SFA Live: Making Good Food Available for Everybody

The Summer Fancy Food Show offers a chance for innovators to share new flavors and products they hope will revolutionize the food industry. Host Paul Barron welcomed a number of leaders in the industry to the live stage this year during the signature Specialty Food Association (SFA) New York City event.

Two noteworthy interviews were with Dino Borri, the vice president of Global Partnerships for Italian marketplace and restaurant Eataly, and SFA President Phil Kafarakis. Barron chatted with Borri and Kafarakis about developing key partnerships and the ever-growing consumer demand for specialty products.

Dino Borri, Eataly VP of Global Partnerships

Born in a small town in Piedmont, Italy, Dino Borri has lived and traveled worldwide promoting high quality food and the Italian lifestyle.

Borri first joined the food industry in 2000 to work for Slow Food, an organization that branded itself as an Italian response to the growing popularization of fast food. The grassroots organization swiftly went global, campaigning to protect dying or forgotten local food cultures and traditions. Eight years later, Borri brought that knowledge to Eataly and began launching new branches of the combination store and restaurant in Japan and in multiple locations throughout the continental United States.

“We’re a window for small producers,” says Borri. “I’m happy when I see one of our original products in other chains and retailers. One of our goals is to expose the producer to other retailers — we’re not jailers about that. There’s so much good food in the world, and good food should be for everybody.”

Founder Oscar Farinetti designed Eataly to have the same products used by the restaurant available for purchase in its adjacent marketplace. At present, forty stores have been established worldwide — and according to Borri, another Eataly location in Texas is in the works.

Check out the video above to learn more about Eataly’s mission and Borri’s thoughts on the growing popularity of artisanal and specialty products.

Phil Kafarakis, SFA President

Phil Kafarakis handles the day-to-day operations of the SFA, overseeing the management of more than 3,400 member companies within the $120 billion specialty food industry. The Summer Fancy Food Show is the largest specialty food show in North America, with over 200,000 specialty foods featured. Hundreds of food companies were in attendance this year from states including New York, California, New Jersey, and Florida, and over fifty countries were represented. Germany was this year’s partner country.

“Our mission is to bring the community together to learn, network, and connect,” says Kafarakis. “When you leave here, we want you to feel like you did some business. There’s an outcome — not just information.”

Looking ahead, Kafarakis shares that the organization has seen “explosive growth” in the beverage industry. “Beverage is going to be a bigger part of what we do.” Specialty foods as a whole represent the fastest growing segment in the food business, growing at a rate nine times faster than traditional foods. In addition to expanding its membership policy, Kafarakis shares that the organization is eyeing international possibilities.

“You can’t do everything all at once,” he notes. “But the infrastructure has been built. We’re going to take some steps to see how the brand fits into the interests of our members.”

Check out the video above to learn more about the future of SFA and current specialty food trends!

FDA Sets Date for Public Hearing on Legalizing CBD in Food and Drinks

Shutterstock

Shutterstock

It seems like overnight that CBD products have become wildly popular.

CBD, the legal non-psychoactive compound known scientifically as cannabidiol, is derived from the hemp plant. Unlike marijuana CBD only contains just a hint of THC, meaning it doesn't give you a "high."

Congress legalized hemp-derived CBD on a national level back in December and this fueled the CBD market boom. But this week, the food and Drug Administration set the first public hearing on May 31st to discuss how to regulate CBD food and beverage products.

“It’s critical that we address these unanswered questions about CBD and other cannabis and cannabis-derived products to help inform the FDA’s regulatory oversight of these products — especially as the agency considers whether it could be appropriate to exercise its authority to allow the use of CBD in dietary supplements and other foods,” said Scott Gottlieb, FDA commissioner on Tuesday, as reported by “CNBC.”

We recently reported that a few beverage giants, including Coca-Cola and New Age Beverages Corporation, are looking into developing cannabis beverage lines.

However, the FDA’s rules prohibiting CBD infused food and drinks has made companies hesitant.

But this doesn't mean there isn't a lot of potential, especially on the state level.

