Each spring, thousands of people gather at the Flanagan Food Show to visit, sample unique new products, network with industry leaders and get exclusive show deals on a selection of products.
It was our 37th year hosting the show, and this year's was amazing. There was a buzz of excitement in the air as members of the industry came together to celebrate and learn about all things foodservice.
Because there is so much to see and taste (everyone’s favourite part) in just one day, we’ve recapped highlights of the show for you.
We sampled new products, learned new trends from each presentation, and had the chance to chat with vendor reps about what’s new and exciting in the world of Canadian foodservice.
I’m Jackie, Senior Marketing Manager at Flanagan’s.
I was able to visit many booths on show day and wanted to share some of my favourite discoveries:
Tamper-Evident Carry Out Bags
Flanagan code: 504489
These bags protect food from being tampered with when being delivered.
Recently I heard a story where a third party delivery driver was helping himself to some of the food he was delivering. I am sure most drivers aren’t—but this stuck in my head so I was very pleased to see these bags at the show. It is a large bag that permanently seals when the food is packed. Once delivered, the customer simply removes a perforated area of the bag and takes their food out. It has a write-on block allowing operators to identify the customer or order number.
They also offer custom print the bags; minimum case order is 250 cases.
McCain Avocado Wedges and Root Vegetable Medley
Flanagan codes: 199024 and 193039
McCain actually had four new products that I enjoyed sampling, but I forced myself to choose my two favourites to share with you:
YUM! Menu penetration for avocados are up 32% over the past four years and this breaded avocado is a great appetizer or addition to a burger. This provides operators an easy way to handle avocado, which can be rather temperamental.
Root Vegetable Medley
A tasty, unique twist on a traditional fry. Carrots, parsnips and beets are cut and lightly battered. Presentation is beautiful on the plate!
Carole’s Cheesecake on a Stik
Matcha Green Tea – 107921
California Almond – 107919
New York Classic – 107933
Belgium Chocolate – 107934
Well HELLO, cheesecake on a stick!
Delicious, only 190 calories each, and available in four flavours: Matcha Green Tea, California Almond, New York Classic, and Belgium Chocolate.
This is the perfect product to allow your guests indulge, while not breaking the calorie-bank. Today’s consumers are time strapped and want convenient foods that are easy to snack on. This product would work great in a location marketed as an afternoon snack.
Mini Deep Dish Pepperoni Pizza Appetizer and Chicken Quesadilla Appetizer
Flanagan codes: 187791 and 187785
Brom Mise en Bouche was not a company I was familiar with before the show, and I was eager to try their appetizers. With more than 20 years’ experience in food manufacturing, their line of hors d’oeuvres and canapés were delicious!
My favourites were the pizza-style mini tartlet with pepperoni and cheese and the tortilla dough cone filled with chicken, strong cheddar, peppers and onions.
Strawberry Peanut Stick, Raspberry Chocolate Danish and Sweet Potato Bun
Strawberry Peanut Stick – 107549
Raspberry Chocolate Danish – 107565
Sweet Potato Bun – 126150
The Bridor story began in the 1970s, when Louis Le Duff moved from France to Quebec and couldn’t find a pastry to equal that in France. He opened in his first bakery in 1980 and has been developing high quality breads and pastries for over 30 years.
Bridor just launched a Strawberry Peanut Stick to mirror the attributes of a peanut butter and jam sandwich, which was scrumptious!
I am hard pressed to pick between that and the chocolate raspberry Danish. I was very excited about the sweet potato hamburger bun. The taste is very subtle, making this bun ideal for a pulled pork sandwich.
MadeGood Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip and Sweet and Salty Granola Bars
Chocolate Chip – 364538
Sweet and Salty – 364539
Made Good has a great story, leaning on healthy food as well as being an inclusive company. Half of their employees—from management to production—are women. Newcomers to Canada and people from under-represented groups enjoy a sense of belonging at MadeGood.
With one full serving of vegetables from six different sources, the vegan granola bars are a great source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, which can help contribute to a healthy digestive and immune system.
Wings' Uncooked Ramen Noodles
Flanagan code: 119450
What is great about this traditional ramen noodle is that the product comes pre-portioned in a case of 24. Each package is 100 grams. It can be used in soups or as a cold noodle salad.
Here is a Ramen Chicken Noodle Soup recipe using the product:
- 4 bundles Wing’s Ramen Noodles
- 5 L chicken broth
- 1 inch ginger
- 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 tbsp. canola oil
- 2 tbsp. Wing’s Soy Sauce
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 1 carrot cut into match sticks
- 2 hard-boiled eggs, cut in half lengthwise
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 4 tsp. sesame oil
- In a large pot, bring chicken broth and ginger to a boil then reduce heat. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, slice chicken thighs.
- Heat canola oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat and add chicken.
- Once chicken pieces are fully cooked and have a nice sear, add Wing’s Soy Sauce and sugar. Continue frying until chicken evenly coated.
- Boil Wing’s Ramen Noodles in lightly salted water. Drain, and portion into serving bowls.
- Add chicken broth to noodles, and arrange chicken, carrots, egg, and green onions on top.
- Drizzle with sesame oil and serve.
I’m Katrina, Marketing Representative at Flanagan’s.
There were so many delicious new products showcased on April 10 at our Kitchener show that I had trouble keeping my summary concise.
These were my favourites:
Beyond Sausage by Beyond Meat
Original Brat – 177000
Hot Italian – 177002
Sweet Italian – 177004
Walking into the show, the Beyond Meat booth was high on my list of vendors to visit. I was so excited to try the Beyond Sausage and it did not disappoint.
