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Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Food Fete Roundup
I first learned about Food Fête a few months ago via Twitter. Soon, I was digging around on the Food Fête website and learned "Food Fête is all about helping food, beverage and kitchenware companies connect face-to-face with top food writers and bloggers." I love meeting new vendors and people in the gluten-free community so these events sounded perfect for me. After contacting Jeff Davis, the organizer of Food Fete, he suggested I sign up for the Food Fête focusing on products for people with allergies. Perfect! This was definitely my type of event and I had the honor of attending this event last night.

I knew it was an exclusive event based on the website summary, but I wasn't sure what to expect. When I was pleasantly greeted by Jeff at the door and then handed the list of attendees, I knew this was going to be an exciting evening. I immediately saw familiar faces which is always comforting. Sloane Miller, the Allergic Girl, was the first person I stopped by to say hello to when I walked in. Just last week, I realized I got a mention from Sloane in the acknowledgements section of her new book so I had to give her a huge thank-you hug in person. She had a lovely display of Allergic Girl and was also giving out allergen-free lollipops. Too cute! I continued walking around saying hello to friends such as Bruce and Pedro from Everybody Eats, Amie Valpone from The Healthy Apple, and Rachel Begun, RD who was showcasing Enjoy Life Foods with Joel Warady, CMO of the company. I also stopped by to see my favorite gluten-free bread friends at the Rudi's Gluten-Free Bakery table. Also manning the table was the always animated Dan from Renegade Kitchen.

Other vendors included General Mills, Chobani, Green Valley Organics, Pacific Natural Foods, Cockspur Rum, Home Free, Pasta Prima, Lucini Italia, Redwood Hill Farm, and Mary's Gone Crackers. You can see full profiles on each of these companies at www.foodfetepress.wordpress.com.

There were some exciting announcements and new products at last night's event. Here are the highlights:
  • General Mills has just relaunched their Live Gluten Freely site as GlutenFreely.com. They are now endorsed by the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research and The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center. In addition, they have partnered with other gluten-free food companies to open an online store on their new website. 
  • Enjoy Life Foods is launching three new products next week at Expo West including Chocolate Granola, Crunchy Cookies, and Mega Chunks which are large chocolate nibs to be used in cooking and baking. I also learned that Enjoy Life Foods is also adding celery to the list of their allergens that are not included in their products. Apparently, celery is an allergen that is being added to the "NO" list throughout the UK so Enjoy Life is being proactive and not including it in any products.
  • Pasta Prima hands-down has the most delicious gluten-free ravoli that I ever ate. Right now they are available at Costco on the West Coast, but they are hopeful to expand their product line throughout the United States soon.
  • Rudi's Gluten-Free Bakery has just launched gluten-free hamburger and hot dog buns. I had a portobello mushroom "burger" on a new Rudi's gluten-free hamburger bun but ate it too quickly and didn't get a photo. So delicious!!! Rudi's will also hopefully launch some new gluten-free products this fall which sound very exciting. Stay tuned Rudi's fans!
  • Green Valley Organic had lactose-free yogurt and sour cream. At their table, I learned that adding lactase to dairy products helps digest lactose therefore making their products lactose-free. This is great news for those who cannot tolerate lactose. I also loved the Green Valley Organic tag line which is "Peace. Love. Dairy". 
  • I have been a big fan of Mary's Gone Crackers since I met Mary and Dale in 2008. Last night, I tried their N'Oatmeal cookies for the first time and I was not disappointed. These cookies have an oatmeal cookie taste (from what I can assume, since I don't eat oats) but have no oats in the ingredients. Mary Anne, the Mary's Gone Crackers representative, was clearly passionate about her role at Mary's company and was fun to talk to during the event. 
  • My favorite sample of the night came from Lucini Italia. This was a "new to me" company and I am glad I met this company. Lucini Italia introduced the new Cinque a Cinque chickpea frittata mix which was amazing. The only ingredient is chickpea flour. I cannot wait to use this mix ASAP.

Thank you Jeff and his Food Fête staff for including me in such an exciting event. 



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3 Comments:

Blogger Dayna said...

Hi Erin,

So good to see you at Food Fete! We'll keep you updated on more new product announcements, but stay tuned for hamburger buns, hot dog rolls and pizza crusts in May.

Best,
Dayna Davis
On Behalf of Rudi's Gluten-Free Bakery

Blogger Dee said...

Great post Miss Erin! What a fascinating event. I hope to make the next one! Thanks for sharing such a thorough recap.

Gluten Free Dee

Anonymous GlutenFibroFree said...

Great news, thanks for sharing. Always good to see companies expanding their product lines in response to what people really want

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