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  • Announcements

    Megan Rooney
    Thursday, September 1 at 1pm ET
    On August 9, 2022, USDA published long anticipated proposed revisions to the organic livestock and poultry requirements. Join Attorney Jeni Lamb Rogers as she provides a summary of the rule and points of interest for SFA members to consider before the close of the public comment period on October 11, 2022. 

    Megan Rooney
    Thursday, October 20 at 1pm ET
    Understanding costs and pricing in this business is fundamental to profitability, success, and fluency in customer discussions.  Jonathan Milo Leal, a 20-year manufacturer still working in the trenches on a daily basis, and a long-time teacher of this class for the SFA, will walk you through the numbers from start to finish, and share real-world information and advice. You’ll learn how pricing works, the generally accepted standards for margins, and how to create practical, effective price sheets for wholesale, distributors, and more.  Come prepared for some hands-on math!

    Megan Rooney
    Thursday, October 27 at 1pm ET
    How effectively does your packaging fight for that essential first glance? And once it's got a grip on those eyeballs, how efficiently does it deliver a knockout pitch? To prime your packaging for peak performance, Victoria Ho of SheraCPG will dive into strategic principles, market data, real-life case studies, and industry best practices to empower you with an actionable, innovative toolbox that you can customize to your brand’s current growth stage in anticipation of the next. 
    Whether you’re just breaking ground on design concepts, focused on strengthening your brand messaging, or building stamina for a milestone brand refresh, she’ll discuss how to optimize your packaging as the secret sauce behind your brand. 

    Chitra Agrawal, founder of Brooklyn Delhi, launched the Indian condiment and sauce brand eight years ago with the help of her now-husband, food packaging designer Ben Garthus. In this Spill & Dish episode, Julie Gallagher, SFA’s director of content, chats with Agrawal about the approachability of the brand, how she scales supply chain hurdles, and a key foodservice partnership that's placed her tomato achaar in over a million U.S households.

    SFA members--see below for the August edition of The Digestif, a monthly digest of upcoming SFA events, programs, and deadlines. 

    Shows & Events
    2023 Winter Fancy Food Show 
    The Show will take place at the Las Vegas Convention Center’s newer West Hall on January 15-17, 2023. You can’t afford to miss this Show! Fancy Food Shows are recognized throughout the Specialty Food & Beverage Industry as an effective and fun way to:  
    Identify new products and services to grow your business  Stay ahead of the latest consumer trends   Learn from industry leaders, experts, and pioneers  Establish and strengthen business relationships  Need exhibiting information? Click here. Interested in staying up to date with SFA Events? - Click here. 

    Member Benefits & Updates
    Are You Taking Full Advantage of Your SFA Membership?
    As an SFA Member, you have access to a global community of makers, retailers, buyers, distributors, brokers, suppliers, and other industry professionals who can help your business succeed. And, since SFA Membership is company-wide, everyone in your organization can take advantage of the business-building opportunities, savings programs, and industry connections we offer. Click here to view a list of the most popular membership benefits or contact our Membership Department to speak with someone who can help you make the most of your membership. 

    Products, Resources & Tools
    SFA Product Marketplace Best Practices Webinar 
    We recently hosted a webinar chock full of tips, tricks, and best practices for using the SFA Product Marketplace to grow your business. If you missed the webinar or want to share this resource with colleagues, click here to view it anytime!  
    Learning Center
    Find resources including directories of co-manufacturers, business service companies, distributors, and more.
    Online Education 
    With three different webinar series, SFA has something for you. Interested in the basics? Check out Maker Prep. Looking for the latest on rules and regulations? Regulatory Update can help. Curious about pricing, trends, and issues affecting business? In the Know has got you covered.
    Learn about our August Maker Prep offerings here. Regulatory Update and In the Know will be on hiatus this month, but you can view recent webinars from these series on demand in our Learning Center. Each webinar includes slides and a recording, so you can watch whenever is best for you.

    News & Research Updates
    The State of the Specialty Food Industry, 2022-2023 Edition
    The State of the Specialty Food Industry and 10-Year Category Tracking and Forecasts helps you make data-driven decisions for your business. Purchase this comprehensive research that explores where the market is today and the opportunities and challenges it faces. SFA Members get a discounted price of $499.  Click here to purchase.

    Community Sharing & Observances
    Have an Instagram? Let's follow each other. Every Monday SFA Members participate in #SFAMemberMonday. Tag @specialtyfoodassociation and hashtag #SFAMemberMonday on your Instagram post or story, and we'll repost you on our Instagram story! 
    SFA Members: Tell Us Your Story
    Every Specialty Food Association member has a unique story, set of challenges, and successes to celebrate. And we want to hear about it!
    We’re collecting our members’ stories to share on our Community Hub and in other content platforms like SFA News Daily, the SFA Feed app, or the SFA’s podcast, Spill & Dish.
    Help others by sharing your experiences in the specialty food industry! To participate, sign into the Community Hub and then go here to answer some brief questions. 
    Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
    August is National Civility Month. Observances: International Day of the World’s Indigenous People (9), World Humanitarian Day (19), Senior Citizens Day (21), American Business Women’s Day (22), and Women’s Equality Day (26).  

