Imagine Costco on a Sunday times one thousand. That is perhaps the best way to describe the Fancy Food Show, a three-day trade show that ended in NYC today. Buyers and sellers of 'fancy food' come together for this event, to meet, greet, and sample wares.
As someone who can spend a good hour or two just browsing the aisles of a grocery store in search of new products, this event was of particular interest to me. While most buyers were more interested in talking about boring things like 'shelf life' and 'inventory turns,' I was eager to see what new things our food industry was busy dreaming up. As should be expected, I mainly found snack foods at the event: chips, crackers, cookies, chocolate, cheese. This is nothing new. For years, these categories have been the source of growth in the food industry, the products in which countless marketing dollars and energy has been spent. Not exactly the core of a well-balanced diet.
I did see lots of the new health buzzwords at the event such as 'raw' and 'gluten-free' and 'organic.' And it was exciting being in the room and taking samples of coconut macaroon dark chocolate, salsa with live probiotics, and agave-sweetned raw gelato.
Yet I think my body's response to the whole event one hour later was telling. I was still hungry! This even after I gravitated towards the 'healthier' options. My body was still in search of nutrition. And despite all the marketing claims to address health and wellness trends, I would have probably been better served with eating basic whole foods that have been around for centuries.
Still there was something appealing about seeing all the entrepreneurial energy in the room. I was charmed, entertained. But in the end, I still needed a complete meal.