Each year at the Summer Fancy Food Show, I enjoy tasting hundreds of delicious new specialty foods and meeting new friends, but I especially love to return from the show with camera full of crazy photos of the fun and creative displays and props that exhibitors use to attract show-goers to their booths — because the competition is fierce! Most years, Belgian Boys Bakery puts together a visually engaging and whimsically-themed display that does justice to the company’s line of scrumptious desserts. This year, that theme was all about Pink Things, as you can see here by this Hot Pink Plastic Pineapple resting on a bed of pink sand. Yummy! Stay tuned for more photos of the pink things spotted in the Belgian Boys’ booth once I get my Summer Fancy Food Show 2019 photo recap online, later this month!
There is no delicate way to put this: when you share a home with other people, maintaining the quality of the bathroom “atmosphere” is an ongoing consideration. It’s easy enough to light a match or spray some room fresher into the air, but when a solution that’s both discrete and longer-lasting is desired, I’ve got just the thing for the occasional malodorous situation: POTTYMINTS.
I discovered POTTYMINTS at the recent New York Now home show, when I was trawling the aisles fro free stuff and was charmed by their attention-grabbing booth display, featuring an
extra tall toilet with an extravagant bouquet of flowers extending from its bowl to the ceiling. Very impressive! I stopped to talk to POTTYMINTS representative, Matthew Grobman, whose sister and business partner Suzanna Grobman, invented the product after taking a vacation (my guess is they went to Mexico) with her then-boyfriend-now-husband. You can read an abridged version of what I assure you is an hilarious story here.
Matthew gave me a few sample packets of POTTYMINTSto try at home and here is what happened next.
Behold, the POTTYMINTS displayed on the seat of my toilet! Please note that correct use of the POTTYMINT involves waiting until after the flush (#theafterflush)!
After flushing, drop one POTTYMINT into the clean water and watch it go!
The POTTYMINT will effervesce and dissolve, leaving the air sweet smelling for, not even kidding, a few days! POTTYMINTS are sold in assorted sizes, including a small packet perfect for traveling or just keeping in your purse or bag. All packaging embraces a minimal-yet-elegant design aesthetic — like something you would find in the bathroom at a very fancy hotel and want to take home with you! POTTYMINTS come in two very appealing fragrances: Arancia di Capri (Citrus) and La Fleur (Light Floral). These varieties are effective and impart a fresh and enduring scent without becoming cloying, as some sprays or atomizers can be.
Find out more about POTTYMINTS, and get a 10% discount on your first purchase, at This Link!
Food bloggers, restaurant owners, gourmet vendors, and other assorted foodies alike kicked off the summer in style with the three-day tour de force that is the Summer Fancy Food Show, which took over Manhattan’s massive Javits Center in its entirety from June 26th to 28th. Summer Fancy Food is the most exciting Specialty Foods Association event of the year, and SFFS16, as it will now be known in food tradeshow history, did not disappoint!
With over 5,000 exhibitors from around the globe, the SFFS is virtually impossible to thoroughly distill. In fact, this was the single largest show ever held at Javits to date! As usual, we arrived with an appetite, a huge empty bag, and eyes wide open for spotting the most striking booth displays, stand-out product packaging and most unusual products of the show. Here are some of our favorite discoveries!
Kate Weiser Chocolates are miniature works of confectionery art, and they taste just as good as they look!
Key Lime Pie Bon Bons, Anyone? They are almost to beautiful to eat! Check Kate Weiser out online at the hyperlink above!
Continuing with foods that are stunning to behold, check out this display featuring Gelarto Italian Ice Cream!
Gelato master Luca Grassi has been carefully crafting this award winning gelato in Turin, Italy since 1986 ! You can taste the quality ingredients in every mouth watering bite.
We couldn’t help but linger at the Gelarto booth; with so many luscious gourmet flavors, we had to sample a few!
Feast your eyes on this colorful tower of gourmet French Macarons from Dana’s Bakery. We tried the strawberry (pale pink, third row up from the bottom) and immediately declared this Macaron to be the Best Ever!
