The Specialty Food Association (SFA) and the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) have formed a strategic partnership focused on the $127 billion specialty food category. The relationship will bring together the trade associations’ members to bolster business development, take part in food safety training, and boost understanding of the burgeoning specialty food industry.
Americans are embracing specialty food and beverages, with sales hitting $127 billion in 2016, according to the Specialty Food Association’s (SFA) annual State of the Industry report. Retail sales grew slightly more than 15 percent from 2014. Sales for all products in the market grew 2.3 percent, according to Mintel.
"Specialty foods outpace their non-specialty counterparts in nearly every category, presenting a unique opportunity for a wide variety of retailers and foodservice operators to increase sales,” said Phil Kafarakis, president of New York-based SFA, adding that the planned “business-building programs with our respective members” would have “a positive impact throughout the industry.”
The SFA’s Summer Fancy Food Show, scheduled for June 25-27 at New York’s Jacob K. Javits Center, will serve as the launchpad of the new partnership, with FMI members invited to attend the event’s new SFA LevelUP attraction and participate in a customized buyers program with SFA manufacturers, Biz Builders 1:1. This initiative unites pre-matched buyers and sellers for one-on-one meetings just ahead of the Fancy Food Show, creating tailored sales opportunities.
Additionally, FMI food safety experts will lead educational opportunities at the Summer Fancy Food Show, sharing trends and outlining how new technology affects food safety, brand protection and consumer confidence. Such activities will serve to build awareness of FMI’s Safe Quality Foods (SQF) Institute Certification programs for manufacturers and the FMI SafeMark for retailers.
Pictured: Phil Kafarakis, president of New York-based SFA, left, with Leslie Sarasin, president and CEO of FMI.