Finding New Foods and Trends at the Summer Fancy Food Show
Last week, eight Babson MBAs attended the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York—the fourth consecutive year that Food Sol has been able to facilitate free student access* to the Show through our educational partnership with the Specialty Food Association.
The cohort met first with Ron Tanner, VP of Philanthropy and Industry Relations for the Association and later with natural products consultant and Food Sol Fellow Bob Burke MBA’87 to discuss industry trends and how best to walk the Show. From there, they set out to explore the 2,600 exhibitors representing more than 80 countries.
We caught up with the students after the Show to see what left an impression…
So what inspired you most at the Show?
Sean O’Neill: The sheer variety of flavors and techniques on display. There had to be at least 25 companies just making water, from hydrogen-infused to “tree”-based. It’s incredible!
Josh Wolfson: How open and welcoming the food business community is to newcomers. Also, the great validation and feedback I received for my food startup.
Will Lohr: All the food trends coming, which seem to be grounded in sustainability.
Any new food finds you are particularly excited about?
Audrey Scagnelli: I fell in love with Rango Sonoran Mesquite Honey. It’s from the Arizona desert and has a drier consistency and smoky-ish aftertaste. But that’s not the best part: 100% of their profits help fund assisted-living housing for adults with autism.
David Finger: A company called Ocean Huggers that is creating fishless sushi. Their main product tastes just like tuna!
How do you hope to make an impact in food?
Melissa Castro: By sharing the stories behind the people that make the food, the people that sometimes don’t get the credit they deserve so they can receive appreciation and know that they are not alone.
Diego Pastor: By creating new healthy dishes and selling them in my healthy fast food chain in Mexico.
* There is no general Student pass to the Show. You must attend through an institution that has a relationship. Babson holds this honor, alongside Cornell, Drexell, Rutgers, University of California at Davis, Oregon State University and St. Joseph’s—all schools with robust food and agriculture programs.