Oh my! The deluge of psychedelic colors coming from the Goodie Girl Cookies display gave us acid flashbacks! Located close by in New Jersey, Goodie Girl makes tiny, delicious gluten-free cookies that will knock your socks off. We are especially partial to the Midnight Brownie variety. Mmm…Brownie…
Meet Goodie Girl owner and founder, Shira Berk. She’s fabulous. And dig that crazy dress! What a vision with a vision she is.
We also ran into a few men bringing their vibrant fashion sense to the tradeshow floor, including Damir Redzepagic from Frisa Beverages.That suit is just amazing, and Damir is fairly easy-on-the-eyes as well.
Frisa are the makers of very tasty non-alcoholic, ultra-premium European botanical sparkling beverages that offer unique flavor profiles including Black Currant Rosehip, Elderflower, and Ginger Hibiscus. Frisa is kosher, and has ony 100 calories per bottle. Sadly, we did not get a good, close-up photo of the bottles, as we were visually distracted by other things. But we can tell you that the Elderflower variety is just fantastic tasting. We are going to try to do a separate review of Frisa Beverages in the near future, so stay tuned to the blog!
Attention all Amateur Mixologists: the Wild Hibiscus Flower Company has introduced a line of 100% natural flower extracts that can be used to create all sorts of cocktail magic. The Rose + Hibiscus variety is a top favorite of professional bartenders. With the hibiscus flower’s mixed-berry-esque taste, this unique product can be used like bitters, with just a few drops per cocktail adding a vibrant pink color (are we thinking Cosmos? Sure we are!). It also goes particularly well with mescal, or added to a glass of Champagne.
Even more exciting; B’Lure, a bright blue extract made from Butterfly Pea Flower magically changes the color of clear drinks from blue to purple with just a squeeze of citrus. We saw it demonstrated right before our eyes! Fancy!
And check out these Preserved Hibiscus Flowers that you can add to a glass of Proseco! Visit Wild Hibiscus Dot Com for recipe ideas and more product information!
For the second year in a row, top accolades for Best All-Around Booth and Signage goes to Pop Art Gourmet Popcorn of Salt Lake City!
If you read our rad recap of SFFS15, you may recall that Pop Art won this distinguished honor courtesy of their Popcorn Disco Ball! This year, they took that idea a few steps further, creating an entire booth shaped like a halved Disco Ball! Amazing! No other booth even came close to being so impressive. Also, check out that eye-catching Neon Sign!
Pop Art has just launched its gourmet Mash-Ups, a blend of two popcorn flavors in one tempting bag of yum — Feta Cheese & Honey Caramel being an example of a Mash-Up that makes our brains explode with delight. Visit Pop Art online at Pop Art Snacks Dot Com!
Over at the Foods from England Pavilion (or whatever it was called; you get the idea) we found a few fun products including Farraday’s Tasty, a family-owned business that specializes in gourmet Mayo, Relish and Chutney products. We love their slogan: The Lake District in a Jar!
You know how much we love mayo, right? So, imagine what it was like to taste Faraday’s Tasty Wasabi Mango Mayo. Holy Green-Headed Cow with a Globe on its Noggin — that is tasty!! Explore the world of Farraday’s Tasty at Stay Tasty Dot Com.
British Comedian Eddie Izzard once asked the burning question: Cake Or Death? And the answer is: “Cake, Please!” Especially when the cake is from Mr. Kipling!
Look at all of those delicious tiny cakes. Just look at them. Imagine the Mad Tea Party you could host with that kind of a spread? Get all the sweet stuff you need to know at Mr Kipling Dot Co Dot UK!
Jelly Belly Baking Mixes: It is a Thing.
Description of Chuao Potato Chip Chocolate Bar: Creamy milk chocolate, a sprinkle of sea salt and that irresistible potato chip crunch. The Potato Chip Bar combines two of the most crave-able creations on the planet for total taste bud domination. Yes, Please!
Yes, it exists: Cookie Pop Oreo Flavored Popcorn.