The Hemp Business Journal anticipates that the CBD market will be a $2.1 billion market by 2020, which would be a 700 percent spike from 2016.

Depending on the outcome of the hearing, larger companies may be more inclined to jump on the CBD bandwagon.

As for states like Colorado where marijuana is legal, some current regulations have put a major halt on this market's growth.

"Substantial proposals are predicted to unleash an influx of money from larger investors into the state’s $1.5 billion-a-year industry while setting the stage for home marijuana delivery and limited public consumption of marijuana — the latter measure aimed at resolving an issue that vexes tourists and renters alike," writes "The Denver Post."

Basically, Colorado companies are struggling to compete with companies in other states because of the current investment rules. But Colorado lawmakers and cannabis business owners are fighting for bills that will promote growth in this sector. Read more at "The Denver Post" now.

Earlier this year, we decided to take a closer look at the CBD craze and some of the companies leading the way with innovative hemp products. Watch the episode of On Foodable below to learn more about the culinary cannabis movement.

Yogurts Changing the Snacking Game

Consumers' eating habits are constantly evolving and the millennial population is paving the way.

According to a 2017 survey by Surverygoo, commissioned by Welch’s Global Ingredients Group, 92 percent of millennials (consumers between the ages of 18 and 35) are replacing full meals with snacks. Specifically, 26 percent of those surveyed eat a snack over a meal about four times a week.

This trend is only gaining momentum as more consumers adopt healthier lifestyles.

As snacking increases, the more diners are looking for grab-and-go options at restaurants and at grocery stores.

One of the most loved snacks on the market remains yogurt. Yogurt brands have been ahead of the curve when it comes to catering to those with dietary restrictions, which is more important in today's market than ever.

“Consumers want to eat in ways that address real dietary concerns, but they can’t do it alone. They need help from food manufacturers to offer products formulated with an eye towards food sensitivities and other specialized diets, and they need help from retailers to stock shelves with a proper assortment of foods that cater to a wider variety of consumer needs,” said Andrew Mandzy, Director, Strategic Insights, Nielsen.

In the On Foodable Feature video above, FoodableTV Host Layla Harrison is tasting five different "yogurt" options including Oikos Greek Yogurt, Siggi's, non-dairy Chobani, Kite Hill Vanilla Almond Milk Yogurt, and Noosa Yoghurt.

Several of these options cater to health-conscious eaters.

Siggi's, for example, has 25 percent less sugar, along with no preservatives, no artificial coloring and is made with real fruit. Both the Kite Hill and Non-Dairy Chobani are plant-based.

Watch the video above to learn more about these yogurt-like options and see which one Layla likes the best.

Why are Coffee Chains Attractive to Franchisees?

Cold Brew Coffee |   Shutterstock

Cold Brew Coffee | Shutterstock

U.S. coffee drinkers have an average of three cups a coffee a day, according to the National Coffee Association and 51 percent of coffee drinkers in the U.S. drink gourmet coffee.

In Britain, 80 percent of the population visit coffee shops once a week, as reported by the Caffee Society. There has been significant growth in UK market.

In the U.S., over 50 percent of Starbucks chains are still corporate-owned. But this is not the case in the UK. where "Starbucks does operate a franchise model of operation and only about one in five Starbucks in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa are company-run," writes "Forbes."

While Starbucks is still very much expanding, other gourmet chains like Costa Coffee are also on the rise.

Coffee shops offering unique brews and beverages are catering to today's adventurous consumers. Not to mention, consumers are willing to invest in premium coffee options– making the profit margins higher for operators.

"Coffee drinkers have also become much more sophisticated in their tastes - just stand and take a look at the menu in your local coffee shop next time you're there," writes "Forbes." "From different blends to added flavor shots, iced drinks to coffee beans with ethical provenance - this gives business owners not only more option to expand the range on offer without diluting the core product offering, but also means that consumers are willing to pay high prices for a premium coffee product and profit margins can be significant."

Unlike other restaurant chains, coffee franchises are often attractive to operators who are looking to own several stores because they all can be established in the same area.

