Winter Fancy Food Show 2018

We’re just coming out of the Specialty Food Association 3 day Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco. A great show for us, and the highlight had to be when Meg received her Leadership Award from the Association. The recognition drew folks to our booth who were inspired by Meg’s story of bringing our business to life through her passion to create a unique employment model.

The show started just in time for us to debut our new packaging, with the Non GMO mark, previously unseen by us until delivered to our hotel only hours before we arrived. Unpacking the box was nail biting as we tentatively pulled out the new and colorful empty pouches. We jumped for joy at the quality of the soft, and tactile suede-like textured pouches. Our designer, Linda Cassady, really nailed it and the printing by Rich Gallagher at AWT Labelpack is second to none. His dedication to his craft is such that he even drove up to the facility in Wisconsin to oversee the first print run.

Over three days we cooked up a storm in the Instant Pot with daily demonstrations of our Chicken Tortilla Soup, made using the pressure cooker setting in order to have it ready to sample within 15 minutes for a live audience. Excited by the buzz of the Instant Pot, the association press office asked Jerry James Stone to film us while on his mission to get more people cooking. Jerry James Stone is a cookbook author and recipe videographer sharing vegetarian and vegan dishes on his YouTube channel. We were really grateful to work with someone so fun, positive, and enjoyable to be with.

Click to watch our demo here!

Winter Fancy Food Show Round Up

On day two I had the chance to explore the show. Having nibbled my way down the Spanish and Italian aisles filled with nuggets of Iberico hams from pigs dining on acorns, wafer thin slices of sweetly delicious Prosciutto, and craggy chunks of mouth watering Parmigiano-Reggiano scooped from the whole cheese, I was on the look out for plant based protein alternatives for my vegetarian 8 year old back home.

Plant Based Protein

My greatest discovery, marrying a good concept with both taste and texture, is a range of pastas by Explore Cuisine which have between 11 and 25g of protein per serving. The variety includes organic edamame or black bean spaghetti, mung bean rotini and green lentil lasagne. I sampled the edamame with pesto, and was surprised to find a great texture with a bite, and the sauce adheres to the noodles just like regular pasta. My biggest surprise is that it is single ingredient, no added anything!

Tea and Drinks!

The drinks category continues to thrive with exciting mixers, spiced beverages and one brand even including a unicorn in it’s line. Our friends at Tiesta Tea have just launched their new range of no added sugar cold brew teas in Target, and I made a point of stopping by to taste. The Maui Mango is everything a cold brew tea needs to be with the natural flavors shining through.


By far the prettiest newcomer to the New Brands Pavilion is from Pajama Sweets. Packed with rounds of buttery pistachio brittle flavored with saffron and cardamon, these highly decorated and embossed tins are exquisitely designed. These beautiful packaged Persian sweets are offered to friends and family, to break together and share.

New Twists

We always love to see what’s happening in the spice category and Entube’s flavor bombs put a new spin on some favorite flavors – Harissa, Mole and Curry!

Old Friends 

It is always wonderful to see old friends at the show. Kimberly at Rumi Spice has added some delicious saffron Gems to her line. 


Mushroom tea, mushroom jerky and dried mushroom powders to enhance flavors of soups etc.

Zen Moment

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”

– Marcel Proust

14 thoughts on “Winter Fancy Food Show 2018

  1. Congratulations Team Zen! So proud of both of you for bringing a socially conscious, delicious product to market that benefits so many! Thanks for the rundown on the show, Jane. How exciting!

  2. What a professional food prep presentation! In my former life I did some TV and know how much prep it takes. I’m so impressed, Jane. And Meg, once again, congratulations on your impressive award. You’re quite the team!!!

    • Thanks Richard, I was excited to find your products. Inspired and looking forward to using your flavor bombs. My husband loves them!

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