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    Megan Rooney
    Thursday, June 30 at 1pm ET
    The increase in direct to consumer and online store-based sales for food and beverage brands hasn’t slowed down, despite a slow return to “normal”. How do you stand out in a noisy landscape? Rachel Kay, Founder + President at RKPR will discuss cost effective ways to make your earned media strategy power your e-commerce goals, plus the newest media tools and trends to accelerate your product sales. 
     

    Julie Gallagher
    In the latest episode of Spill & Dish: A Specialty Food Association podcast, host Megan Rooney, education manager at SFA, chats with Purely Elizabeth CEO and Founder, Elizabeth Stein, about her background in nutrition, how Purely Elizabeth got its start, and the happy accident that landed her a deal with Target.
    Listen here and follow Spill & Dish: A Specialty Food Association podcast wherever you get your podcasts.

    Julie Gallagher
    The Specialty Food Association has planned four webinars for the month of April. Check out Maker Prep for the fundamentals, Regulatory Update for the latest on rules and regulations, and In the Know for the latest on pricing, trends, supply chain and other issues that affect our business right now.
    April 7: Regulatory Update: The Food Traceability Rule: Priorities for Specialty Food Manufacturers April 14: Maker Prep: Understanding Regulations, Certifications and Licenses April 21: In the Know: Continuity Planning for the Family Business April 28: Maker Prep: Selling to Supermarkets
    Visit our Learning Center for a snapshot of past speakers and topics and then click the webinar title to watch the recorded session!
    We look forward to seeing you online! If you have any questions, please contact education@specialtyfood.com. 

    Megan Rooney
    Thursday, May 5 at 1pm ET
    Developing, launching, and distributing new products is the path to success in this market. In this webinar, you’ll learn about the concept-to-commerce pathway including generating new product ideas, improving existing products, and testing to enhance quality and to extend shelf-life while conforming to marketing and label claims such as non-GMO and organic. We’ll also cover developing go-to-market strategies, including concept testing, market opportunity, product testing, and shopper experience analysis.
     

    Megan Rooney
    The Specialty Food Association is pleased to offer an updated list of specialty food distributors to its members, free of charge. Each distributor listing includes location, phone, email, website, territory, and principal listings.
    Also, we are happy to announce that non-members can now access this guide as well for $200.
    Want to add or update a listing for the next edition of this guide? Please email education@specialtyfood.com.
    Check out all our directories and guides in our Learning Center.



    Megan Rooney
    Thursday, April 14 at 1pm ET
    Evolving consumer demand for specialty foods and beverages has elevated the stakes for small-scale processors. This presentation will clarify and illuminate the concept-to-commerce pathway, including: the implications of product- and marketing-related regulations; how certifications are licenses to market opportunities; ensuring that unique categories of foods are compliant with regulations, and more.
     

    Julie Gallagher
    In the latest episode of Spill & Dish: A Specialty Food Association podcast, host Gretchen VanEsselstyn, SFA’s director of education, speaks with Jill Giacomini Basch of Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co. about the benefits of being a certified women-owned business, the Victory American cheese movement, and how sustainable farming on the California coast makes for breathtaking cheeses like Bay Blue. Listen here and follow Spill & Dish: A Specialty Food Association podcast wherever you get your podcasts.

    Megan Rooney
    Thursday, April 28 at 1pm ET
    Are you ready to start selling to multi store chains and supermarkets? Join Scott Zoeller, Director of Deli for Uncle Giuseppe’s Marketplace, to learn how to know whether you’re ready, the best ways to reach supermarket buyers, how to make the pitch, and how to maintain the relationship once you're selling.
     

    Megan Rooney
    Thursday, April 7 at 1pm ET
    One of the top identified regulatory priorities for the FDA in 2022 is the release of the Final Food Traceability Rule, one of the last required rules under the Food Safety Modernization Act, and a cornerstone of FDAs New Era for Smarter Food Safety Initiative. Since the proposal of the Rule in 2020, SFA has actively engaged in feedback, including participating in public meetings held by the FDA after its release in 2020 and submitting comments on the proposed rule in 2021. As we anticipate the release of the final rule later this year, attorney Jeni Lamb Rogers will discuss the most important considerations for specialty food manufacturers and how the rule might impact your business.
     

