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Winter Fancy Foods Show

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Anyone going along to this show?

It starts next Sunday (18th)

It looks huuuuge

  1. I called http://www.underoneroof.org/home.shtml, the organization which has managed the Fancy Foods Show leftovers sale in the past. They're not doing it this year. But they are having a big furniture sale on the 23rd.

    Hope they start up the leftovers sale again next year.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Charlie T

      This year the food, some 100,000 pounds, is being donated to food banks in Solano County, according to Vacaville's The Reporter, http://www.thereporter.com/news/ci_11... . There's still a need for volunteers to help bag up the food for distribution. Want to volunteer? Call 425-9673.

      1. re: Melanie Wong

        Here's the follow-up story on the give-away. More than 20,000 bags were distributed.
        http://www.thereporter.com/ci_1155071...

    2. I'll probably go. I've gone in the past and it is huge.

        1. I've been, it's huge - there is some great stuff - lots of cheeses. There is also a lot of crap - bread mixes, chocolate covered pretzels, etc... Don't go with more than one person or you will have trouble making it through all the booths - don't try to stop at everything. Have fun!

          1. I don't think this event is open to the public. Are there any suggestions how one would obtain a pass if not part of the food industry? Thanks!

            3 Replies
            1. re: koi

              Subterfuge. There is a registration fee. I believe it is now $35, $60 after 1/16.
              Ask your local favorite food merchant if you may use their name.
              https://www.compusystems.com/servlet/...

              1. re: wolfe

                I used to love going to this -- but $35 is too much if you don't have a real reason for going. I can offer one tip:
                My friend and I did catering, and we went together, each carrying a tote bag. When someone gave us literature, we took it: if we wanted to keep it, it went into my friend's bag, if we had no interest, it went into my bag. That way things were already sorted when we got home. And believe me, there are too many of each thing to remember which was the one you liked! I always made sure to have a nutritious but not too big breakfast before I went to protect myself from the weird food combinations we tasted.

              2. re: koi

                I used the name of my S-Corp that has nothing to do with the food industry whatsoever. They don't cross-check the validity of your "company" name. Just make up a name. They will gladly take your $35 for admission.

              3. I see that this event is not open to the general public. How would an individual gain admission??

                Please respond by 1/16 to avoid the last minute hike in fees.

                1 Reply
                1. re: MSK

                  See wolfe and BigE1967 above.

                2. I will be going on Tuesday for my store. I agree, there is a lot of stuff I wouldn't dream of eating! The trick is to be focused, 'cause you will get sick if you eat everything! (And I see people who stop at EVERY booth to eat!?!) I would reccomend a trip to the Savor California Booth, which is a bunch of smaller producers, more artisan stuff for the most part. I already carry products from some of them.

                  As far as collecting catalogs, be green...don't take them if you are not interested, don't take it. That way there is less to toss, and you don't have to sort through them at all. And take notes right on the catalog!

                  It is always big, and the word is this will be the biggest one in a while...
                  Have fun, and maybe I'll see you there...
                  Stuart / Toque Blanche (HMB)

                  1. I would recommend going to the NASFT Fancy Food Show website (http://www.specialtyfood.com/do/fancy...

                    )

                    You can plan out your attack by looking at the listings and plotting your course based on your interests. Personally, since I'll be working for someone there, I wanted to plot out very specific excursions on my breaks, so I could cover the huge area over the 3 days, making sure I could visit producers I have relationships with, and others I want to develop ones with..

                    If you have no specific food interests, just start at one end of one wing and snake around til you get to the other side. Then go to the other wing and start over.

                    Do be aware that the official rule is no samples are taken out of the building.

                    1. I usually go every year, as an in-law owns a scone company. He's kind enough to give me a badge, and I walk around the entire place in one day and load up on samples. I made the mistake my first year of letting booths scan my badge....my in-law said he was SWAMPED with loads of free samples and order forms mailed to him for months! (I suppose where I would see that as a blessing, but apparently he did not!) Now I have to promise him if I go, I just go for the samples, and not to make friends with any of the vendors. :)

                      This year a stupid work trip prevents me from going....really sad! I was looking forward to it...hopefully some Chowhounders report back!

