Specialty Food Magazine

JUL-AUG 2013

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

Issue link: https://www.e-digitaleditions.com/i/139333

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Page 7 of 217

FROM THE PUBLISHER At Home in New York R ecently I spoke with a number of people in the food trade about this year's return to New York for the Summer Fancy Food Show. Most of us agreed while Washington, D.C., worked well as an alternate location for the event, New York is the natural home for the Show. Several noted that New York fits because it's the foodie capital of America. Another commented on its diverse population with a variety of tastes and history. (There was also one theory about elitists trying to keep specialty food out of the hands of the common man. No joke, I meet a lot of strange people.) But I think there may be another reason for the Fancy Food Show to find New York to be such a comfortable home: Where else would you host an event of such unbridled ambition? All you have to do is look at the people walking into the Jacob Javits Center to get a sense of that drive. You are sure to see people who can be classified as artisans, innovators, entrepreneurs and pioneers—but that's just part of it. The one characteristic that describes most is type A. What I see is a group of driven, competitive individuals who have chosen the specialty food consumer as their target. How else do you describe people who try to carve space out of a business dominated by huge mainstream brands and retailers? Saying it's a David-and-Goliath situation is hardly an adequate description in the case of small specialty food companies making a living in the shadow of massive corporations measuring sales in the billions of dollars. (According to the 2013 "State of the Specialty Food Industry" report, mean annual sales for manufacturers are $1.7 million, for importers $1.8 million and just under $3.3 million for specialty retailers.) A number of key statistics illustrate the pure enthusiasm of this population. The current Summer Fancy Food Show is in its 59th year and is the largest Summer Show ever. There will be an estimated 180,000 products on display with more than 200 first-time exhibitors. More than 2,600 products were submitted for the sofi Awards in the hope of winning one of the 32 gold statues. And this issue of Specialty Food Magazine is our largest with more products in its pages than ever. There are many ways to quantify competitive ambition, but those statistics are a quick look into a community filled with people driven by a strong belief in what they are doing and the willingness to do whatever they can to make sure the world knows about it. And the world—or at least the media—does care. In fact, the pre-registered press list for the Summer Show is stacked with the most influential media in the country. While the Show can thrive in other locations, I don't know that there is any other place where the buzz of opportunity and drive for success are at quite the same level as New York. After all, "If I can make it there…" What I see is a group of driven, competitive individuals who have Matt Thomas Publisher, Specialty Food Magazine mthomas@specialtyfood.com chosen the specialty food consumer as their target. HAVE A COMMENT? Visit specialtyfood.com/mthomas/homeny JULY/AUGUST 2013 5

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