We do not know exactly what Juice Mud Jelly is, but we bet it comes from Asia! Fruit with a face on it gets a thumbs up for inclusion in the SFFS 16 recap!
The Matzo Project wins this years favorite product buzz phrase, because Would It Kill You to Try Something New? We tried the Cinnamon Sugared Matzo. It was, not surprisingly, delicious!
Everything Dog in a Blanket: Sold!
Mackies Haggis Potato Crisps. They taste like Haggis!
Aw, look at these crazy little monster dudes that are the mascots for Volcano Popping Candy! How cute are they? So darn cute.
And while we’re on the subject of cuteness, surely it does not get much more adorable than tiny, smiling faced-jars wearing a striped sweater and a beret! Le Squee!
PetitPot Pot De Creme is delectable french pudding that tastes simply divine, and comes in a jar, for easy access snackin’. PetitPot Pot De Creme comes in lots of yummy flavors and is made, of course, with lots of care and high quality ingredients. Visit their Website for more information!
Do you like delicious flavored coffees and do you also own a Kurig? Brooklyn Bean Roastery unveiled lots of sensational holiday coffee flavors with colorful and clever theme packaging to match!
Visit them online at Brooklyn Beans Dot Com!
Every year, we always find the most hilarious signage and packaging among the many exhibitors in the Hot Sauce aisle and SFFS 16 was no exception. Todd’s Inner Beauty Hot Sauce has an angry Tiki God on the bottle.
He is angry, so he is hot, get it? And what a fun name this sauce has!
Spyce Sauce — which, REALLY spicy — gave away this crazy little mascot guy at their booth. Super fun.
Blair’s Death Sauce stayed on-theme by decorating their display with fun Chili Peppers with Horns and Devil Duck Toys!
We wanted to steal this excellent coffin-shaped platter! Bone Appetit indeed!
Casa Maya Salsa embraces it Mexican heritage with a label that proudly boasts a colorful Sugar Skull on each jar. Their booth was no-frills but nevertheless a minor work of art, because you can never have too many skulls.
Bacon and Jam Mash-ups also continue to be on-trend, and we tasted a couple of good ones. Terrapin Ridge Farms Hot Pepper Berry Bacon Jam covers all the flavor-profile bases for an artisan condiment that says “You must have me in your pantry!” right on the label. Well, it doesn’t really, but it should.
Does The Bacon Jams (soon to be known as TBJ Gourmet) have the best brand mascot in a guitar-playing, shade-wearing pig? Maybe.
Let’s see, what else did we eat at SFFS 16? Oh Yeah! Way Better Snacks — a brand we have mad love for already — had this for us to nosh on:
It’s a Taco To Go: all of the Taco ingredients you crave, tossed in an easy-to-carry half of a chips bag! Way Better Nacho Cheese Tortilla Chips brought the crunch!
And here’s a more traditional, Spicy Beef Taco, which we picked up at the booth for Chef Rick Bayles’ Frontera Salsa! He is very handsome.
Get product information and recipes at Frontera Fiesta Dot Com!
Do you like Pancakes and also Dessert? Then you might be interested in Belgian Boys Mini Pancakes — which are appropriate for either option.
Check out the Chef making Belgian Boys Mini Pancakes right in the booth! She had mad skills.
We ate them, and we would do it again.
And now, as we wrap up another year of food, folks and fun at the Summer Fancy Food Show, we’d like to give a shout out to Graeter’s Ice Cream.
They did not have a fancy booth but, gosh darn it if they didn’t serve the Best Ice Cream of the Show!
See you next Summer, SFFS!
For a food blogger, there is no better way to kick off the summer in style than with the three-day tour de force that is the Summer Fancy Food Show, which took over Manhattan’s massive Javits Center in its entirety from June 28th to 30th. With over 5,000 exhibitors from around the globe, Summer Fancy Food is the most exciting Specialty Foods product showcasing event of the year for restaurant owners, gourmet vendors, and foodies alike!
As usual, I went with an empty tummy, a huge swag bag, and eyes wide open for spotting the most striking booth displays, stand out product packaging and most unusual products of the show. Here are some of our favorite discoveries!
