Winter Fancy Food Show 2019 Show Highlights

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The fastest-growing segment of the food industry, specialty food, is gathering in San Francisco, California for the Winter Fancy Food Show from Sunday, January 13 through Tuesday, January 15. Presented by the Specialty Food Association (SFA), a not-for-profit association with over 3,800 members, including food artisans, importers, buyers and entrepreneurs, the show features 1,400+ companies exhibiting over 90,000 specialty foods – something for every palate.


“The Winter Fancy Food Show is where retail buyers, foodservice, and others in the food industry come to see just how much innovation is happening in our space,” said Phil Kafarakis, SFA president. “With the best of the best under one roof, we provide the first-of-the-year venue for tasting the trends, learning, networking, and conducting critical business to make 2019 a success. We’re also thrilled to be the first facility-wide event in the newly renovated Moscone Center. Come on by!”


The largest for specialty food on the West Coast, the show features specialty food companies from around the world. California boasts the largest state presence with more than 370 food companies, followed by New York and Oregon. More than 30 countries will be participating in 16 international pavilions, the largest from Italy, Japan, and France.  



  • Incubator Village: Food incubators help new businesses get up and running. Incubator Village will feature seven food incubators showcasing 41 companies.  
  • Education Sessions: The SFA is presenting a full program of workshops and business-building seminars at the Show to help startups, established manufacturers, and buyers with all levels of expertise succeed in the ever-changing marketplace. All sessions open to press, space permitting.  Full Schedule
  • sofi™ Awards Winners Showcase: Since 1972, the sofi Awards have helped the SFA advance culinary excellence and creativity worldwide by recognizing the outstanding work of its member companies. The sofi Awards present the 150+ Winners for the Specialty Food Association’s 46th sofi Awards for outstanding specialty foods and beverages of the year.
  • Leadership Awards Ceremony: The Leadership Awards will celebrate the outstanding modern contributions of three Association members: Citizenship, Lisa Curtis, Kuli Kuli Foods, Oakland, CA; Business Leadership, Miyoko Schinner, Miyoko’s, Petaluma, CA; Vision, Patrick Mateer, Seal the Seasons, Chapel Hill, NC. The ceremony takes place on Sunday, January 13 from 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm.
  • Front Burner Pitch Competition: Three exhibitors will pitch their foodservice-ready products to a panel of buyers in this live competition, hosted by celebrity chef Robert Irvine. The competition is on Monday, January 14 from 5pm – 7pm
  • Disruptors Panel: The SFA President Phil Kafarakis hosts Danielle Nierenberg, president of Food Tank, and Michele Simon, executive director of the Plant Based Food Association to explore how the food system is changing and must continue to change to meet future needs. The session runs on Tuesday, January 15, 9am – 9:45am
  • What’s Next in Food – hosted by Future Market and Seeds&Chips: This interactive exhibit will showcase why sustainability and biodiversity are important to the future of food. Global innovation and unique responses to food waste will be highlighted. Tastings of underutilized foods that are innovative, delicious, and functional will also be available. Participating companies in Future Market: Believe in Bambara, Kaibae, Kuli Kuli, The Jackfruit Company, and Yolélé. Participating companies in Seeds&Chips: Abbot's Butcher, Biome Makers Inc, Cambridge Crops, Clara Foods, Especially Puglia, Farm From a Box, Fellow, Fora, Full Cycle Bioplastics, ImpactVision, Imperfect Produce, LiveKuna, Living Greens Farm, Lumen, Nom Noms World Food, Renewal Mill, Seedling LLC, SoulMuch, TerViva, Tiny Farms. South Building, Level 2.
  • Taste It Live! With food demos and sampling right on the exhibit floor, Taste It Live offers buyers and press a new way to learn about products directly from manufacturers. This is an intimate “beyond the booth” experience, with a stage and seating for 35. Demos will take place throughout the three days of the show. Taste It Live is in the North Hall, Booth 6075.

Food Recovery Donation: In keeping with their long tradition of giving back, exhibitors donated over 37,000 pounds of specialty foods after last year’s Winter Fancy Food Shows. This tradition will continue in 2019 when exhibitors are expected to donate thousands of pounds of meat, cheese, produce, confections, and snacks to the Specialty Food Foundation, which in turn donates the products to the Food Recovery Network.



Patti Neumann is Founder of & an award-winning 21 C website & blog. She is one of the region's top Social Media Publicists and Influencers on food, sips, hospitality & the good life. has its finger on the pulse of what's hot in the world of food, cocktails & travel trends.

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