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The National Association for the Specialty Food Trade, Inc. said Friday it will discontinue its Spring Fancy Food Show in Chicago, as the show is no longer serving Midwest buyers as effectively as it could.
The New York-based trade group’s Summer and Winter Fancy Food Shows will continue to operate on schedule. It said both shows had record exhibit sales and strong attendance in 2008.
The Spring show had been scheduled for April 5–7, 2009, at McCormick Place in Chicago.
“After the 2008 Show, the NASFT conducted extensive research among exhibitors and buyers,” said Ann Daw, NASFT president. “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.”
The NASFT introduced the Spring Fancy Food Show in Chicago in 1999. The 2008 Spring Fancy Food Show attracted around 9,000 buyers, compared to an estimated 12,000 buyers in 2007, NASFT spokesman Ron Tanner told Progressive Grocer. “The show has become smaller throughout the years, and our research suggested that there would be fewer attendees and exhibitors next year,” he noted.
The association said it is investigating alternative means to connect its members with Midwestern buyers.
The NASFT is a not-for-profit trade association established in 1952 to foster trade, commerce and interest in the specialty food industry. Today, there are more than 2,800 member companies throughout the U.S. and abroad.