    Small Bites
    With so much information coming at us from screens of all sizes, we've packaged bite-size bits of information that can be easily consumed. Click below for SFA offerings.

    product marketplace
    Product Marketplace: SFA’s Product Marketplace makes discovering, networking, and connecting so easy. Learn about this exciting Member benefit.

    learning center
    Weekly Webinars: Created to help our Members build their businesses, learn from experts, and create long-term solutions

    news & trends
    SFA Feed: An industry newsfeed app that puts the latest from across specialty food right on your mobile device.

    SFA Community Hub: Explore, ask questions, and connect with others in the specialty food industry.

    Virtual Share Groups: Spaces for mentorship, shared resources, and connections needed to support Members.

    product marketplace
    Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Our product marketplace makes it easy to filter & find minority-owned businesses.  

    Megan Rooney
    With one month left of summer, we have the perfect way to spend your time. Check out two new products in our Learning Center from the Summer Fancy Food Show! Each package is $99 for members, $199 for non-members, and includes slides and recordings, so you can learn whenever, wherever! Please follow the links below to learn more and register!
    Maker Space: https://community.specialtyfood.com/store/product/254-maker-space-sessions-at-summer-fancy-food-show-2022/ Basics: https://community.specialtyfood.com/store/product/253-the-basics-the-business-of-specialty-food/

    Along with his two brothers, Emilio Mignucci spearheaded the second generation of Di Bruno Bros., a Philadelphia-based family-owned specialty food market. After original owners Danny and Joe Di Bruno let the younger generation take over, Mignucci was tasked with bringing the market to the present age, updating pricing strategies, championing ecommerce, and anticipating expansion. In this episode of SFA’s Spill and Dish podcast, George Hajjar, associate editor, talks with Mignucci about the store’s reverence toward its humble roots, and the struggles and joys involved in growing the business.

    Megan Rooney
    Thursday, September 29 at 1pm ET
    Silicon Valley-based Mattson Chief Innovation Officer Barb Stuckey will share some of the secrets of their 44+ years of success in developing and commercializing new products. From conceptual alignment to commercial plant trials, you'll better understand and be able to anticipate the challenges along the path from idea to market.

    Megan Rooney
    Thursday, September 8 at 1pm ET
    Whether you are a manufacturer, co-packer, or company working with these service providers, understanding the intellectual property protections and motivations of each party can illuminate the best practices to follow. This presentation will provide you with the knowledge behind patenting and trade secrets. You’ll learn the answers to the questions: Are both forms of intellectual property protection possible? Is one preferred over the other? And how can each be balanced to allow for the best strategic partnerships for all those involved?

    Consultant Lin Jiang’s grueling work schedule left her longing for the taste and sustenance of the traditional Chinese dessert that her mother made for her at breakfast time as a young girl in China. In this episode of SFA's Spill & Dish, Julie Gallagher, SFA’s director of content, talks with Jiang about how her take on her mother’s black sesame porridge grew from a worktime snack to a convenient specialty that will soon be available in every Whole Foods Market in the nation.

    Have you tasted the most buzzworthy pasta in history? In this special episode of SFA’s Spill & Dish Podcast, recorded live at the Summer Fancy Food Show 2022, you’ll hear the story behind the squiggle with Dan Pashman, the creator and host of The Sporkful podcast and the inventor of cascatelli, plus the wizards who used their noodles to make it, Scott Ketchum and Steve Gonzalez of Sfoglini. Gretchen VanEsselstyn, SFA’s education director, extrudes the fascinating process behind this blockbuster success.

    Julie Gallagher
    This summer issue of Specialty Food features highlights from the State of the Specialty Food Industry report, 2022-2023 Edition; profiles of winners of SFA’s Leadership and Lifetime Achievement Awards, and Hall of Fame inductees; and the sofi Awards 50th Anniversary article.
    More highlights from the summer issue:
    Specialty Food Maker: This section, that includes topics and business news to help producers and suppliers build their operations to stay prepared for challenges, features “Maker Mix” including the article “Authentic Engagement Key to Multicultural Marketing,” “Maker Q&A: A Seat at the Table,” and the Regulatory Update “The Evolving Definition of ‘Healthy’ and its Depiction in a Symbol.” Content Spotlight: “The Revitalization of Pasta and Noodles” Pandemic-driven at-home cooking reinvigorated traditional pasta and now new shapes, functional alternatives, and global noodle varieties are on the rise. Cheese Focus: “What’s New in Fresh Cheeses” These unique cheeses are poised to disrupt standard selections. Read it today!

