Winter Fancy Food Show Returns to San Francisco

The 37th Winter Fancy Food Show is on track to be the largest ever on the West Coast. Amid healthy demand for specialty food, more than 17,000 buyers from across the U.S. and around the world are expected to attend the show, the largest marketplace devoted exclusively to specialty foods and beverages on the West Coast.

The show will take place Jan. 15 – 17, 2012 at Moscone Center in San Francisco. Registration is now open at http://www.fancyfoodshows.com.

Food artisans, importers and entrepreneurs from 35+ countries and regions will present the latest in chocolate, cheese, olive oil, spices, ethnic specialties and natural and organic products. There will be 80,000 products on display, including jalapeno olive oil from Lodi, Calif., masala-flavored popcorn from Chicago and vanilla fleur de sel ice cream from Atlanta. American cheese makers and craft brewers will be featured in nearby pavilions from the American Cheese Society and the Brewers Association.

International offerings will include new twists on tea from India, quinoa from Peru and meats from Poland. Italy returns with the largest international pavilion, the Flanders region of Belgium makes its first show appearance, and Japan and China will present a wide array of foods.

“The Winter Fancy Food Show promises to exceed last year’s strong event in terms of exhibitors and attendees as buyers look to source innovative products and updated classics to feed growing demand for specialty food,” says Ann Daw, president of the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade, Inc., the show’s owner.

A full menu of seminars and workshops includes how-to sessions for both beginning and experienced food entrepreneurs, and a trio of tastings of olive oil, specialty salts and pepper and artisan cheeses. At the end of the show, exhibitors plan to donate food to area food pantries served by Feed the Hungry, an anti-hunger organization. Last year’s donation reached 1,700 people in need.

Show highlights include:
• Exhibitors representing 35+ countries and regions.
• 17,000 buyers from top names in retailing and foodservice in 50+ countries.
• Pavilion featuring 30 emerging food entrepreneurs in a special NASFT program for start-ups.
• What’s New, What’s Hot showcases featuring hundreds of on-trend products in natural and organics, holiday, and new offerings from NASFT Diversity members.
• Expanded Business Builders 1-to-1, customized match-making program for buyers and suppliers
• sofi™ Awards Showcase, featuring the Gold Winners of the NASFT’s annual food awards.
• Tours of San Francisco food artisans and trend-setting retailers.
• 22 seminars and workshops, including The Basics: The Business of Specialty Foods, Top 10 Mistakes a Beginning Manufacturer Makes, and Responsible Sourcing.