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    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.

    Megan Rooney
    SFA webinar series are made for you. 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.
    Dec 2: Maker Prep: Understanding the Supply Chain Continuum Dec 9: Maker Prep: Package Design and Branding Dec 16: Regulatory Update: Remote and Virtual Audits and Inspections for FDA Compliance 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, December 2 at 1pm ET
    In this webinar, the first of our series on supply chain, freight, and logistics, you’ll get a high-level understanding of supply chain management and its key components from the experts at JPG. We’ll cover self-production versus contract manufacturing; ingredient sourcing and planning; inventory management and planning; freight and logistics management; and cost and gross margin management. Bring your questions!
    Register here.

    Megan Rooney
    Going to the 2022 Winter Fancy Food Show in Las Vegas?
    Wednesday, November 17 at 1pm ET
    Attendees and Exhibitors will get an online tour of the Las Vegas Convention Center and the surrounding area, and a sneak peek of what the Show floor has to offer, including FCIA Pavilion, a Plant Based Pavilion, Cheese Pavilion and much more! 
    Save your spot or login day of: https://community.specialtyfood.com/store/product/202-fancy-food-goes-to-vegas-a-digital-preview/

    Arielle Feger
    The SFA is hosting the second of a three webinar Maker Prep webinar series on Thursday, November 11 at 1 p.m. ET.

    How do you create a memorable brand? What role does the consumer play in your decision making?  And, how do you make sure your brand stands out in a crowded competitive set? What measures can you set to ensure continuity and growth in the future?  Discover the building blocks to creating an authentic brand expression in this insider's session with creative branding house, Bright.
    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.

    Arielle Feger
    Join the SFA for another installment of its In the Know webinar series on Tuesday, November 9 at 1 p.m. ET.
    As your specialty food company emerges from the pandemic, what actions will you be taking to accelerate growth in the next – 6 to 18 months? 
    Join Chasm Institute's Michael Eckhardt and Andrew Green for an interactive webinar focused on practical steps your business can take today to "score / prioritize / execute" the highest-probability opportunities to innovate and drive your company's profitable growth  2022 and beyond 
    We’ll cover:
    The 3 crucial questions that need to be answered ASAP in order to accelerate your business growth The most frequent –- and costly –- mistakes food companies make in their target market strategies - and the analytics and tools to avoid them How to assess the risks of implementing your go-to-market strategy - and key steps to minimize these threats and hazards This webinar is free for members and $19 for non-members. Register now.

    Arielle Feger
    The SFA is hosting another In the Know webinar on Thursday, October 28 at 1 p.m. ET.
    In this webinar, Jack Acree of Saffron Road will talk about price increases, when to act, and how to make it stick. He’ll help listeners understand how the costs are impacting makers, how to institute a price increase effectively through good communication, and how to understand how much of a price increase is feasible.
    This webinar is free for members and $19 for non-members. Register now.

    Denise Purcell
    The Specialty Food Association has released its annual Today's Specialty Food Consumer research. The report delves into the purchasing habits, motivations, demographics, and concerns of specialty food consumers and includes:
    Data broken down by generations, specialty food v. non-specialty food consumers, and other demographics Purchase behavior by category Shopping preferences by channel Spending behavior Foodservice attitudes and preferences Eating habits and behaviors during COVID Ethical and natural food purchases Food trend usage and interest And more Purchase the full report here or bundle it with the annual SFA State of the Specialty Food Industry research and 10-Year Category Tracking and Forecasts. SFA members receive discounted pricing. 

    Megan Rooney
    Please join us at our first Town Hall Speak Up:
    •            Who: All Active SFA Members 
    •            Where: Online
    •            When: Wednesday, November 3, 4:00-5:00pm ET
    Here’s what to expect: 
    The Town Hall Speak Up will start with a brief overview of our five, volunteer-run Industry Working Groups (IWGs). They each focus on a specific area of SFA activity:
    1.           Recognition 
    2.           Preparedness 
    3.           Community (Buyer Relations) 
    4.           In-Person Events
    5.           Digital Strategy 
    After that, you’ll select one of the groups for a deeper dive.  
    The meeting will break out into five smaller group discussions with the leaders of the IWGs.  
    This is Your Chance to:
    •            Learn about the work being done to move SFA’s critical strategic initiatives forward
    •            Share your viewpoints 
    •            Ask questions 
    •            Speak Up with your industry peers!  
    Register here, and your confirmation email will provide details on joining the meeting.

    Megan Rooney
    October is much more than Pumpkin Spice and Ghouls and Ghosts (although we love them too).  What are you hoping to accomplish this last quarter as we head into the Fall?  Share ideas with your fellow members at our October Share Group on October 19 at 5 p.m. ET.
    How It Works:
    After you register, you'll receive your personal login information.
    At 5 p.m. ET, on October 19, you login and are welcomed by the SFA host.
    There is a short orientation, then the larger group splits up into breakouts; you’ll meet one another and discuss topics of common concern for about 40 minutes.
    Everyone then rejoins the full group for feedback.
    The Share Group is open to all SFA members, but participation is limited - registration will stay open until an hour before the event if space remains available.  Register here.

    Arielle Feger
    The SFA is hosting another regulatory update webinar on Thursday, October 21 at 1 p.m. ET.
    As allergen-friendly or allergen-free products are increasingly popular among consumers, undeclared allergen recalls remain the number one source of food recalls in the US. While most food companies believe they have allergen labeling "down pat," many are unfamiliar with the exceptions and ins and outs of the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act.  Join Jeni Lamb Rogers as she leads a discussion of the nuances of allergen labeling, labeling of sesame as an allergen, Gluten-free labeling, allergen-friendly, and shared facility claims. 
    This webinar is free for members and $19 for non-members. Register now.

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