Archive for the ‘Chocolate’ Category

If you love chocolate as much as I do, then Food Fête Chocolat — our first press event devoted exclusively to premium chocolate — was the place to be last Thursday, Nov. 10 in New York City.

Having produced 17 Food Fête events since 2005, this one ranks in my top three personal favorites in terms of overall excitement, energy and engagement between the food press and chocolate brands. Not only was it a fun event to produce, it was rewarding to see unfold, prompting media to comment about the chocolatiers’ passion for their craft (making it very educational), with some media telling me it was one of their best chocolate event experiences.  I also observed a lot of note-taking at this event.

Fourteen exhibitors and about 85 food journalists and bloggers came together to share their knowledge and learn about all things chocolate (modern and even historical), some of the challenges facing cacao growers and, of course, sample lots of amazing chocolate bars, truffles and bonbons from around the world.

There was also no shortage of unique flavor combinations, with Madison Chocolatiers West’s black garlic truffle generating a lot of buzz. Lindt’s Excellence Intense Cranberry bar also created a nice chocolate and fruit combination for the holidays, though it’s available year-round. For the professional chocolatier as well as home confections enthusiast, Truffly Made showed their latest silicone truffle molds, which make truffle production a lot easier. David Lurie Sun Cups, which makes a line of organic, gluten-free and nut-free chocolate candies, had virtually nothing left on their table by the close of the event.  Not a bad way to end the evening.

There was far too much to comment on individually, but it’s safe to say that nothing failed to deliver.

Our 2011 Food Fête Chocolat exhibitors included:

Amano Artisan Chocolate
American Heritage Chocolate, Distributed by the Historic Division of Mars, Inc.
Chuao Chocolatier
David Lurie Sun Cups
Divine Chocolate
Fine Chocolate Industry Association
Gail Ambrosius Chocolatier
Gnosis Chocolate
Hotel Chocolat
The Madison Chocolatiers West
Truffly Made, Inc.

An impressive roster of high-level food writers from top food and lifestyle media outlets were on hand, including All You, Bloomberg Businessweek, Brides, Dessert Professional, Epicurious.com, Every Day with Rachael Ray, Food Network, FoodNetwork.com, Food Network Magazine, Food & Wine Online, Grocery Headquarters, Health Magazine, Huffington Post, Martha Stewart Living, Men’s Health, O The Oprah Magazine, Prevention, TheNibble.com, Woman’s Day and Woman’s World, among others, plus an assortment of bloggers and freelance writers anxious to discover what’s new in chocolate.

As bloggers often do, some began sharing their experiences right away, which you can read below.  I’ll update this list as new posts and/or articles are published.

  • HeyDoYou.com (lots of great exhibitor photos in this post!)

Finally, here are some pics from the event (photos: Michael Harger, Jeff Davis)


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The start of the fall season means planning time for 2012 PR and marketing programs, so I’m pleased to release our 2012 event schedule of media events.

Click here to download the 2012 Food Fete Brochure.

2011 was a record year for Food Fête on several fronts, so we’re keeping with the health-focused events launched earlier this year, with one slight modification. Our regular Winter and Summer Events in San Francisco and New York City, respectively, will continue, as will the Allergen-Free event and Food Fête Chocolat.

The main change for 2012 is the “Healthy Foods for Kids” event will become a broader “Health & Nutrition” event, encompassing not only healthy foods for kids, but also glycemic-friendly foods for diabetics and heart healthy foods, for example.  The goal is to make the event accessible to more brands that are launching new, healthier foods in 2012.

The online exhibitor application for all of our 2012 events is also up, and can be accessed at http://fs19.formsite.com/foodfete/FoodFeteApplication2012/.

Drop me a line at jeff@foodfete.com with any questions.

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One of the benefits of running a small company is the ability to act quickly, which makes it possible for me to shake up our 2011 event roster a bit by adding a new media event this fall focused exclusively on chocolate.

Called Food Fête Chocolat, this new event, scheduled for Nov. 10, 2011 in New York City, gives chocolate companies a singularly-focused opportunity to present their newest and most luxurious creations to an invited group of national food editors and bloggers.  Having produced our Food Fête media events for seven years now, we know what chocolate brands and media want, and see a unique opportunity to deliver it.

A couple of years ago, I helped a former client (who owns a chocolate company) staff his table at a regional, consumer chocolate show. Within minutes, I was stunned by the non-stop flow of consumers stopping by his booth, clamoring for samples. This went on eight hours a day for two days — and this was a relatively small, regional show.

Given what I do for a living, I quickly realized that even if a member of the media stopped by, my client would hardly have a minute to talk to them.  Since I hate missed opportunities, it got me thinking about producing a chocolate-only Food Fête event that eliminates that consumer component, which from a purely PR perspective, is a distraction.

