coast, consider signing up for this years Summer Fancy Food Show in New York.
Brand round up coming soon!