    Megan Rooney
    Thursday, July 28 at 1pm ET
    For the last few years, Facebook marketing has been the easiest and fastest way to attract new followers, fans, and sales. That is, until recently. Join Jeff Fierberg of SORA Digital to learn proven strategies, new techniques, and fast ways to quickly start to diversify your content strategies, including Instagram reels, videos, story posts and more…

    Megan Rooney
    Thursday, July 7 at 1pm ET
    Over the past three years, the failure to develop a Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) has become the top violation cited by the FDA against food companies. Do you know how to identify whether you are required to have an FSVP and how to begin developing one? Join Attorney Jeni Lamb Rogers as she talks about the FSVP requirements and pitfalls to avoid. 

    Megan Rooney
    Wednesday, August 24 at 1pm ET
    Sarah Masoni has spent most of her career working with food entrepreneurs helping them to understand the essentials of food science and technology. With a little bit of science you can get off to a great start with the new food product you have been dreaming about. Whether you are a seasoned veteran or just getting started, you’ll learn the fundamentals you’ll need from this session.

    Megan Rooney
    Thursday, August 11 at 1pm ET
    A technical review is a key step in your co-packer search process where you have an interested co-packer and now you need to communicate the intricacies of your product to see if your product is a fit for their manufacturing capabilities. It’s not just technical matchmaking; the co-packer is also evaluating your brand and whether they want to take on your project. 
    In this webinar, we will walk through the four main topics to cover so that you can quickly and effectively communicate your product needs to prospective contract manufacturers. 

    Megan Rooney
    Are you an international company looking for advice on how to succeed at the Fancy Food Show? SFA is now offering a tip sheet is designed to help our global community succeed at the Fancy Food Show. With information taken from Passport to Success in the US, you will learn what steps to take before, during, and after the Show to sell your products on U.S. shelves.
    Get your Tip Sheet here today!

    Megan Rooney
    Thursday, July 14 at 1pm ET
    When you’re just getting started with a food business idea, there are lots of decisions to make! In this webinar, we’ll will walk you through the four production options that you should consider and help you understand which option is best for you and your business. You’ll also learn about the factors to consider if you choose to partner with a copacker. Bring your questions!

    Megan Rooney
    Thursday, July 21 at 1pm ET
    The SFA’s State of the Specialty Food Industry research gives an in-depth look at dollar and unit sales data in retail, ecommerce, and foodservice channels; five-year forecasts in key categories; and supply chain insights on how the industry is evolving. Join the authors of the report as they present comprehensive new research that explores where the market is today, the opportunities and challenges it faces, and where it is going. Bring your questions!

    Megan Rooney
    Thursday, June 23 at 1pm ET
    SFA’s Trendspotter panel of buyers, writers, researchers, and industry watchers will put in the hours at the Summer Fancy Food Show 2022, seeking out patterns and predicting shifts in food and beverage categories. After the show, listen in to be among the first to learn about the hottest trends that will take us to 2023 and beyond.

    Julie Gallagher
    Rick Field, founder, CEO, and chief pickler at Rick’s Picks’ passion for pickles began as a child, when he made them alongside his folks during summers in Vermont. In this episode of Spill & Dish, Julie Gallagher, director of content at the SFA, chats with Field about his transition from a TV producer career at VH1; how he built an award-winning brand and forged relationships with foodservice heavy hitters like Shake Shack; and the one thing he recently did, that would only be done “over my dead body,” just a few years ago.
    Listen here, and follow Spill & Dish, an SFA podcast wherever you get your podcasts.

    Julie Gallagher
    Specialty Food’s spring issue explores the restaurant industry’s attempt at coming back from COVID with the feature Restaurant Industry Rebound Relies on Technology, Takeout.
    Specialty Food also presents the perspective of food retailers who weigh on food price inflation and how it’s impacted consumers’ shopping habits. Food makers likewise provide insights on the cost pressures they’ve faced and how they’ve passed along increases to consumers.
    Trends From the Winter Fancy Food Show, as spotted by members of the SFA’s Trendspotter Panel, are also outlined in this edition.
    Read it today!

    Megan Rooney
    Thursday, May 19 at 1pm ET
    Things are changing. While many specialty food makers still go the traditional route of seeking distribution to get their products on store shelves, there are tons of new opportunities to consider, from last-mile delivery services to e-commerce providers to ghost kitchen partnerships. Join us for a look at what’s out there, how to evaluate an opportunity and decide whether it’s right for your business, and how to make the pieces all work together and change with the times.

    Megan Rooney
    Thursday, May 26 at 1pm ET
    In today’s complex brandscape, being creative and cost-efficient when selling your product and the brand has never been more critical. Marketers are facing new platforms, devices, and consumers with sophisticated appetites across a mosaic marketplace. 
    The need for dedicated efforts around multicultural marketing is essential for startups at the onset of building your customer base. Learn how to connect with increasingly more ethnically and culturally diverse consumers with proven strategies for success that can push your brand through the clutter, reach new audiences the first time – and keep them engaged.

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