California Specialty Food Makers Stand Out at Winter Fancy Food Show Largest State Showing at Leading International Trade Event

California lives up to its reputation as an incubator for food trends with more than 360 specialty food makers from the state showcasing their latest culinary innovations at the Winter Fancy Food Show.

Now in its 37th year, the Winter Fancy Food Show is the largest marketplace devoted exclusively to specialty foods and beverages on the West Coast. There will be 1,300 exhibitors from across the U.S. and 35+ countries and regions. California has bragging rights as the largest showing from the U.S., with almost four times the exhibitors as next-largest, New York, with close to 100 exhibitors.

The show takes place January 15 – 17 at Moscone Center in San Francisco. Italy has the largest international pavilion, followed by Germany, France and Canada.

California products include jalapeno fig jam from Riverside, chia seeds from Livermore, vegan chocolates with banana filling from Irvine and Candy Cap mushrooms from Napa.

California companies were well represented in the 2011 sofi™ Awards for the outstanding specialty foods and beverages of the year, with six food makers taking home coveted gold awards in the most competitive contest to date. The awards, presented by the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade, Inc. (NASFT), owner of the Fancy Food Show, are the top honor in the $70-billion specialty food industry. All 35 gold winners are on display in a special showcase (Lower Lobby, between North and South halls). A complete list of winners is at

“This year’s show is our largest ever in San Francisco,” says NASFT president Ann Daw. “Our California exhibitors, with their passion for food, spirit of innovation and diverse product offerings, are a major attraction to buyers from around the world.”

Check out some of California’s award-winning vendors here

  • Three Twins Ice Cream, Petaluma – organic ice cream
  • Mia’s Kitchen, Sonoma – pasta sauces, olive oil, vinegars
  • Enray, Livermore – whole grains and sprouted foods
  • Recchiuti Confections, San Francisco – chocolate bars and hand-made confections
  • Just Tomatoes, Etc.!, Westley – dried fruit and vegetable snacks
  • Sierra Nevada Cheese Co., Willows – goat milk yogurt
  • Cup 4 Cup, Yountville – gluten-free flour
  • Koda Farms, South Dos Palos – sweet rice
  • Gabbi’s Mexican Kitchen, Orange – hot sauces, infused oil
  • Savor California – Bringing together dozens of specialties from 27 niche producers statewide

California sofi Gold winners:

  • Anette’s Chocolates – Chili Lime Tequila Tortilla Brittle
  • San Ramon-based Brands of Britain – Fever-Tree Ginger Ale
  • Chaparral Gardens – Blackberry Balsamic
  • Chuao Chocolatier – Spicy Maya Hot Chocolate
  • DOGSWELL® – Veggie Life Vitality Chicken & Sweet Potato
  • Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company – Point Reyes Original Blue Cheese

[flagallery gid=2 name=”Gallery”]