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    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.

    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. 

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