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Archive for the ‘Kitchenwares’ Category

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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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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I’m very excited about what’s been keeping me busy for the past couple of months–namely, pulling together our 2011 event schedule, which I’m happy to announce includes three completely new events, each focused on a specific health issue.

Here’s a link to the official press release: http://pitch.pe/84484

Since 2005, Food Fête has produced two press events annually — one in January in San Francisco, and the other in June in NYC — each timed alongside that big trade show known for “fancy” foods (Disclaimer: Their lawyers prefer I refrain from mentioning their name).  The one exception was last fall when I added a regional food event by taking a small collection of artisanal food products from Oregon to New York, which press attendees loved by the way.

That got me thinking.

Healthy eating and foods aimed at specific health conditions are flooding the pages of food magazines and blog posts, so maybe it’s time to create a platform for products that address specific health issues.  So, that’s what we’re doing. While we’ll continue producing our annual January and June events next year, we’re adding three new health-focused events in New York City, which will showcase:

  • food products for people with food allergies
  • healthy foods for kids
  • glycemic-friendly foods for diabetics

If you follow the specialty food industry, you probably already know the aforementioned food trade show is temporarily moving from New York City to Washington, D.C. in 2011 and 2012.  Based on my informal research with NYC-based media who regularly attend our events, there’s a good chance many won’t make the trip to D.C. due to tight work schedules and travel budgets.

That’s why our flagship summer event will remain in New York City for 2011 and 2012.  The San Francisco event is already scheduled for Monday, Jan. 17, 2011, and we’re still finalizing the date for the New York event in June.  By the way, our January and June events will not be themed, and open to all product categories.

If you’ve done the math, that means Food Fête is producing five events in 2011.

A couple of other changes are also in store for next year, which I’m anticipating could get mixed reviews.  First, we’re saying goodbye to the media gift bag as you’ve come to know it.  We’re a very lean operation, and given our expansion plans, I must commit every resource to producing the most meaningful events possible.  That means not spending time and manpower managing the logistics of receiving hundreds of cases of food products, then sorting and stuffing 175 bags in a matter of hours.

As Food Fête has grown, so have the challenges of creating the gift bag.  This past summer, we even tried outsourcing the gift bag assembly to a fulfillment house.  It sounded good on paper, but in trying to accommodate far too many exhibitors who missed the fulfillment shipping/delivery deadline, what should have been a time and resource-saver turned into, well, let’s just say the opposite of that.

I’m the first to recognize the sample distribution component of the gift bag is important to companies without the resources to do it themselves, so I am looking into alternatives that meet the same objectives, but without physically creating a bag.

For the past two summers, the gift bag has actually grown into two bags, which the media have commented are heavy and  cumbersome to deal with as they leave our venue.  We’re also attracting a growing number of perishable products at our events, which obviously cannot be added to the bag, so “schwag” gets substituted in their place — something I don’t want the gift bag to become.

On the positive side, exhibitors and their agencies will no longer have to deal with the cost and hassle of shipping cases of product, hoping it arrives on time and in tact — because sometimes it doesn’t.

We’re also eliminating the “Networking Level” participation option.  We typically have only a few participate at that level each event, and after evaluating the pros and cons, I’ve decided it no longer supports our growth strategy.  Since we’re eliminating the gift bag, the stand-alone, gift bag-only option is also gone.

My hope is all the positive changes will outweigh any perceived negative ones, and that everyone is looking forward to our new health focus in 2011. The media have already indicated they’ll support multiple themed events, so we’re anticipating a record year.

The 2011 event brochure will be available soon, at which time we’ll also be accepting applications for all of next year’s events.

Use the comments section to tell us what you think about our plans for 2011.

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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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FFSF10 Brochure Cover Pix

It’s hard to believe that when our Winter 2010 Food Fete event rolls around on Jan. 18, it will mark our sixth year.  Lots of fun has been had and lessons learned in that timeframe.

We’re now accepting exhibitor applications for the Jan. 18 event in San Francisco.  Unlike our New York event, which draws many of the consumer food and lifestyle magazines based in NYC, the San Francisco event is more regional and attracts more bloggers and online media.

And for those who’ve attended both, the SF event has a different vibe.  It’s a smaller event, so things are more intimate.  And if last year is any indication, the media bave a great time (the wine and cocktails help in that regard) meeting with food companies and each other.

Download the event brochure and exhibitor applications at www.foodfete.com/forms.html or from the “Forms” section on this blog.

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Whew, what a week.

It happens each summer about this time — when we’re about 30 days out from our media event — that a flurry of activity takes place both on the exhibitor side and media RSVPs.

Perhaps it’s those food and beverage companies that have been on the fence about exhibiting finally pulling the trigger to move forward, or maybe the PR priorities shift to the summer media activities, and Food Fete becomes top of mind.  In either case, it’s nice to see that despite a recession, food companies are still making PR a priority and turning to Food Fete as one of their platforms.

The media RSVP list topped 100 yesterday, and today stands at nearly 110.  I’m particularly impressed by the consistently high caliber of media planning to attend. As in years past, the consumer print food media are well represented, combined with online sites and food bloggers.  Three people asked me today what the ratio of print-to-online media is for Food Fete, and a rough calculation showed that about 25% fall into the purely electronic category.

We’re not quite sold out of exhibitor tables, but I hope to reach that threshold soon.  It was around this time last year when we hit capacity, enabling me to shift my focus from event marketing to event production and logistics. If you’re interested in one of the remaining tables, email me at jeff (at) foodfete (dot) com.

I continue to be grateful to the companies and media who keep supporting Food Fete each January and June.

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I don’t even need to try it to know why this…

is NOT better than this…

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