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Welcome to the annual Food Trade News Market Study issue! As most of you are familiar with, this project is a real undertaking that require months of research and compiling of data. Once again, we are proud to present the entire metro New York/New Jersey market, the Greater Philadelphia market and most of the Northeast U.S. I want to personally thank all of the customers, distributors, vendors and friends for your assistance in assembling this wealth of information. And just as important, I am fortunate to be working with an outstanding team here at Best-Met Publishing Company. Their collective expertise in organizing projects of this magnitude is unmatched. It has been a terrific team effort with the guidance of our VP and editorial director Terri Maloney, director of sales & marketing/specialty food editor Karen Fernandez, FTN VP and general manager Maria Maggio, our office manager and data accumulator Beth Pripstein, and certainly our publisher Jeff Metzger. And they all pulled together in the same direction! I’m sure you will agree after perusing the following pages, that this issue is the culmination of a truly monumental team effort. Enjoy the reading and we hope you find it useful for your business.

While the industry golf season is fully under way and the summer weather looks like it’s here for an extended stay, there are two non-golf events coming up after Labor Day that you should mark down on your calendars.

The fifth annual World of the Latino Cuisine Trade Show (El Mundo de la Cocina Latina) will be held on September 19-20 at the Meadowlands Expo Center in Secaucus, New Jersey. This unique food and beverage trade show includes the participation of American food manufacturers, producers, and distributors as well as importers and exporters from Caribbean and Latin and South American countries. Exhibit categories include frozen foods, grocery, organic products, dairy, beverages, meat and non-food products. The event provides a wonderful venue for producers to explore distribution channels developed for, and serving, the growing Latino market in America which now has a purchasing power of $2.1 trillion, with food and beverage expenses of more than $240 billion per year. Educational seminars, culinary demonstrations and extensive network opportunities with international and domestic vendors, foreign buyers and international producers all are part of the two-day event. While the show was finding its way the first couple of years, it now has been steadily growing the last few years as the only food show specifically catering to the Latino community in the Unites States. The show’s CEO Bill Colon attributes some of that growth to the emerging food trends in the country. “Since 2013, statistics about the food industry have shown that Hispanic foods have become more mainstream,” said Colon. “For example, salsa is the number one selling condiment in the world, and tortillas outsell hot dog and hamburger buns.” In New Jersey, many people are familiar with Jersey City-based Goya and Moonachie’s Grace Kennedy, but there are a number of other $100 million-plus Latino companies in the state as well, Colón said. The show really seems to be hitting its stride and would certainly be worth a trip to check out for your own company. For more information on the show go to www.latinofoodshow.com or call 848.258.2144.

The other event to check out post-Labor Day is the 2018 Marcum Food & Beverage Summit on September 12 which will be held at the Convene Conference Center in New York City and will bring together some of the best and brightest food industry executives for an evening of networking and exchange of vital information. The Food & Beverage Summit concept was created by Lou Biscotti, Marcum LLP’s new food and beverage group associate who joined Marcum in March. Biscotti, a leader in the regional food industry, headed up the annual Food & Beverage Industry Study for his former firm, Mazars USA, for years, and prior to that, started the concept at his own firm Biscotti-Toback. Marcum LLP is one of the largest independent public accounting and advisory services firms in the US with offices throughout the country, China, Ireland and the Grand Cayman. For more information on the Marcum Food & Beverage Summit contact Flo Federman at 631.414.4299 or flo.federman@marcumllp.com.

RDD Associates LLC, Totowa, NJ, has welcomed Lisa Bonomo to the position of business insights and analytics specialist. In this role, she will be supporting key company initiatives involving marketing services, customer management and new business development. Prior to joining RDD Associates, Lisa spent six years at Toys R Us as a digital merchandising analyst. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in fashion merchandising from Philadelphia University and has more than nine years of experience in the retail industry, serving in various roles in merchandising, ecommerce, digital marketing, data management and analytics. She will work collaboratively with RDD’s leadership, marketing, business and account management teams. Best wishes, Lisa!

Passing along best wishes to Jackie Donovan, eastern regional sales director at Ripple Foods as she trains for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon. Jackie is running the marathon to raise money for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. St. Jude’s is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Their purpose is clear: “Finding cures. Saving children.” Many of you might remember Jackie from her time at Fairway Market and White Rose prior to joining Ripple Foods. To help support Jackie in her charitable endeavor go to http://fundraising.stjude.org and type in Jacqueline Donovan. Good luck, Jackie, and well done!!

Well that’s it for now all folks. I hope you utilize and enjoy this market study issue and please feel free to reach out to me with your comments. I hope to see you out at the various outings, dinners and trade events this summer! As always you can reach me at 201.250.2217 or kgallagher@best-met.com.