"Find success with a first franchise branch and then it’s easy then to open more within a short distance and appoint managerial staff to run them. The reality is that most people won’t walk far for coffee. This then means that one franchise can quite realistically operate a number of franchise units within a relatively short geographical distance," writes "Forbes."

In a past episode of The Barron Report, Host Paul Barron predicted that 2018 would be the year of coffee infusions and he was right. Watch the video below to learn more about how coffee chains with unique blends will be the ones that consumers gravitate to in this saturated market.

The CBD Craze Is Taking the Food Industry by Storm

In this episode of On Foodable, we’re exploring the latest industry craze: Cannabidiol. Popularly known as CBD, this cannabis compound has non-psychoactive effects, unlike those felt from ingesting substances containing THC. In recent months, CBD and its uses have not only increased in popularity amongst health and wellness fans, but have also gained traction from the medical community. This trend isn’t going anywhere, as science begins to support the overwhelming anecdotal evidence in the herb’s favor. Studies have found that CBD helps boost gut health, decreases inflammation, and can be as effective as anti-anxiety drugs.

Today, CBD can be found in almost anything; from gummies and chocolate bars to honey and bitters, there are plenty of ways CBD can be used that you might not have thought of, making Culinary Cannabis one of our most watched trends. During this episode, we’ll take a closer look at a few CBD-infused products that are taking the industry by storm.

Cordial Organics

Cordial Organics is a new generation of clean beauty products formulated with CBD to help you change the way you think about your skin and body. All of their products are made with CBD, extracted through a supercritical CO2 process from medicinal grade hemp grown in the USA, meaning they offer one of the cleanest forms of CBD extract possible. In addition to their beauty line, they’ve created a few edible products, including “Celebrate Bitters.” With just ½ - 1 dropper of the bitters to any beverage or cocktail, you can feel relaxed instantly without the “out of sorts” feeling, thanks to the low dosage of CBD.

Luce Farm

Hemp farmers Joe and Rebecca, both firm believers in natural living and healing alternatives, are the husband and wife duo running Luce Farm in Vermont. Although CBD can be found in many plants, the compound is most abundant in the hemp plant, which Joe and Rebecca grow, process, extract, and test right on their farm site! Luce Farm has created many products, including Hemp Honey. Each jar contains its high-quality CBD extract with certified organic coconut oil and raw Vermont honey. Each teaspoon of honey contains 10 mg of CBD for a total of 360 mg of CBD per jar.

Just CBD

Just CBD was founded on the premise that CBD is nature’s secret miracle. When taking a look at the industry, they felt the CBD business was consistently misrepresented and taken advantage of. Just CBD makes it their mission to keep customers aware of what’s in their products with the help of world-class labs that do all of their testings. Just CBD Peach Rings offer 500mg of CBD per jar, which equates to 25mg of CBD per piece.

Kickback CBD Cold Brew

Not only is Kickback’s CBD cold brew coffee organic, gluten free, and vegan… it’s also a perfect balance between caffeine and hemp to give your body the energy surge it needs without jitters or overstimulation. Instead of forcing your body to adjust to high levels of caffeine from regular coffee, Kickback has made a “functional chill” possible by adding CBD to their 100% single origin and shade-grown coffee beans that are infused with the highest quality hemp available. Their concept is “energetic harmony,” a calm, energizing feeling felt from drinking their CBD coffee.

New Age Beverages Corporation

New Age Beverages Corporation plans to be the leader in CBD health drinks, according to Forbes. The company recently announced their plans to release a line of CBD infused drinks under their current relaxation beverages Mellow Mood, inspired by reggae legend Bob Marley to promote mindful, healthy living. Marley+CBD Mellow Mood is packaged in 15.5-ounce cans and contain 25mg of pharmaceutical grade CBD per serving in three different flavors: Herbal Honey, Lemon Raspberry, and Peach Raspberry. “After successful showcasing of the Marley CBD line at the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco this month, New Age received orders from grocery retailers across the U.S.,” New Age CEO Brent Willis said during an interview with Forbes.

Has the Culinary Cannabis movement caught your attention, too? Hear our take by watching the video above.