Spring Fancy Food Show Canceled

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR
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Chicago, IL – The directors of the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT) voted to bring down the curtain on the Spring Fancy Food Show, which had been held annually at Chicago’s McCormick Place since 1999.

The vote did not affect the other two Fancy Food Shows run by NASFT and held annually at locations on the East Coast and West Coast. Those events consistently outdrew the Chicago event in terms of attendees and exhibitors.

Ann Daw, president of NASFT, indicated that the decision to pull the plug on the Spring Fancy Food Show came after surveys and discussions with exhibitors and attendees who did not feel they were getting an adequate return on their investment. “We have come to the conclusion that the Spring Fancy Food Show at McCormick Place is no longer providing the majority of our members with the most effective means by which to grow their businesses in the Midwest,” Daw said.

The departure of the Spring Fancy Food Show was the latest step in the dismantling of an event that in 2005 included five separate trade shows with around 1,800 exhibitors and a combined attendance of approximately 42,000. The United Fresh Produce Association and Food Marketing Institute earlier relocated their shows to Las Vegas.

The U.S. Food Export Showcase and the All Things Organic show will remain at McCormick Place in 2009. All Things Organic is organized by the Organic Trade Association and Diversified Business Communications and drew 600 exhibitors this year. The U.S. Food Export Showcase is produced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture.

Reach Ann Daw at (212) 482-6440 or adaw@nasft.org