Specialty Food Magazine

JUL-AUG 2012

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.

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Page 81 of 207

&KHHVH &R QRZ +HUNLPHU Foods), Tobler Chocolate, French Expositions in the U.S., Inc., Knorr-Swiss Soups, and the Netherlands Trade Commission. Despite the name "National," the Show was decidedly international in its scope. What one reporter described as the "massive" French section included many suppliers of items imported from France, their GLVSOD\V XQLÀ HG E\ D FRPPRQ FRORU scheme and insignia. Similarly, the Netherlands Pavilion LQFOXGHG EDQQHU Á \LQJ ERRWKV showing more than 40 brands of contemporary and traditional Dutch products. A ribbon-cutting ceremony ZLWK LQWHUQDWLRQDO Á DYRU RSHQHG the Show: Henri Beaujard of the French Embassy carefully cut a lollipop ribbon with gingerbread scissors. Once inside the Show, attendees strolled among open booths facing carpeted aisles. Enhancing the exhibit area were "a gay assortment of painted scenery and colorfully displayed products," as well as attractive female models. Retailers were offered panel discussions with themes ranging from gift basket packing to building merchandising displays. The 1955 Show was an astonishing success. Post-event media proclaimed, "Never have we seen or heard of a new Show JHWWLQJ RII WR VXFK D À QH VWDUW µ Exhibitors reported buoyant sales À JXUHV 2QH VXSSOLHU UHPDUNHG WKDW VDOHV ZHUH VXIÀ FLHQW WR MXVWLI\ building a plant to produce larger quantities of his product. The early Shows made lasting impressions on those who exhibited and attended. Terry Grinnan was an impressionable young man working for the family grocery business in Rochester, N.Y., in the mid-1950s. He recalls with fondness the wonderment RI KLV À UVW 6KRZ LQ WKH +RWHO Astor Ballroom—seeing all those salespeople in one place, learning about so many new and different products, getting to sample exotic Á DYRUV³LW ZDV KLV À UVW WDVWH RI real caviar. Association membership and participation in the Show became increasingly desirable. Since the beginning, people not associated with the specialty food trade were trying to sneak in. An article appearing shortly after the inaugural Show reported, "A number of people who attempted to bluff their way into the exhibit area were turned away after they were unable to name a single supplier with whom they did business." Minutes from Board of Director meetings in the mid-1960s advise careful screening of attendees to prevent inadvertently admitting ´Á \ E\ QLJKWµ EXVLQHVV SHRSOH not committed to bettering the industry, some of whom tried to solicit business from attendees. Another Show-related concern was the loss of trade goods and products either through thievery or behind-the-scenes gifting. Member Hank Norton is quoted in 1969 as consoling members by noting the Fancy Food Show was not the only trade show to suffer mysterious disappearance of goods: "At the Motorboat Show at the Coliseum, I am told they lost a 40-foot cruiser," he said. As the breadth of products and types of retail outlets expanded over the years, so did the educational program at the Show. Among the popular seminar topics were gift A VISUAL FEAST A Special Exhibit Celebrating 60 Years of NASFT History Visit the exhibit at the Summer Fancy Food Show or at specialtyfood.com/avisualfeast packaging and baskets. Two men from Philadelphia's William Penn Shop presented gift packaging demonstrations in 1960 and 1961. Show educational programs now include more than 40 workshops, seminars, master classes and special events annually, with topics ranging from the signature 1964 | The Fancy Food Show moved from Hotel Astor to the New York Coliseum, which is today the site of Per Se and a Whole Foods Market.

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