January 8, 2019
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Previewing Seed’s Trip to the Winter Fancy Food Show

The future of food is coming to San Francisco as The Specialty Food Association (SFA) prepares to kick off the 44th annual Winter Fancy Food Show. The show will feature 1,400+ exhibitors from around the globe who will be exhibiting more than 80,000 specialty food and beverage products—giving an insightful look into what consumer demands, tastes and products will be shaping the marketplace of tomorrow.

Seed’s Sean Smyth and Jeff Johns are looking forward to being among those in attendance. We were fortunate enough to catch up with both of them to get their thoughts about their upcoming trip.


So, what made you decide to attend the Fancy Food Show?

JJ: As a creative director in the role of ideating new products, developing new-to-the-world brands and designing packaging that communicates and differentiates, it’s imperative to stay up to speed on the latest trends in the industry. I’ve had my eye on this event for a while and I’m excited to get out there and experience all of the flavor, form and packaging trends that will be shaping the future of food and beverage as we know it.


Why is it important for Seed to be there?

SS: Seed is an innovation and brand strategy firm that’s in the business of inspiring clarity and generating growth for our clients. Events like the Fancy Food Show arm us with first-hand knowledge of what’s on the precipice of making a big impact in a host of food and beverage categories. This helps us separate rumor from reality and be faster and smarter with solutions that benefit our clients. And not just food and beverage clients, because the learning from these shows can extrapolate to all types of business ambitions and challenges.


What trends will you be tracking?

SS: For me, The Fancy Food Show begins with staying current (or maybe a little ahead) of trends and trying to predict where we’re headed with our preferences for foods and beverages. I’m a big believer that food is integral to human culture and that the choices we make in that realm often reflect our engagement with all sorts of things that go well beyond food. Fancy Food will help identify trends that may be more enduring (have cultural significance) and approaches that are just emerging. I’m really looking forward to it.

JJ: I’ll be tracking new packaging substrates as well as overall package design execution and product communication—paying close attention to what is happening on the primary display panel. Does it communicate clearly? Is it distinctive? How strong is the overall design aesthetic? I’m excited to see the latest bottles, pouches and boxes housing all of the tasty, new-to-the-world products.

I also want to see what the next big flavor mashups might be. And last but not least, I’m looking forward to tracking all of the benefits and claims because they provide a clear sign of what the consumer of the future is looking for in their food and beverage offerings.


Which topics will get most of your time and attention?

SS: There’s not a particular food or beverage category I’ll be stalking more than others because inspiration and great ideas can literally come from anywhere. I’ll be looking for commonalities between the featured vendors as well as individual innovations that convert elementary ingredients into something new and crave-worthy.


Any last thoughts or other things you are looking forward to?

JJ: I’m really looking forward to meeting the entrepreneurial startups that will be featured there. It’s always great to see their passion and hear, firsthand, how they’ll be launching into the marketplace.

SS: I’m with Jeff on this one—so much of the Fancy Food Show is being witness to people and organizations that truly believe that what they are doing can make a positive difference in the lives of the people who buy their products. These creators have a dream, passion and grit—if you can’t feel inspired by their endeavors, then you might need to check your pulse.


Going to the Fancy Food Show? Sean and Jeff would love to connect with you there. Feel free to email or reach out to them on LinkedIn. And be sure to follow Seed Strategy on our LinkedInTwitterFacebook and Instagram pages for more updates on their adventures at the Winter Fancy Food Show.


Adam Siegel is the Editor of The Accelerator and a Creative Director at Seed Strategy where he draws upon his diverse experience in advertising, research and innovation to craft breakthrough creative and winning concept copy.

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