Though too late for the holiday long leads, the timing is perfect for short-lead and online press/bloggers looking for chocolate gifts for the holidays.  With Valentine’s Day and Easter not that far away in 2012, this event also will be good for long-lead media for those holidays.

We’re limiting this event to 20 chocolate companies, to further reinforce the intimate nature and relationship-building aspect of our events.  We want to give media the time to meet every exhibitor and experience their creations.

Chocolate companies and agencies with interested clients can get more information, including pricing, by downloading the Food Fête Chocolat brochure by clicking here, and may apply online at this link: http://bit.ly/FFChocolat2011App.

NOTE: This new Food Fête Chocolat event replaces the “Foods for Diabetics” event originally scheduled for October, which will be pushed back to 2012.

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UPDATED (see new links to media/blog coverage below.)

Food Fête kicked off its seventh year on Monday, Jan. 17 in San Francisco with our annual West Coast media event.

It was our largest West Coast event in terms of exhibitors (26), with media attendance around 55 food writers and food bloggers.

Click here for the list of our exhibitors and their profiles.

Not surprisingly, dairy products continued to be well represented with 8 companies on hand including Tillamook Cheese, Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, California Milk Advisory Board, Emmi Roth USA, BelGioioso Cheese, Chobani Greek Yogurt and Organic Valley.  I, fortunately, am not lactose intolerant, so…

I was glad to see some familiar faces among the media attendees including Amy Sherman (Cooking with Amy/BlackboardEats.com); Joanne Weir (JoanneWeir.com plus her numerous television cooking programs), Jolene Thym representing the Oakland Tribune and her ThePickyEater blog; Anna Wolfe from The Gourmet Retailer, Betty Teller (Napa Valley Register),  Jill Nussinow (TheVeggie Queen) and Richard Turcsik from Grocery Headquarters, among others.

Jane Maynard, one of our first-time blogger attendees, wins the prize for being the first to post her round-up of Food Fete and the Fancy Food Show.

UPDATE: Here are some additional posts:

I’ll continue to post links to coverage resulting from Food Fête here in the coming weeks and months.

We’re now shifting gears to our next two events, both taking place over the next  three months, and in New York City.  On March 1, we’re bringing together a collection of special products for the “Food for People with Food Allergies” event.  The “Healthy Foods for Kids” event takes place on April 25.

Here’s the link to the online application for all of our 2011 events: http://www.bit.ly/foodfete2011.

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Despite a day that began with heavy rains, the skies cleared in time for our Food Fête media event on Monday, Jan. 18 in San Francisco.

Better yet, Monday night set a new attendance record for our West Coast event.  I’m still finalizing the list, but can confirm that we topped the 2009 attendance within the first 30 minutes of this year’s event start.

On the exhibitor side, we set another record with 21 exhibitors, including our wine and spirits sponsors, which were a big hit as always.  Oregon micro-distiller Sub Rosa Spirits served its Saffron and Tarragon-infused vodkas; Patron Spirits poured tequila cocktails with it Patron Silver Tequila; and Sam’s Club used Food Fete as the national debut of its new premium Rue 33 Vodka.

Here’s a link to the full list of exhibitors from our Food Fête media website, and you can see more photos on our Flickr page (more posted later) at http://bit.ly/7pYXdm.

I also must complement our exhibitors for helping make this event one of our smoothest-run ever.  Thanks guys!

Here is some very early blog coverage from the event, and I will update this list as more posts/coverage becomes available, so check back.

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I’ve been collecting online media coverage since our Food Fete event on June 29 in New York.

Please email me any additional links that I’ve missed, and I’ll be sure to add them.

It’s too early for the long lead monthlies, but I’ve been tipped off to some expected coverage later this year.

The Product Pasha (Senor Sangria)
Intrepid Culinologist (multiple exhibitors)
Slashfood (21st Amendment Brewery)
Karen Hochman: Facebook
Bite of the Best (Kernel Season’s)
Bite of the Best (Mirassou Winery)
Bite of the Best (Senor Sangria)
Bite of the Best (Kettle Foods)
Socially Superlative (multiple exhibitors)
Slashfood (multiple exhibitors)
The Village Voice (21st Amendment Brewery)
This Next (Pestos with Panache)
This Next (Stonewall Kitchen)
TheGirlAttheParty.com (Pestos With Panache)
The Product Pasha (Antoine Amrani Chocolates)
Tish Boyle Sweet Dreams Blog (Antoine Amrani Chocolates)
Sustainable Joy Blog (multiple exhibitors)
Cookie (Kettle Foods)

What I Made for Dinner Blog

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

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Our fifth summer Food Fete event was Monday night in New York, and there’s lots to report on, but at this writing, I am (barely) running on about 3 hours sleep after a weather  delay at JFK last night that put me back in Portland at about 2:30 am this morning. Up at 6, so you do the math.

If you’re on Twitter, search for #foodfete for some updates.  Slashfood also gave a nice recap yesterday:  http://eaturl.info/6kzo.

More coming later…

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