2012 PRESS RELEASES
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May 4, 2012
VIRGINIA HOSTS LARGEST STATE PAVILION EVER AT THE SUMMER FANCY FOOD SHOW
Contact: Elaine J. Lidholm, 804.786.7686
The Summer Fancy Food Show on the East Coast is a big deal for the specialty food trade. With its sister event on the West Coast, the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT) brings in more than 40,000 attendees from 80-plus countries to see 260,000 innovative specialty food products each year.
The summer show takes place June 17 through 19, 2012, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., and it’s a big year for Virginia. The state’s companies will showcase their wares at the Virginia Pavilion sponsored by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS). It will be the largest state pavilion ever at a NASFT International Fancy Food Show. It will include 36 booth spaces represented by 32 Virginia companies.
The Pavilion will be located in Hall B – booth numbers 2922-2933; 3022-3033; 3122-3133. The total number of Virginia exhibitors, both inside and outside of the Pavilion, was 48 as of April 26. That includes a VDACS Information Booth in space number 2929. Virginia foods at the show include confections, snacks, spices, ethnic foods, hot sauces, peanuts, ham, potato chips, oils, natural and organic products, fruitcakes, sparkling ciders, pasta, pudding, cakes and cookies, gluten free products and much more.
According to NASFT, total sales of specialty foods in 2011 were $75.14 billion, with $59.74 billion retail sales. The specialty food industry continues to enjoy spectacular growth, outpacing most sectors within the U.S. economy. From 2009 through 2011, sales of specialty foods rocketed by 19.1 percent. Sales at retail grew 9.2 percent between 2010 and 2011. “We just concluded our 2012 Food and Beverage Expo in March,” said VDACS Commissioner Matthew J. Lohr, “and it was our best year ever for the event: the greatest number of vendors, a huge number of buyers and an estimated million dollars in sales. We are going into the summer food show with very high expectations. I encourage buyers from across the state and around the region to join us in D.C. and to visit our Virginia producers to sample and buy their products.”
One of the highlights of the 2012 Summer Fancy Food Show will be the 2012 sofi™ Awards Ceremony. These awards from the NASFT are the highest honor in the specialty food industry. On Monday, June 18, the sofi™ Gold winners will be announced at a ceremony featuring Chef José Andrés. The following six Virginia Exhibitors are 2012 sofi™ Silver Finalists:
- Ashman Manufacturing Co. of Virginia Beach – KIMKIM Korean Hot Sauce
- Blue Crab Bay Co./Bay Beyond Inc. of Melfa – Surf Doggies™ Gourmet Virginia Peanuts with Spicy Honey Mustard Seasoning
- S. Wallace Edwards & Sons, Inc. of Surry – Jowciale, an Italian bacon made from the meat of hog jowls, a much-sought delicacy in central Italy
- Route 11 Potato Chips of Mt. Jackson – Mama Zuma’s Revenge Potato Chips
- Mediterranean Gourmet of Ashburn – Argan Oil
- Hard Times Chile Spice Co. of Alexandria – Hard Times Chili
Lisa Lloyd, Coordinator of the Virginia Pavilion, said, “As soon as buyers enter the show floor, they will know that Virginia is here in a big way. Large Virginia’s Finest banners will mark the three complete aisles for the Virginia Pavilion. Our anchor booths will be several larger, well-known Virginia companies that will attract key buyers to the Pavilion. Those buyers then get an automatic introduction to a wide variety of new Virginia companies and products.”
Click here for more information and a list of exhibiting companies from Virginia.