Simply Baked makes eye-catching packaging for baked goods, treats and gifts. They even have cupcake cups that go right into the oven and come out ready to serve! I appreciated the pink popcorn and cupcakes that were part of an overall visually enchanting display.
Salad Shotz makes Kid Friendly Salad Dressings with all natural ingredients, that will appeal to the adult palate as well. Chocolate Chip salad dressing, mmmmm.
I imagine it was fun for the folks at Buen Sabor to drive their Empanada-serving VW Bus right up to and inside of Javits Center!
Promising Food Truck Flavors Without the Line, Buen Sabor nevertheless attracted a consistent queue with their delicious offerings of frozen empanadas in tempting flavors like Plantain and Cheese, and Beef Picadillo.
Lolea Sangria is an exceptionally delicious beverage that comes in both red and white varieties and is as distinctive for its flavor as it is for its red and white polka dot bottles that recall the work of Japanese pop artist Yayoi Kusama. When I brought it up, no one at the booth had heard of her.
Morfat is how I felt when I was only about a tenth of the way through the show! And don’t these cakes look delicious!
Kefla Glass Bottles from Germany come in so many different shapes, sizes and colors, but I loved the ones that look like little shoes!
Barnana Organic Chewy Banana Bites is one of the most original and great tasting snacks I’ve encountered at any food show, anywhere. Unfortunately, they did not have free samples to take home at their booth, and when I tried to surreptitiously pilfer a bag from their display, I was caught red handed. The shame.
Mocktails brand non-alcoholic cocktail beverage alternative comes in this neato, totally reusable Cocktail Shaker packaging! Adding alcohol is allowed, at your discretion!
Fundelina Chocolate Hazelnut Spread was mistaken by me for Nutella. I bet that happens a lot.
Serendipity 3’s Frozen Hot Chocolate Mix gets bonus points for having Satan depicted on its packaging. I imbibed my first Frozen Hot Chocolate at the age of 18 years and still recall how it made me feel drunk, even though it contains no alcohol. Mysterious! And now you can prepare one at home, in a variety of flavors no less!
Best Mobile Display goes out to Brian Levin of Perky Jerky!
Blue Isle Mediterranean dairy products had a String Cheese on display at their booth that was the size of a small infant. Impressive!
In line for Best Slogan/ Tag Line is Smari Organic Icelandic Yogurt with “Strong, Like My Mother.” Also, I love the Spoon wearing a Viking Hemet. Valhalla, I am coming!
Four Words: Beer Flavor Jelly Bellys.
Fancy Food is so huge, it has room to feature aisle after aisle crammed with hundreds of hot sauce products. These booths provide the best photos ops you could imagine. Let’s take a look!
Red Robot Hot Sauce, features a cute little Red Robot on its label!
Fat Cat Foods makes an extensive line of spicy sauces, but this Bacon Sriracha was my favorite. I bet it tastes insane.
The labeling on Bone Doctors BBQ Sauce is like a work of Fine Art.
I put Empire Mayonnaise at the top of my list of booths to visit when their friendly PR Rep told me in an email that one of her favorites sayings was, “Hating Mayonnaise Does Not Make You Interesting.” They gave away little jars of their delicious gourmet mayonnaise. Best Booth Ever.
I also didn’t see as much candy at this year’s show, but we were impressed by Strawberry Hill Candy’s Empire State Building Lollipops. New York City!
Cracked Candy may be capitalizing on the still-trending popularity of all things Breaking Bad (one representative in the booth was shamelessly sporting a Heisenberg-esque Pork Pie Hat) but this sweet stuff is sugar and gluten free, non-GMO and diabetic friendly, so it’s all good! Say Their Name: Cracked Candy!
Wine Sticks (tag line: “Sass with your Glass”) from South Carolina’s The Sweetery are thin, crispy biscuits (cookies) that pair with wine and can even be dunked! I enjoyed tasting several varieties with a glass of red wine, and company co-owner/founder Jane Jarahian was a sweet and attentive lady.
