In Uncategorized on May 22, 2013 at 10:49 am
Renee and I are on the road again at the Sweets and Snack Expo in Chicago. There are 15,000 attendees from 70 countries representing a 300 billion dollar industry. With more than 3 acres of candy and snacks to sample, we are up for the challenge….or are we?!
In the lobby of the convention center they had these fabulous candy wrapper dresses on display!
There is no show I’ve been to quite like the Candy Show. It’s a little like going to Disney.
It took us two days to eat our way through the show as every booth has tons of samples (a trip to the dentist may be in store for both of us!) I wonder just how many calories are in a bite of pickle popcorn, Tabasco jelly beans, Serrano chili cotton candy, green apple turkey jerky, candied centipede and chocolate Pringles?! And that was just in the first 1/2 hour! They give you giant bags for carrying your haul. It reminds me of Halloween when I was a kid, dumping my bag of goodies out to see what you got. As a self proclaimed candyaholic, I’ve had enough!!! FREE SAMPLES AT PALMERS TOMORROW!
Although all we’ve highlighted is our candy experience, we also found a bevy of healthy snacks, yummy cookies, and tons of holiday items you will just love! We are on our way home today so we hope to see you all in the candy aisle soon!
Cindy and Renee
In Uncategorized on January 23, 2013 at 11:14 am
Megan and I have had a couple of hectic days trying to finish up the show. On Monday, the Convention Center was so crowded you could hardly get down the aisles, no less try to see what the vendors were selling! Luckily by noon we were out of the convention center and onto a bus tour of independently owned markets around the San Francisco area. The bus was filled with an eclectic mix of manufacturers, small coffee and cheese merchants and grocers from as far away as Australia and Korea. It was fascinating to discuss the different challenges we all face in our businesses.
It is absolutely amazing how much merchandise these city stores can pack into such a small space. One of them was only 3,500 sf and they had 90 employees working elbow to elbow! Their back storage room was filled from floor to ceiling with boxes. Gene, I hope you appreciate all that wonderful space you have down in the basement! While all the stores had their own unique flavor, it really made us realize that……DAMN WE HAVE A BEAUTIFUL STORE!!
Yesterday the show was much less crowded and we were able to see all the booths. We have found so much great new merchandise and we can’t wait to share it all with you. Not only did we find great new products, Megan and I are bursting with new ideas and can hardly sleep. Our brains are working on overtime!
After the show, we took ourselves on a few more store tours. The four Whole Foods we visited out here are much grungier than the new ones back East. Sad to see how they’ve let their stores decline. Another store that was recommended to us was the Berkeley Bowl. BIG STORE! Their produce department was more than 3,000 sf. It was insane!!!! Because they have such a diverse range of people that shop there, we saw produce we never knew existed. It was fascinating!!!! I’m always on my managers about signage and sign holders. Well, Mike, you guys in produce would have gotten a kick out of this….their signs were written on white butcher paper and held onto the displays with paper clips. Not exactly up to Palmer’s standards.
It’s been an exhilarating trip and has re inspired both of. We can’t wait to get back and share it all with you!!!!!!
Cindy and Megan
In Uncategorized on January 21, 2013 at 11:17 am
Hello everyone, it’s Megan this time!
Yesterday was our first day in San Francisco and I just woke up and can barely move. Yesterday, my mother/ boss/ got me up at 7 am to climb the hills of the city for an hour before we spent the entire day walking around the show. I thought my feet hurt after that, but then I was informed that I had to earn my dinner by walking the 2 hilly miles there. After eating a lovely meal I was ready to go into a food coma and climb into my bed, but was quickly reminded that, “in honor of Renee” there would be no taxi on the way home and that I must walk the 2 miles back. As I said, I can barely move this morning.
The first day at the Fancy Food Show was really a bit hectic. We waited in line for 30 minutes just to get our tickets and the trade show floor was packed with people. Our first stop was to visit Attavola, the Italian importing company that took me to Italy last September. All of the products I brought in did so well that we sat down to place a re-order and see their new lines. You can definitely expect to see the risotto mixes, the taralli and the ceramic olive oil bottles back next spring along with a new line of cookies, amazing pestos, chocolate Easter eggs and so much more.
After our meeting we started to walk the show. It turns out that I am the sacrificial lamb when it comes to eating all the weird stuff. Whenever a vendor managed to grab our ear and force us into looking at their weird product my mother always says “Oh Megan would love to try that!”. Thanks Mom, thanks a lot. Sea weed chips, calorie free noodles made from cellulose, some sort of drink with little creatures floating around in it and a big spoonful of fish sauce (actually I volunteered for that one, and it really was good).
In addition to trying lots of weird stuff, we also found some great new lines. Healthy snacks are everywhere as well as ethnic food, nut mixes and artisan beverages galore. Throughout the day we kept running into these booths jam packed with people. At first, I thought that they must have some really amazing products to get these people packed in like sardines….then I saw the television screens. Oh……football! The entire city was going crazy as San Francisco took on Atlanta. People were waiting in line for the bar at 9:30 am and by 5 pm we saw a girl driving around, honking her horn and flashing everyone in the middle of Union Square. Even the homeless people seemed excited!
This morning were off for another WALK, followed by a 5 supermarket tours. Luckily there taking us to them by bus!
Have a great day,