Saturday, August 24, 2013

A Cook's Tour of the WFHE Show

I visited the Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo last week and returned with a couple of reports: this one, which just takes a walk around the exhibit hall, and another one, not written yet, that demonstrates that upscale restaurateurs are taking some cues from the producers of specialty foods. The specialty foods manufacturers generally make their products in small batches, so they face comparatively less risk as they experiment with innovative flavors. They're more likely to spend some time thinking, thinking and thinking about a new flavor profile and then just go ahead and do some experiments. Then they'll taste-test those experiments with family and friends and maybe even customers, and when they have a product that everyone likes, there's still a chance that it's just not going to go over with American consumers. But since they're making product in small batches, that's probably not going to take the whole company down with it. It makes for a lot of excitement at the Specialty Food Association's annual sofi awards presentation, which honors innovation in the specialty foods industry.

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