                      1. With all due respect to all the chowhound people who like to go to this show, please remember that first and foremost it's a trade show. Those of us in the business go there to do business. We buy, we sell, we schmooze. While there's always a certain amount of swag grab going on, it's not the primary purpose to give out all our sample products to foodies. It's to give all our sample products to buyers, who will then buy a lot of it and then sell it to the foodies.

                        Plus, the place is already swamped beyond reason. Letting the general public in would overwhelm us to the point where we couldn't do any business at all.

                        Okay, I know. NASFT is kind of loose with the rules and lets in a lot of people with a wink and a nod. It's good for all of us and gets the word out to the GP about products and trends. Just please, to those of you who do get in next year (it's Weds. now and I am effing exhausted), enjoy, talk to us, try the 173,000 cheeses and 38,600 salamis, but remember that we don't have full size samples for you to take home with you (NASFT spank) and we may have to blow you off in the middle of a sentence when the buyers from Whole Paycheck or Safeway want to dicker over case prices and minimums.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: LarryW

                          I see you realize we are the end consumers who might go to our neighborhood merchants and ask for that delicious product we had at the Fancy Foods Show. Some of the good stuff is filtered through reports like today's in the SFChron but I would have rather have tried the Quickes Cheddar than read a report and cope with "shard-like texture". Then I might bug Cheeseboard or Cheese Plus to get some. Or course this would probably have the same result as my attempt to get Grazalema Payoyo, nada.

                          1. re: LarryW

                            As a self proclaimed "foodie" who attended the show on Sunday, I can tell you that I was at the show and enjoyed sampling the many incredible foods available. Both my wife and I realized that this was a trade show, and mad every effort to be highly respectful of the time and space in each vendor's area. We did not look at the show as an opportunity to take home a bunch of free swag. We didn't take home anything but a copious amount of notes about many wonderful products we are hoping to find in our local markets.

                            There are so many wonderful artisan cheese, crackers, chocolates, gelatos, meats, sauces, teas, etc out there, and it was truly wonderful to be able to sample them all under one roof in the time of one day.

                            Thank you to everyone on CH who worked at the show.

                            1. re: BigE1967

                              In the past, chowhounds who attended the show have reported back on trends, new products, etc. I hope that you and others will share your findings.

                              This also speaks to the lack of comprehensive tastings available to the general public and consumer audiences, wish there were more.

                              1. re: Melanie Wong

                                I walked through 75% of it in about 4.5 hours. A friend saw all of it. The trends seem to be:

                                Cheese, as mentioned above, lots of it...more then I remember. (I kept thinking cheese course and where's the port.)

                                Fortified "smart" food, vitamin water, anti-oxidant food and drink, etc.

                                Tea, less so then the past but the import and place a graphics heavy marketing package on it is still abundant.

                                Also, lots of luxo goods as you'd expect, chocolates, cakes, "gift basket" items, etc. Seemed to be more Mediterranean foods but that could be my imagination.

                                I don't know if it was the economy, or a time/travel saving element, but there seemed to be more of a frantic deal making atmosphere...lots of huddles and "heavy petting" as it were. From casual observation and vibe, vendors wanted to go home with something solid.

                          2. I worked at the show all 3 days,as back-up for a former employer (a local cheesemaking family), so that they could focus on talking with retailers and especially distributors. I took care of talking product with passers-by.

                            I had a blast doing it, and meeting a few luminaries like Ina Garten, Clark Wolf (well, I already knew Clark...), Michael Chiarello, Chuck Williams (yes, he was there - frail, but still right in the middle of it, bless his heart!).

                            Another trend, in addition to those mentioned above, was gluten-free, which is a godsend for me and others who have gluten-wheat sensitivities. I searched out each one and sampled.

                            One category that didn't impress were all those "energized, vitaminized, hopped-up" waters. There was one that was supposed to really get you going, and one of my colleagues said it made her feel sleepy! Great!

                            It's a wonderful community when you see it from the inside. Everyone helping each other, sharing their products, talkin' shop. I'm looking forward to next year!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: cmvan

                              I would love to hear reports on the gluten-free products if there was anything good.

                            2. For those of you who attended........what were the 3-5 top surprisingly neat products you found? Trends are nice, but new "stuff" is always interesting! Web links appreciated

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                                Since the show is over and this thread about how to best navigate this show is outdated, we're going to lock it.

                                We hope those who attended will share your input on this thread:
                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/591213