Aside from having an awesome name, Steve’s Ice Cream took home a coveted Sofi Award in the Category of Outstanding Ice Cream, Gelato, or Frozen Treat for their Speculoos Cookie Butter Ice Cream! My personal favorite flavor though was the Southern Banana Pudding. Mmmm, Ba-na-na.
I was already at the point of exploding when I hit the Brownie Points Bakery booth for a sampling of their assorted mouth-watering, home made brownies and popcorn treats. They were baking fresh brownies right in the booth! Heaven.
Wouldn’t this multicolored popcorn make a fun party favor? Sure it would.
Sexy Pop Snacks always creates a bold presence with their brightly colored bags of chips and popcorn that come in all kids of yummy flavors.
Boulder Granola (tag line: “Unleash Your Inner Hippie!”) brought a much smaller VW Bus into the Javits Center (see below) but, dang if the don’t embrace a memorable and vibrant brand identify with their psychedelic flower power Bus logo/backdrop and commitment to being Organic and Gluten Free.
And finally, let’s wrap up this thing with the Pop Art Snacks Gourmet Popcorn Booth, which got everything right! From the clever product name and Lichtenstein knockoff artwork to the Neon Logo and the custom-made Popcorn Disco Ball — this brand really made themselves stand out from the crowd! Owners Mike and Venessa (who, like me, are big Pop Art fans) started out in Brooklyn and relocated to Utah where they are growing the brand and enjoying great success! We hope to see them back at Javits for FFS 2016 next summer!
The Summer Fancy Food Show – which is sponsored by the Specialty Food Association – takes over NYC’s Jacob Javits Convention Center for three days each July, and it is the most fun thing imaginable for people who like food. This year’s event took place from Sunday June 29th through Tuesday July 1st, and while you really do need three days to “do” the show, I had to cram my visit into just one day (Sunday). My foodie friend and fellow writer Anne and I blazed a trail across three floors and two entire wings of Javits, coming away with very full tummies, even fuller bags of food swag and samples, and a ton of (mostly) hilarious photos, some of which I will share here. Enjoy!
Gummi Candy Bandaids – taste like fruit!
Whoop Ass Hot Sauce Bottles that look like little Cowboys.
Hotter than Hot. In other words, Very Hot.
Now, this is a great product! Just add alcohol!
To demonstrate how delicious this butter is, they fried bits of cheese in it.
I wish had had made a note of the exhibitor in the booth where I took the picture above, because he was a complete dick to me. Dick.
Pink Hot Chocolate
Black Heart Licorice
I wonder if Bethenny Frankel is their spokesperson?
It’s a Birthday Party in a Bon Bon!
Giant Easter Candy Display from Sweet Works Chocolates!
Just Mayo: a mayonnaise product from Hampton Creek made with plant emulsifiers instead of eggs. Just Delicious!
Takeya Iced Tea’s Gets Super Arty.
Mr. Cucumber Head for Rick’s Pick K.O. Pickles!
Whirley Pop Popcorn Popper!
Sexy Pop Popcorn for use with the Whirley Popper!
Counting Sheep Coffee: Relaxing Coffee with Valerian Root. This product was a big hit at the show!
Red Velvet Cake Flavored Milk Chocolate.
Pulque Can Mariachis!
One of the great finds of the day was Holy Crap Breakfast Cereal. Anne and I asked the lady in the booth why it is called Holy Crap, and she replied, “Because it is very high in fiber!” “Ohhhh…” we replied in unison.
Icee Cherry Cake Bite Petit Four.
These little statuettes are Sofi Awards – “Sofi” standing for Specialty Outstanding Food Innovation – which are awarded to outstanding specialty foods and beverages across 32 awards categories. These Sofis belong to Dancing Deer Baking Company.
The GoGo Gang. To make you “go” I guess.
3D Sugar Cake Topper by created by 3D Systems.
Coco Libre Coconut Water Giant Inflatable Display!
For more information on The Fancy Food Show, visit the Specialty Food Association’s website at This Link. See you next July!