Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) will be assisting exporters to generate business leads and secure contracts in the US $86 billion specialty food and beverage market through a mission to the 59th Summer Fancy Food Show in New York.
The trade and investment agency will be supporting nine exporters of Brand Jamaica products at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York from June 30 to July 2. Jamaica will be branching out as the ‘Meet Jamaica’ Pavilion having participated in previous years under the banner of the Caribbean Pavilion.
The Meet Jamaica Pavilion will showcase a variety of specialty foods and beverages inclusive of baked goods, condiments, sauces, seasonings, snacks, canned or preserved vegetables/fruits as well as hot and cold beverages. Among the companies taking part are Tijule Company Ltd, Honey Bun Ltd, A Taste of the Caribbean, Canco Limited, Southside Distributors Ltd, Gray’s Pepper Products, Grace Foods, Southern Fruits and Food Processors Ltd and Perishables Jamaica Ltd.
At last year’s show held in Washington DC, JAMPRO secured 16 trade leads, which are currently being pursued by the respective exporters. Of the trade leads generated from the 2011 show, 7 leads have been converted to export contracts. Participating companies have also reported other benefits and outcomes. Last year Jamaican Teas (Caribbean Dreams brand) was approached by American network Lifetime TV at the Summer Fancy Food Show and has since done a promotion on the network’s ‘Balancing Act’ morning show, potentially reaching an audience of 97 Million households. Another exporter BnRs Holdings was also previously featured on Lifetime and in the US ‘Specialty Food Magazine.’
According to Berletta Henlon Forrester, JAMPRO’s Export Promotion Manager, the Fancy Food Show is an important forum for meeting influential buyers. “Many of our processed foods fall in that category and this combined with the strong Jamaica brand recognition gives us a platform from which such products can secure shelf space in specialty food stores and maintain premium prices,” she said. A number of exporters are repeat participants having experienced the value of the event.
For companies participating in this year’s Fancy Food event expectations are high to further establish their brands in the U.S market. Canco Ltd will be on display for the first time and according to the company’s Marketing Manager, GeAnne Dwyer, Canco will be promoting its flagship products Ackee and Callaloo as well condiments, canned goods and the newest addition the Hot Pepper Jelly.
Honey Bun has been participating in the event for the last 3 years and according to Krystal Chong, Director of Marketing and Business Development at Honey Bun, the company is looking to launch two new products for export. “We are hoping to launch at the Fancy Food show our Honey Bun Goldie, similar to the famous Twinkie. The second is our re-branded Buccaneer Jamaica Rum Cakes. We are looking for ethnic distributors for our buns, cross over distributors for the Goldie and distributors to hotels, gift shops, airports for our very excitingly rebranded Buccaneer Jamaica rum cake,” Chong said.
The Fancy Food Show, organized by the Specialty Food Association (SFA) is the largest and the single most important forum for food and beverage exporters to meet trade buyers in the North East USA market. According to SFA statistics, the 2012 Summer Show featured over 15,400 buyers representing important names in retailing and restaurants from across the U.S. and around the world.