Though I’m not vegetarian, the Beyond Burger has been my A&W go-to order since it was released. The Beyond Sausage has the same attributes as the burger in that it has a similar texture and taste to that of its animal protein counterpart.
Wow! Factor’s Sangria Cake, Reese Peanut Butter Blondie, and Vegan Chocolate Torte
Sangria Cake – 104169
Reese Peanut Butter Blondie – 104154
Vegan Chocolate Cake – 104175
Wow! Factor was another booth I didn’t want to miss. I featured the Reese Peanut Butter Blondie in an issue of our New Product Newsletter shortly before the show, and I had to try it for myself.
Wow! Factor has released five unique new products for spring 2019, and these products were three of them.
The Reese Peanut Butter Blondie tastes exactly as you’d imagine a Reese candy would taste in cake form. In other words, decadent.
Cavendish DeliverCrisp™ Fries
Flanagan code: 193130
This year, Cavendish debuted their DeliverCrisp™ fries; a skin-on, straight-cut fry that maintains its crispiness for 30 minutes while en route to your customer’s door. 55% of restaurant delivery occasions are incremental orders, and right now French fries are the fastest growing food item in delivery.
No matter what serving container these are packaged in, DeliverCrisp™ fries are designed to provide an unprecedented hold time.
Fully Cooked Chicken Wings
Flanagan code 164494
Reuven International featured their new Fully Cooked Wings (exclusive to Flanagan!), and they were incredibly tasty as is, without any seasoning.
These wings are prepared straight from your freezer to the fryer and ready in less than five minutes. Because they’re fully cooked, you eliminate any food safety concerns and minimize fryer oil degradation.
Even better: this product qualifies for Brand Points Plus, and until June 30 you can earn 5 bonus points for each case purchased!
Flanagan code: 164494
Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate – 177000
Almond Sea Salt & Dark Chocolate – 177002
Almond & Coconut – 177004
Kind, indeed. KIND bars are all about simplicity. With no artificial sweeteners or added sugars, these bars are nutrient-dense without compromising flavour.
Speaking of flavour, the three that were featured at the show were delicious; Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate, Almond Sea Salt & Dark Chocolate, and Almond & Coconut.
Takeout, Delivery & Off-Premise Insights
Margot Swindall, Director, Business Development for Technomic, discussed the current landscape of off-premise dining, its growth in Canada, how to modify your menu to accommodate takeout, and third-party apps.
Disruptors bring opportunities and challenges. Get in front of delivery and takeout to yield opportunities for your restaurant.
Learn and adapt to leverage the best menu mix, packaging, and tech for your concept. Consumers are ready. Make options available that are flavourful, craveable, and transportable.
Consider overall operational shifts over time. Are you ready? Think seating, pick-up counter, labour time shifting and more. Are you tracking how delivery and takeout is impacting your restaurant sales and traffic now? Look to make operational changes moving forward.
Missed the presentation?
Download the exclusive slides from Technomic’s keynote.
(Panel) Farm to Table: Celebrating Stratford Chefs School Alumni, Recipes, and Perth County Producers
Moderated by: Andrew Coppolino, author of Farm to Table and Kitchener based writer and food broadcaster
Moderated by Andrew Coppolino, Kitchener-based writer and author of Farm-to-Table: Celebrating Stratford Chefs School Alumni, Recipes & Perth County Producers, our Farm-to-Table panel heard from:
- Ryan O'Donnell: Executive Chef, Mercer Hall
- Randi Rudner: Chef-Instructor and Program Manager, Stratford Chefs School
- Antony John (aka "The Manic Organic"), Soiled Reputation
- Erin McIntosh: McIntosh Farms and Butcher Shop.
Here are our favourite takeaways:
“Seasonality is liberating because it allows you to change your menu and innovate with the seasons.” – Antony John
“There is still value to food being ‘Ontario-grown’ when we refer to ingredients as ‘local.’” – Chef-Instructor Randi Rudner
“[Listing producers] in menu descriptions can be distracting to some, but to the right people—and to the community—it means a lot, and that’s who we’re talking to.” – Executive Chef Ryan O’Donnell
“Community is crucial. Local agriculture is forged from relationships; from farmer to chef, server to customer.” – Erin McIntosh
Food Rescue: A New Way to Donate Excess Food
Veronica Summerhill, Market Analyst and Evaluation Coordinator and Winston Rosser, Food Donor Coordinator for Second Harvest, discussed Food Rescue by Second Harvest, a platform that redistributes edible food from business to service programs in local communities. It’s simple and fast, and in 2018, Second Harvest rescued and delivered more than 12 million pounds of food.
Food Rescue enables your business to reduce food waste and loss, reduce tipping fees, attract and keep dedicated staff, and build community relationships and shopper retention. The platform allows you to see how much you’re donating, saving, and how many people you’ve helped.
Once again, we had a Truckload Deals section in the centre of the show floor that featured one-day-only deals on select products. Flanagan customers placed their orders on the spot, and saved anywhere from $0.50 to $18.00 per case (or portion, depending on the product).
Products with deals included Grille & Galley Gourmet steak, Redpath sugar, Gay Lea salted and unsalted butter, High Liner seafood, and a variety of smallwares.
Though the Truckload Deals were one-day-only, show pricing applies for six weeks past show date; reach out to your Territory Manager for more information or call Customer Relations at 1-855-FLANAGAN.
Thank you to all guests, vendors, presenters and staff for another wonderful show season. We look forward to seeing you in 2020!