06.29.10 Food, Glorious Food…

While walking the Fancy Food Show this weekend, a particular sign caught my eye:

The three specialty food categories with the greatest sales penetration are:

•  Refrigerated Sauces, Salsas, Dips 56.9%
• Teas 51.1%
• Shelf-stable pasta 40.2%

In my initial five hours walking the length and breadth of the Javits Center, I certainly saw plenty of brands that fall into these top categories, but I also saw cheese, and I mean a lot of cheese…and I love cheese, so it got me to thinking…

…why don’t the cheese companies co-market their products with the pastas, salsas and dips. Now, cheese and tea, that’s even a stretch for me, but I am ready for a spicy salsa from El Pinto with some great chips and a tangy cheese topping. Or a nice pasta with a marinara sauce from Lidia’s Kitchen (Nonna brands) and a really good aged parmesan cheese on top. By the way, did you know she films her show in her own kitchen – amazing what you can pick up by listening to other conversations!

I’m still working on the perfect tea to combine with the great blueberry stilton I tried at one of the booths in the English pavilion…I’ll let you know if I find one.

But, the point is, there are so many opportunities that companies are not tapping into that can really help expand their brand awareness. Food pairings are very much a growing trend… chocolate and wine, wine and ice cream…. brands should think beyond their products and consider delivering a gourmet experience to the consumer and link with an ideal “pairing partner” to develop co-marketing opportunities.