2010 FANCY FOOD SHOW – POST #3: Wish I’d thought of that!

I wish I’d thought of…Smoked Olive Oil – on its way to being a best-seller.
What products were able to stand out amid the thousands on display at the Fancy Food Show? Here are my picks for clever product, packaging or marketing ideas:
  • Smoked olive oil from The Smoked Olive snagged some of the biggest buzz at the show. The naturally smoked oils (it took four years to figure out how to do it) come in two levels of smokiness and a spicy version, and it’s easy to imagine the kick they could add to pasta, vegetables – or even just as a dip. They are already in the market, and someone from the company whispered in my ear that they’re the #1 selling product at Tyler Florence’s store.

  • Cake Shots from Balboa Dessert Company aren’t earth-shaking, but they’re a cute nod to the micro-desserts trend – and they packed big taste in a little shot. I like what the clever packaging brought to the party.

  • The Bradley automated smoker has been around for a while, particularly the restaurant model. But the whole idea was new to me – and maybe will be new to you, too. The mechanism feeds little biscuits of compressed wood into the smoking box, maintaining an even smoke and temperature. When the company found out consumers who didn’t own the $399 gizmo were buying the wood “biscuits” to use on regular grills, they started marketing them that way, too. Smart. You just set them on the grill over a low flame – no soaking necessary (in fact, the spokesman told me soaking wood chips actually releases an unpleasant acid in the steam).

  • Skinny bunsOneBun and Fabulous Flats have both come out with pita-style buns for burgers and sandwiches. A simple idea – but perfect for anyone who has ever ditched half of a hamburger bun. Why didn’t somebody think of this sooner?

  • I’ve seen aerosol food foams in French supermarkets, but Le Foam claims to be the first in the US. These are thick foams, not frothy Ferran Adria concoctions. I tasted the chocolate, which reminded me of cake batter (not in a bad way) and Lemon Dijon, which was interesting on a slice of chicken. The makers claim the foams are low in calories – unless, of course, you suck the entire chocolate one straight from the nozzle! It will be interesting to see if these catch on – and if competitors enter the market. I think the challenge here will be defining serving occasions, the quality of ingredients and distancing this product from its trashy relative, spray-cheese. And oh, yeah, please remove that erroneous accent mark from “Le” – it brands you as laughably faux-French.

  • Check back tomorrow, to see some products that seem almost too good to be true!Like what I have to say? Subscribe to my RSS feed and spread the word with Twitter!
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