    Megan Rooney
    Thursday, April 21 at 1pm ET
    Are you preparing for transitions in management, ownership, and family leadership? Join us for a robust panel discussion of how successful family businesses plan for transition from one generation to the next. More than Succession Planning—a process all businesses should undertake for management transition—we’ll share insights into Continuity Planning, a planning process that paves the way not only for the next generation of management, but also for family leadership, business ownership, and governance processes that guide both business and family decisions for a successful future. 
     

    Julie Gallagher
    The Specialty Food Association Winter Fancy Food Show will return to the Las Vegas Convention Center in 2023, from January 15-17.
    “The SFA looks forward to an even bigger and better Winter Fancy Food Show in 2023, which will be hosted in the larger and more conveniently laid out West Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center,” said SFA Board Chairman, Charlie Apt.
    The Show will feature specialty food and beverages from domestic and international exhibitors, educational programming, and the traditional post-event food rescue to benefit local hunger relief organizations.

    Denise Purcell
    In the latest episode of Spill & Dish: A Specialty Food Association podcast, host Julie Gallagher, SFA’s director of content, speaks with Channy Laux, founder of Angkor Cambodian Food. Laux discusses how she survived the Cambodian Killing Fields and, after seeking refuge in the U.S., climbed the ranks of the biotech industry before trading it in to honor her late mother and her recipes by introducing Americans to authentic Cambodian ingredients and dishes. Listen here and follow Spill & Dish wherever you get your podcasts.

    Megan Rooney
    Thursday, March 31 at 1pm ET
    Attracting and retaining talent has never been more difficult. We enlisted people business expert Josh Wand, Founder and Motivator in Chief at the leading strategic recruiting firm for consumer brands, ForceBrands, and Founder of PINATA to share his unique insights into today's best practices for hiring. Join us for a live conversation about employee retention, team building, and effective leadership in the post-Covid world.
     
     

    Megan Rooney
    Thursday, March 24 at 1pm ET
    So you’ve got great products and you’re ready to start approaching specialty stores. How do you get a buyer’s attention? And how do you nurture a great maker-buyer relationship once you’re in?
    In this webinar, you’ll learn from Hunter Fike, Category Manager at DiBruno Bros., about what makes buyers tick – and you’ll hear from maker Jen Porter from Timber Lane Handcrafted about how her company got – and kept -- her products on DiBruno’s shelves.
     
     

    Denise Purcell
    Chuao Chocolatier are crafters of pleasure through chocolate. In this episode, host Megan Rooney, SFA’s education manager, talks with Michael Antonorsi, co-founder and owner of Chuao, about his transition from biomedical engineering to culinary school in Paris to embarking on a mission to share joy with the world though deliciously engaging chocolate experiences. Listen here and follow Spill & Dish: A Specialty Food Association Podcast wherever your get your podcasts.

    Megan Rooney
    Thursday, March 17 at 1pm ET
    SFA is committed to learning and sharing information about diversity, equity, and inclusion principles with our community.
    In this webinar with Studio ATAO, you’ll learn about how to put processes into place that encourage inclusion in your company. We’ll cover how to build a work environment that emphasizes participatory decision-making, proactive conflict mediation, and a clear understanding of power dynamics.
    *This webinar will only be available on demand until April 17. 
     

    Megan Rooney
    Thursday, March 10 at 1pm ET
    Join us for a practical, high level overview of the legal issues that a food manufacturer should consider both before and after product launch.  Pre-launch legal considerations will include formulation, labeling, manufacturing, contractual, and import/export issues, while post-launch considerations will include FDA reporting requirements, and how to deal with potential enforcement actions and challenges or product corrective actions. 
     

