Artisan Specialty Food Production Lives On in Europe
It was nice to have the opportunity to get back out in the world and attend many of the European food shows that took place in the second half of last year. I used the opportunity to tour and understand a great many of the food making operations that supply some of the very unique specialty foods that exist in our world. The Pandemic has ruined or crippled a great many small businesses, but I am happy to report that European food brands have managed to weather the storm.
In many parts of the world younger generations are not continuing the farming tradition of their families, and instead opting to move to the populated cities to pursue a different type of lifestyle and career. Companies faced with this situation are often forced to sell their businesses to larger conglomerates, often changing the nature and even the products of a known brand.
In Europe I continue to encounter specialty food companies with centuries of experience in artisan food production where the younger generations are optimistic about continuing the family legacy. They are proud of their heritage, and while they may bring modern ideas to the business to help their family brands transform and remain relevant in a changing world, they are also content with retaining the artisan culture and production methods that make their foods enjoyable and memorable worldwide.
The United States remains a critical export market for European food brands. Since many Europeans have been unable to travel to the USA to foster new relationships during the Pandemic, this coming year will be critical for reestablishing existing relationships and looking forward to building new business relationships to help their companies grow and renew a solid base of business.
With the opening of this Winter Fancy Food Show, I hope that the great food brands of the world can successfully reenergize their plight to secure more shelf space with relevant retail trading partners. We wish everyone a successful show.