Asian Feastival is beyond just tasting and fun. We will include a mini food expo, like a curated show, featuring some of my favorite things – established brands and rising stars – all relevant to today’s lifestyle and appealing to the quality-conscious food enthusiasts who also DIY in their kitchen at home when not dining out. Therefore, our sponsors are not random, but strategically selected to fulfill this vision.
I have been in marketing of food products for a long time, launching and shaping many items – from luxury brand chocolates, cooking oil to canned beverages and convenient heat-and-serve items. Naturally curious about packaged goods and food/beverage products as well as what’s local and seasonal, I spend a lot of time hunting for cool, new things. When I travel overseas, my itinerary usually includes time “shopping” in food markets or farmers markets.
Recently, I was mesmerized by the range of frozen products carried by this retail chain called Ma Glaciere Picard in Paris. Only frozen food products are sold there – but these are not your typical mac-and-cheese from the freezer section. These are fancy gourmet food items and bite-sized delicacies that otherwise require tremendous skill, time and labor to prepare. Even their carts are insulated with padding. Who would have thought in a city known for fine dining, oven-fresh crusty baguette and farm-to-table style of eating, has a growing demand for frozen foods?
In this blog, I will periodically update you on what Asian products you can expect to find at our show, giving you a preview, so you understand what you’re tasting when you join us on Labor Day Monday.
Q: Why is there a Mini Food Expo at this event?
Over the years, I learned from working on and attending numerous food trade events, the time spent on checking out any particular product among hundreds is extremely short. It’s like speed-dating. We tend to forget that food trade professionals are also consumers, influenced by what they see, hear, read and experience. Not growing up eating specific Asian cuisines, many of them will need cultural and culinary background knowledge to help them make sound choices – as they may not have a benchmark of what is “authentic” and great (not just good). Traveling is a fantastic way, but it is not always possible. So unlike stepping into a huge store, this mini expo is like walking into a boutique or a gallery. It’s quality time to bond with these brands, actually tasting and asking questions in an enjoyable and festive environment.
Q: Are attendees able to buy these products?
This is designed to be an exhibition, to allow our food lovers to taste and learn more. We do not encourage selling at this event. But we made sure these products are available either in retail locations or online at least, so consumers will have a chance to purchase later if they like. Look at our event program book or visit the links on this site to their respective websites under our Sponsors page for more information.
Q: What are some of the new hot products?
I need to emphasize that some of them are “new” perhaps to the American market, but not really new in Asia. Like Pureness Health Natural Vinegar from Taiwan, is a very elegant and sophisticated beverage. The concept of drinking vinegar may be foreign to people here in the United States, but the health properties of vinegar, especially in aiding digestion and boosting metabolism, are well established. This new brand, positioned as a beverage, has natural brown rice, ume plum and anka (a red rice yeast) flavors, which can be mixed into a variety of drinks, or simply added to juice, smoothies or sparkling water. Made from natural ingredients and meticulously prepared using mineral water, it’s similar to Kombucha tea, a fermented drink touted as a health supplement, has created a lot of attention lately as a healthful beverage. The Taiwanese vinegar drink, especially those with natural yet interesting flavors, is poised to gain favor among the sophisticated health-conscious consumers.
The versatility of this product is also excellent. This can be simply added to juice, salad dressing (YES, it IS vinegar), tea, or mixed with other beverages.
After tasting a large variety of food items at Asian Feastival, a shot of vinegar added to sparkling water with a twist of lemon will be a refreshing and delicious way to help digestion!