    Denise Purcell
    What’s it like to work for an association that is founded on salsa, jerky, kombucha, bonbons, pâté, and thousands of other specialty foods? Pretty sweet. In this episode of Spill & Dish: A Specialty Food Association Podcast, you'll meet hosts Gretchen VanEsselstyn, SFA's director of education, Megan Rooney, education manager, and Julie Gallagher, director of content, as they share stories about the business, reveal where they love to shop and dine, and share the scoop behind the Fancy Food Show. Listen here and follow wherever you get your podcasts.

    Denise Purcell
    The latest episode of Spill & Dish, the Specialty Food Association’s podcast, is now available. Host Megan Rooney, SFA’s education specialist, talks with Laura Sorkin or Runamok who, with her husband Eric, is taking maple syrup and honey to the next level and disrupting established categories.
    Spill & Dish, produced as part of Heritage Radio Network’s programming, gets to the root of what makes specialty food special. Hear the stories of the entrepreneurs, makers, and sellers who are shaping the future of food. Listeners can discover the inspiration, recipe, craft, culture, ingredients, and production methods that make a true specialty food and get a deeper understanding of the people and motivation behind the products. Listen and follow wherever you get your podcasts. 

    Megan Rooney
    Thursday, February 24 at 1pm ET
    RodeoCPG works with hundreds of innovative brands and have noted a key factor for brand success: The ability to leverage and implement tech solutions at an early stage. Our business is experiencing a surge of new solutions that can change how founders and entrepreneurs launch brands. Whether it's integrating a platform to help create efficiencies in your ecommerce business, accessing rapid financing, owning consumer data through a QR code on your pack, or automating the process of pitching your products to retailers, technology has infiltrated the world of consumer goods and Rodeo CPG is here to help you understand how you can use it to your advantage.
     

    Megan Rooney
    Tuesday, February 1 at 1pm ET
    One of the key areas identified by the FDA as a regulatory priority for 2022 is revising and updating certain standards of identity. In Spring 2020, the SFA drafted detailed comments when FDA reopened the comment period for a prior proposed rule on methods to modernize the standards of identity. Already this year, we have seen the withdrawal of one 70+ year old standard of identity for French Dressing. Join Jeni Lamb Rogers as she discussed the revocation and prospects for further actions on the Standards of Identity.
     

    Denise Purcell
    The Specialty Food Association has launched a new podcast as part of Heritage Radio Network’s programming. 
    Hosted by SFA’s content and education team, Spill & Dish: A Specialty Food Association Podcast tells the stories of SFA members, the entrepreneurs, makers, and buyers behind the foods and beverages in the specialty food market. Listeners can discover the inspiration, recipe, craft, culture, ingredients, and production methods that make specialty food special and get a deeper understanding of the people and motivation behind the products.
    In the first episode, Gretchen VanEsselstyn, SFA’s director of education, talks with Dough Renfro, president of Renfro Foods, which has been making condiments for more than 80 years in Fort Worth, Texas. Renfro shares how the Mrs. Renfro’s brand was created to honor his grandmother, who started the business, and how tradition, flavor, and a passion for innovation keep the third-generation company going. 
    Listen to episode one here and follow on your favorite podcast platform.

    Megan Rooney
    Thursday, February 17 at 1pm ET
    Pulp+Wire believes a strong social presence is the first step in engaging your ideal customer to drive trial, loyalty, and conversions. In this webinar, you will learn from two of Pulp+Wire’s digital team leaders, Corinne Wait-McNish and Katie Bell about the current state of social media, trends, and insights, how to pinpoint your specific targeted audience, how to streamline your look and feel, and more. Don’t miss this opportunity to gain insight into how to build your community and capture opportunities to build awareness and sell products.
     

    Arielle Feger
    The SFA is hosting the final installment of a three webinar Maker Prep webinar series on Thursday, December 9 at 1 p.m. ET.

    In this, the third webinar in our Branding series, you’ll learn the fundamentals of specialty food packaging design with Andy Kurtis, Creative Director of Buttermilk Creative. Andy will focus on how to translate your brand into a design and he’ll also cover some technical content on compliance with labeling laws. 
    This series is free for members. Non-members can purchase all three webinars in the series for $50, or purchase just this one a la carte for $19.

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