This year the Summer Fancy Food Show recorded the highest attendance ever, with over 2,670 exhibitors showcasing their products from all over the world and thousands of international visitors.
One big takeaway from the event is the unprecedented record growth of the specialty food industry, which in 2015 hit a record $120.5 billion in sales in the United States only. From gourmet chips to pickled everything, from kombucha products to cold brews of any kind and nut milk, the US market for food and drinks appears more attractive than ever.
Italian products took the central stage during the Fancy Food, with over 300 brands (from the largest to the smallest) in attendance. Still today, Italy is recognized as one of the leading countries when it comes to food and drinks.
Given the large room for investment and growth in the US market for potential Italian food products, choosing the right approach to the market proves itself to be fundamental in order to best take advantage of the positive market trends. Having the right partner in communication in the United States is where everything starts.
For instance, this year we noticed Whole Food’s buyer, AnaMaria Friede, attending the event in incognito. Many producers would approach her attempting to make sure their product would end up on Whole Food’s shelves, still one of the most prestigious food retailers in the United States with more than 435 stores and $15.4 billion worth of goods sold in 2015.
However, not everybody knows that Whole Foods has extremely strict criteria in terms of ingredients allowed in the food it ends up carrying. Many producers were saddened to hear that, further proof that in-depth knowledge of the inside-outs of the food industry are paramount in establishing a brand here in the United States.
Overall, this year’s Summer Fancy Food Show confirmed the growing trend of an American consumer more and more interested in organic products with traceable origin and ingredients. Italian food products, inherently already advantaged because of the renowned high quality of the ingredients, seem to have a profitable market where to expand presence.