Summer Fancy Food Show 2024


As the New York summer heats up, so does the anticipation for the 2024 Summer Fancy Food Show! Filled with new and innovative culinary delights, this annual convention was totally worth the wait. This year, our President and CEO Jenna Smith attended, along with our design interns Rachel and Julia. 

The Javits Convention Center environment was alive with the buzz of thousands of attendees from across the globe. As soon as we entered the lobby, we could see just how enormous this event is and we had a little glimpse into what we would soon experience.

Right upon entering we saw exciting photo opportunities which we took advantage of, from oversized spaghetti and meatballs to a candy wonderland. The playful spirit of these displays added to the vibrant atmosphere.

The first section we visited was the deli pavilion, where we were greeted by a multitude of booths displaying an impressive array of cheeses. Despite the abundance of vendors offering similar products, each one made a distinct effort to distinguish themselves. Memorable highlights included elaborate cheese displays, such as a cake-like structure crafted from brie by the brand Cypress Grove, expansive charcuterie boards from Karoun Dairies, and captivating packaging designs that included bright colors, like from Balfour Farm.

Speaking of eye-catching packaging, as we navigated through the diverse pavilions offering a wide range of products, we noticed that many brands strategically used bright and bold colors to capture consumers’ attention. These vibrant hues emphasized the playful and lively nature of their products, making them noticeable on the shelves and creating an instant visual impact. Some brands that we noticed doing this were Beyond Good, Tari Sauce and Pranzo.

In contrast to the bold and vibrant colors, some brands opted for a simple yet stunning design approach such as Savannah Bee Company and Bellwether Farms. These brands used minimal color, often only incorporating different hues to indicate distinct flavors. This minimalist strategy created a clean and sophisticated look that stood out for its elegance and subtlety. By focusing on simplicity and letting the product speak for itself, these brands conveyed a sense of purity and high quality.

Many brands like Giadzy, Good Hair Day Pasta, and Clipper Tea utilized illustrations that creatively correlated with their brand identities, pushing design boundaries even further. The clever use of illustrations helped to create a strong visual narrative that resonated with the audience, enhancing brand recognition and loyalty. These artistic elements added depth and character to the packaging, making it more engaging and memorable for consumers.

A common theme observed throughout packaging from brands like Mark and Spencer Collection, McSteven’s, and Emmi Group Switzerland Cheese was the use of symmetrical, dainty patterns and illustrations. This design choice imparted an elegant and charming aesthetic to the packaging. The symmetry and delicacy of these patterns created a sense of balance and refinement, making the products visually appealing and sophisticated. The intricate details and fine lines added a delightful and memorable touch of whimsy and charm. 

A lot of brands like Secret Aardvark, Uncle Crumbles Granola, and Be Truffle, incorporated humor into their packaging, which was really exciting to see. This added a playful and engaging element to their products, making them stand out in a crowded marketplace. Clever puns, funny illustrations, and witty slogans were used to create a lighthearted and enjoyable experience for consumers.

Speaking of hilarious, our interns had the opportunity to take some funny photos with mascots and silly hats at Secret Aardvark, Myojo, and more. Check these out! 

Some other fun things brands did included adding interactive elements to their booths, which significantly enhanced the overall experience. One particularly memorable example was Cyril’s Foods, which featured their very own caricature artist. This unique addition attracted a lot of attention and drew people into their booth.

On the topic of fun booths, Melona, The Fine Cheese Co., and the renowned Jelly Belly truly stood out with their intricate designs and clever use of space. These booths were vibrant and inviting, with bright colors that instantly caught the eye. These booths had it all, from interactive displays to immersive environments that encouraged people to linger and explore. The thoughtful integration of various elements created a dynamic and engaging experience, making these booths not just a place to view products, but a brand destination. The combination of visual appeal, interactivity, and comfort ensured that these booths were memorable highlights of the event, leaving a lasting impression on all who visited.

Innovative packaging in unique shapes and containers was truly captivating. A particularly notable example was tins of chocolates designed in the shapes of robots and cars.

We were even lucky enough to see some of our very own work in action! Here are Smith Design’s photography and designs showcased at the FrieslandCampina booth, and our work with Aiya Matcha was also proudly on display.

As our day at the 2024 Summer Fancy Food Show came to an end, we reflected on the incredible journey of discovery and delight it brought us. Every encounter we had at the show displayed the creativity and passion driving the industry forward. A notable insight we gained was how brands utilize their packaging designs to craft mesmerizing booths and captivating displays. From intricate arrangements that mirrored their product aesthetics to innovative uses of materials and space, each booth was a masterclass in visual storytelling and brand identity. It was inspiring to see how these designs not only displayed products but also created immersive experiences that resonated with visitors on a deeper level. This year’s show not only highlighted the latest trends in gourmet food but also fostered connections, inspired new ideas, and emphasized excellence in design and culinary arts. Cheers to a deliciously memorable Summer Fancy Food Show!

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