35th Winter Fancy Food Show 2010 (WFFS) San Francisco, California
The 35th Winter Fancy Food Show 2010 was held from 17 to 19 January 2010 at the Moscone Convention Centre, San Francisco, California. It is an annual event organised by the US National Association for the Specialty Food Trade Inc (NASFT). This is FAMA's second participation in WFFS that was held in San Francisco. The exhibition this year was estimated to be attended by 24,000 prospective buyers representing various marketing, retailers, retail distributors, food services and industrial sectors. A total of 1300 exhibition participants representing 78 countries had participated in the exhibition for that year.
Despite the bad weather throughout the three-day exhibition, nonetheless, it did not affect the high turnout rate of the event. Even though the number of exhibition participants was lower than the previous year as a result of the current economic turmoil, the attendees attending this exhibition had very encouraging calibre. The patronage to the FAMA exhibition booth on Sunday and Monday was overwhelming and encouraging.
FAMA Exhibition Space at the 35th WFFS in San Francisco, California
Asia Etc, a marketing company based in the US was appointed by FAMA to carry out coordination and to represent companies from Malaysia namely Carefood Industries Sdn. Bhd, Kawan Food Manufacturing Sdn. Bhd. dan Cortino Sdn. Bhd. The exhibition booth occupied by the group of companies from Malaysia was 400 square feet covering a portion of the South Wing of the Exhibition Centre at the International Pavillion area. The exhibition booth representing Malaysia was beautifully decorated and a sampling food programme was held throughout the three days of the event. Relevant leaflets and references were also distributed.
All food demonstrations were done by personal chefs hired from the USPCA (United States Personal Chef Association – www.uspca.com) specifically for this event. A total of 4 chefs and 1 assistant chef handled the cooking demonstration. A total of 12 sales personnel were also present to support and handle the exhibition space and carry out the marketing and sales activities throughout the 3 days of the event.
Cooking demonstration and food tasting by Chefs at WFFS
This year Asia Etc has taken a more progressive and dynamic step forward to promote food products from Malaysia through advertisements and publications at social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Blogspot and announcements on public radio (internet based radio talk shows). Asia Etc had also appointed the Green International Marketing (GIM), a public relations company to promote Malaysian food products during the exhibition and also via online.
During the exhibition, Green International Marketing had conducted a live video conferencing with participants of the food industry and patrons who visited the FAMA exhibition booth. Subsequently, the conference would be shown on various mediums that promote Malaysian food products such as;
- GIM's Blogspot - http://greeninternationalmep.diagroublogspot.com
- Radio Talk show - http://www.blogtalkradio.com/newmediaradiohour
- Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Green-International-Media-Group/151748707607
- Twitter - http://twitter.com/Grnintlmediagrp
An exclusive conference with the Agricultural Counsellor was held by GIM to promote food products from Malaysia during the event. This conference can be viewed through the website below;
The promotion for Malaysian food products was also published in two sets of magazines in which advertisements and articles about it had been written. Both magazines are the official magazine for the 35th Winter Fancy Food Show 2011 Directory and the Personal Chief Magazine (Copy of magazines and advertisements enclosed). The Personal Chief Magazine is the official publication for the Personal Chief industry and distributed to 200,000 chefs throughout the US. FAMA had published the first advertisement in the Jan-March 2010 issue. While for the April-June 2010 issue, Agromas Jam would receive a full spread advertisement together with articles written about the products. Such advertising and promotion campaign which is supported by other social and communication media such as Blogspot, Facebook, Twitter and public radio stations will definitely assist in promoting Malaysia in the in the international arena. The video conference will be displayed on Youtube as part of the efforts to penetrate a wider market and raise awareness and interest among online users.
FAMA Agromas Jam became one of the main attractions during this exhibition
Potential distributors and retailers from all over the US had witnessed extensive acceptance of products from Malaysia which also gave the confidence for them to increase stock and to distribute food products from Malaysia.
Food Set and "Vegetarian" Soyeat products from Asia displayed at WFFS
The 35th Winter Fancy Food Show had brought great success in the effort to develop and expand the marketing of food products from Malaysia in line with the aims of FAMA specifically and Malaysian food exporters in general.
The utilisation of social media by Asia Etc is commendable because social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Blogspot has a wider reach to online users. There are various companies in the world that use social media as a method to promote their products. Facebook has a total of 350 million active users (more than 105 million active users in the US) and 700,000 accounts owned by businesses, making it as an unrivalled marketing communication tool in the current decade that is capable of promoting and establishing awareness on food products from Malaysia on a large scale.
The next promotional event would be held at the National Restaurant Association (NRA) Food Exhibition in Chicago from 22 – 25 May 2010. Food exporters from Malaysia are strongly encouraged to join the exhibition to promote and expand their existing market in the US.
Agricultural Counsellor Office