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!

Foodable Labs Releases List of Most Photographed Restaurants of 2017

Foodable Labs Releases List of Most Photographed Restaurants of 2017
  • Uber Eats is using proprietary data to suggest virtual restaurant ideas to operator partners

  • Uber is dominating the food delivery game and new experiment suggests more to come

On this episode of On Foodable Weekly: Industry Pulse, we're looking at Uber Eats' newest experiment, virtual restaurants

That's right, the tech giant is taking another leap into the restaurant industry. This time, they're using their stores of data from UberEATS to analyze gaps in food offerings in American cities.

For example, Uber saw that a community in Chicago was searching the UberEATS app for fried chicken. But with no fried chicken-focused restaurants in the, area Uber approached one of their operator partners with the information. Knowing that SiPie Pizzeria had the right equipment, Uber proposed the idea of a whole new restaurant focused on fried chicken that is available only through the UberEATS app. The new concept, Si's Chicken Kitchen has since surpassed the original concept in delivery revenue. 

Watch the episode above to learn more about Uber's innovation in the restaurant industry. 

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Eataly Coming to Boston's Prudential Center

Italian

Italian food fanatics, you're in for a treat.

Earlier this year, the Boston Globe reported that revered chef, writer, restaurateur and media personality Mario Batali was close to opening Eataly at Back Bay's Prudential Center. A recent release from Boston Properties confirmed this 45,000 square foot high-end Italian food market will be serving Bostonians in 2016.

This food emporium will be a multi-level space consisting of multiple quick and full-service restaurants, a café, wine bar and shop selling handmade pastas and other imported Italian goods. While there are 27 established in Italy, Japan, Dubai and Istanbul, Boston will be Eataly's third U.S. location outside of New York and Chicago. 

How will Eataly change the industry in The Hub? Read More

Markets, Food Halls, and an Eataly Expansion

Foodable WebTV Network

Foodable WebTV Network

From the recent rise of farmers markets and food halls in the States, it’s not hard to see that foodies are eating up this model of gourmet (yet affordable) food and drink offerings under one roof. Whether niche (like Eataly) or broad, each compartment/station offers a different, new experience. Parallel to food transparency and the new wave of foodies (read: they’re everywhere!), this model brings social dining and quality product perusing to another level.

Reigning supreme is Eataly, which, as you already know, branched out to Chicago this past year from New York. And it seems the Italian megastore has bigger plans in store. A source close to the New York food community allegedly claimed recently that Eataly will expand to D.C., Los Angeles, and Philly, with another location slated for New York City. Read More

A 'Disneyland of Food' is Coming to Italy, and Eataly is Behind It

Foodies, make sure to start working on building up your appetite: a larger-than-life “Disneyland of food” is hitting the scene, and Eataly is behind it. The catch? You’ll have to make a trip to Italy to enjoy it. Teaming up with the municipality of Bologna, what will be called Fico Eataly World is being built to create more jobs and ignite economic activity. The theme park venture will house restaurants (of course), as well as grocery stores, food labs, an aquarium, and other food-centric outlets. Bon Appetit! Read More

Photo Credit: Eataly

Photo Credit: Eataly