Italy will be the first country to partner both the winter and summer editions of America’s largest specialty food fairs, the Fancy Food Shows, the organizers announced at a glitzy event in New York.
“In this geopolitical environment, it’s very impressive that Italy has stepped up at both shows. We have never done this before, we have never had a country that has taken both years and continues to invest in quality and innovation,” said Phil Kafarakis, president of the Specialty Food Association that organizes the trade events.
The presence of Italian companies at the Fancy Food Shows has grown consistently over the years to reach an average of 400 exhibitors at the Summer edition alone, said Donato Cinelli, president and CEO of Universal Marketing, the exclusive agent for Italy of the SFA.
“We are the only country to have had this opportunity, it’s a huge opportunity to be partners of both editions of the show,” Cinelli said.
“There is great demand of Italian products here in the United States. There is this affinity between the US and Italy that has continued for more than 30 years since we have organized the Italian participation at the Fancy Food shows,” Cinelli said.
THE ITALIAN FOOD AWARDS JOIN SAN FRANCISCO
The 2020 editions of the Fancy Food shows will include a new showcase of the Italian Food Awards USA. The awards organized by Italianfood.net are regularly announced at the Summer edition that takes place in June in New York. From next year, the winning and the finalist products will also be presented at the Winter edition in San Francisco.
“From now on, every time we have the Awards in June, we will have the winners and runner ups in San Francisco,” Cinelli said. “We will have a special area dedicated to the Italian Food Awards. They will not be in the pavilion but in an area where you have innovative products,” he said.
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The Italian pavilion in New York will have a new area on the Trade Level, the most important of the show, Cinelli explained. “In 2020, 2021 and 2022 there will be even more space for Italy,” Cinelli said.
As for the exhibitors, a new fresh focus will be given to innovative Italian startups that are trying to position themselves in the US market, the largest export destination for Italian products outside of the EU. Italy is the first supplier in the world of wine, olive oil and pasta to the United States.
In San Francisco, Italian chefs and producers will participate in live cooking events where buyers can try new products and learn about their authenticity, Kafarakis said.
“The winter edition is off to a great start. It’s a double-digit growth for buyers,” the SFA president said. “Don’t worry about the tariffs! When other countries are backing away this is your chance to take even a bigger lead,” Kafarakis said in a message to Italian companies.
Innovation will be key at the Summer edition. “Buyers will see innovation from Italy. We cover all the buyers and Italy will be the right in the middle of it,” he said.