Posted by: jillw in: Food/Beverage -
We may be a little biased, but we think Feast Portland is one of the best food festivals in the county. Trendsetting chefs and celebrated purveyors – from Portland and beyond – come together to showcase their skill, creativity and passion for all things culinary.
Fortunately for us – and for you – this foodie playground is conveniently located in our backyard. We can shift from media calls at our desks to a Grand Tasting in Pioneer Courthouse Square in mere minutes, spying trends that are sure to sweep the food & beverage scene in the months ahead and taking copious notes to catch you up on the Main Events.
Grand Tastings: From the Farm
A city block is hardly enough to contain this grand celebration involving more than 80 vendors plying the city’s foodies with all manner of food and drink. For Feast 2018, we found:
- Local bounty mixed with global flavors – imagine sweet Oregon berries spiced with the likes of ginger or habanero.
- Farm and fringe meet mainstream: bitters, rosemary, goat cheese, edible flowers – think farm and table comes to your Facebook feed.
- Plant-forward seems here to stay, as we tried lots of vegan bites, and on the beverage side, Frosè and wines in cans were prevalent.
- High-demand Instagram-worthy shots – a few brands really engaged with consumers by including fun backdrops. The 14 Hands booth was overflowing with Feasters waiting for a fun-sized Frosè and a picture incorporating their unique scenery. The Oregon Berry Farm took it a step further with various backgrounds, stickers and emoji cut-outs.
Posted by: Malisa Meresman in: Food/Beverage -
Mixology is no longer just for the pros. Instead of simply pouring a glass of wine or opening a bottle of beer – or mixing their spirit of choice with soda, tonic or juice – more and more consumers are experimenting with mixology at home.
This trend is pushing mixologists and bartenders to be even more creative, inventing innovative cocktails that will enable them to surprise their customers with something new. And the trend is also pushing beverage companies to be more creative with their offerings and to rethink how brands are built and marketed.
Pernod Ricard USA announced the establishment of a New Brand Ventures division two years ago to build up brands that have significant growth potential, and on August 6 the company hosted a happy hour spotlighting seven brands from this “incubation” division: Aberlour, Plymouth Gin, Lillet, Powers, Del Maguey, Smooth Ambler and Monkey 47.
The event began with a cocktail tasting that allowed guests the opportunity to circulate among the brands’ booths and sample signature cocktails while chatting with ambassadors from these “brands to watch.”
Following the tasting, the brand representatives gathered for a panel discussion moderated by Noah Rothbaum, chief cocktail correspondent and Half Full editor at The Daily Beast and author of “The Art of American Whiskey” and “The Business of Spirits.” The discussion addressed the innovations and industry trends propelling each of the featured brands.
The Finn team had the opportunity to attend the event on behalf of client Lillet, which has grown by embracing two things:
Posted by: Malisa Meresman in: Food/Beverage -
The Cherry Bombe Jubilee is a day-long conference dedicated to conversation, connections, and, of course, great food and drink. It brings together a wide range of speakers, from industry icons to up-and-comers, and some of the best chefs, bakers, winemakers, indie food producers and more that New York has to offer. Founded by Kerry Diamond and Claudia Wu, Cherry Bombe celebrates women and food through a bi-annual magazine, a weekly Radio Cherry Bombe podcast, and Jubilee conference events. Diamond and Wu launched the Jubilee conference series because they felt women were being left out of the food conferences taking place around the world. They wanted a day where women could come together, network, make friends, build their community and discuss the important matters of the day.
This year’s conference in NYC delivered on Jubilee’s reputation of addressing timely topics pertaining to women in the food industry, and gathered an inspiring lineup of speakers, ranging from industry icons such as Ruth Reichl, Nigella Lawson, Kim Severson and Ruth Rogers, to some of today’s up-and-coming innovators including Sabrina Chen & Alana McMillan of JaynesBeard; chef Preeti Mistry; author and entrepreneur Chitra Agrawal; and Adrienne Cheatham, best known as runner-up on the latest season of Top Chef. Some of the top trends we took away from this year’s Jubilee include:
- The #MeToo Movement’s MAJOR Impact on the F&B Industry – Perhaps the most heated panel discussion of the event was the Bright Lights, Broad Nation Moderated by Kim Severson of The New York Times, the panel gathered Jen Agg, Mashama Bailey, Adrienne Cheatham, Stephanie Danler and Angie Mar to discuss the challenges women face today in the industry. This discussion quickly honed in on the #MeToo movement and the ongoing issues that female chefs and food professionals are navigating. There were conflicting opinions raised by panel participants and audience members, indicating just how complex of an issue this is.