All Hail Cheese
As much as we love trade events like the International Housewares Show, NY Now, Fancy Food Show, and the Natural Products Expo, many artisan and specialty brands are forgoing traditional tradeshows due to the huge investment costs associated with traveling, merchandising, and launching as one of thousands of companies showing within a 2.6 million square feet of exhibit space.
In a move to differentiate authentically, many product launches are happening in smaller environments that cater to consumer’s desire to meet purveyors and formulate first-hand experiences.
A perfect example of how downsizing pays off happens at California’s Artisan Cheese Festival where everyone samples and sips alongside fellow cheese mongers, food lovers, bloggers, and traditional media. Founded in 2007, it leverages the popularity of adventuresome palates and the desire for a greater degree of transparency within the food and beverage category.
Unlike tradeshows, participating brands can sell directly to the public without distributer or freight fees to achieving better margins that they can in turn pass on to consumers. We even spotted buyers for mainstream corporations are taking notes to gauge interest in new categories.
Exhibitors at the Artisan Cheese Festival may not have a tradeshow booth at a national event but for these passionate trendsetters, the size of the stage is not the prize — it’s the quality of the end product that matters most.