The fair is the most important and largest of its kind on the Eastern Seaboard
Wine, olive oil and table olives as well as Iberian fare are the primary Spanish gourmet products available in the US.
The Spanish Federation of Food and Beverage Industries (FIAB), with the support of ICEX, recently organised the official Spanish Pavilion at the Summer Fancy Food Show which was attended by 40 Spanish gourmet product companies. The fair is the most important food fair on the East Coast of the United States and was held from 17th to 19th June in the city of Washington.
The most outstanding products in the pavilion were wine, olive oil, and olives, together with a wide range of Iberian products, with ham being one of the main attractions.
The Summer Fancy Food Show is an authentic crowd-pulling event for trade professionals and has become a key showcase for strengthening presence in the US, the most important gourmet market for Spain outside the EU. Pending the publication of the figures from the latest edition, the last edition of the fair registered more than 15,000 visitors hailing from gourmet stores, retailers, distributors, restaurants and delicatessens.
Launched in 1955 by the US National Association for the Speciality Food Trade (NASFT), the fair is organised twice a year – the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco, and the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York –, although for the past two years the latter has been held in Washington due to the refurbishment of its usual venue.
FIAB’s chairman, Jaime Palafox, believes that despite the global economic crisis, the US gourmet market, “still boasts quite strong growth” and that the presence of Spain “has never been so good, both in branding and sales figures”.
The 40 Spanish companies present in the pavilion were from: Seville (8), Madrid (5), Valencia (4), Alicante (3), Córdoba (3), Navarra (2), Pontevedra (2), Zaragoza (2), Badajoz (1), Cantabria (1), Castellón (1) Cuenca (1), Gerona (1), Jaén (1), Lleida (1), Orense (1), Tarragona (1), Valladolid (1) and Vizcaya (1).
Total Spanish exports to the US in 2011 exceeded €7.9 billion, representing a 19 per cent increase over 2010; of which more than €942 million was generated by the food and drink industry, which in turn represents an increase of 3.5 per cent. The most important exports are: fruit and vegetables, wines, oils, bakery products, and dairy products.