Last night, 5W Public Relations’ Food, Beverage and Restaurant & Hospitality Division hosted a thought leadership and insight-sharing event, “Growing Gourmet,” at the close of the Specialty Food Association’s Summer Fancy Food Show.

growing gourmet - 5W Public Relations food and beverage pr event

With over 40 guests in attendance, the event featured a panel discussion with industry experts George Duran, celebrity chef & author of “Take this Dish and Twist It,” Charles Passy, writer for Wall Street Journal & MarketWatch.com, Jaclyn London, MS, RD & CDN, Nutrition Director for Good Housekeeping Institute and Stephanie Cain, contributor to Brides, Esquire and Specialty Food News.

growing gourmet - 5W Public Relations food and beverage pr event

Throughout the evening foodies, wine connoisseurs and industry leaders mingled to discuss trends and takeaways from this year’s event. Of course, no food event is complete without delicious fare, which was not only provided by Duran but was prepared with flair during an interactive cooking demonstration.

Between Duran’s famous Grilled Skirt Steak with Guasacaca Sauce and a wine tasting, the night was filled with mingling and discussion.

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If you happened to miss it or need a brief recap, below are a few key takeaways:

  • Health Benefits: The discussion touched upon the continued proliferation of messaging in the food space. Attendees noted that with the many types of labeling being pushed on-pack and off, it can be difficult for consumers today to judge what is actually beneficial and what is branding.  Chef George Duran laughed about some of today’s “healthy” foods stating that, “yes you can be eating an actual bean chip (corn and starch free) but when you compare the fat ingredients to a kettle cooked chip you are still eating a bag of potato chips.”
  • Trends on the Rise: Panelists commented that food makers in the US continue to make everything into a snack, from chick peas to beets to flavored peanuts. Further, panelists noted that the “eat local” trend remains popular, as the “Made in NY” section of the event was well-attended throughout the show.
  • Does Packaging Matter: YES! The emphasis on packaging in the food industry seems to be growing. We are seeing a heavy emphasis on great package design and packaging today that look more like works of art. In terms of color, the panelists agreed that both bright and pastel colors were seen evenly throughout Fancy Food 2015.

All in all, 5W’s Growing Gourmet event was a huge success! To see the rest of the photo’s checkout the Growing Gourmet album on the 5W facebook page!

Until next year you Fancy Food foodies!