Last weekend, the Aiya team flew out to beautiful San Francisco, CA for the annual Winter Fancy Food Show.  It was held at the Moscone Convention Center, which was only a short ten minute walk from our hotel.  Instead of renting a car this time, we walked to the show every day, taking in the crisp, chilly air and gorgeous scenery. With perfect weather and an amazing turn out, this show was definitely a great way to start out our exhibition at the 2015 trade shows.

Slightly resembling the Natural Products Expo East and geared more towards consumers and food service businesses, this show had lots of familiar exhibitors and products that could be readily found in local stores like Whole Foods or Target. There were many different types of products, from kale chips to flavored peanut butters to teas to flavored fudge. My favorite was definitely getting to try out all the different type of chips they had. From kale to lentil chips, to chips made with a method called “sprouting,” the market seems to be really expanding on new and healthier alternatives to fried potato chips.

At this show, we sampled out three different drinks: the ever popular Matcha Latte made using Aiya’s Matcha Zen Café Blend and unsweetened vanilla almond milk; our iced Matcha tea using Aiya’s Matcha to Go Sticks; and our hot traditional Matcha Tea, using our Ceremonial Matcha.  All of our samples were greeted with warm compliments and praises, and even some surprised faces. Some mentioned our Matcha lattes were “unexpectedly delicious,” while others mentioned that it “tastes like green tea ice cream.” Many were surprised to learn about the different grades of Matcha, and that Matcha is what is used to flavor green tea flavored desserts.

What was interesting about this show was the increase in the amount of people who have heard of Matcha before.  Compared to our trade shows in 2014, so many more people came up to our booth with some sort of knowledge of Matcha. Part of this may be attributed to the large amount of coverage Matcha has been getting in the media since the end of 2014. Since then, Matcha has exploded in popularity everywhere, popping up in grocery stores and being covered on television and in magazines. But it’s no surprise to us; it was about time that something so delicious, versatile, and healthy started gaining popularity.

Overall, this show went very well; we had tons of different attendees stopping by and trying out our products. What a great show this was, getting to meet new people and nurture relationships with many of our existing customers and others whom we work with every day. It’s always nice to put a face to the voice on the phone or the text in the emails.