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 The Low Carb Luxury Online Magazine   Low Carb Connoisseur
 
    August 2004    Page 3       > About LCL Magazine     > Cover Page      > Inside Cover    Feature Pages:   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11  12  13  14     

 
Feature Articles
 Keeping a Food Diary
 Cooking With Rhubarb
 Notes From The Field
 Shop Since You've Dropped
 Here's What's New!
 I Have a Metabolism?
 Jonny Bowden Weighs In
 Flawless Summer Skin!
 Dining at 14,000 Feet
 Makeup Tips: Part Two
 Open Letter from CarbSmart
 Not Losing Weight?
 The Sugar Alcohol Question
 Make Your Summer Spicy!


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    Notes From The Field by Mark Uhrmacher

Mark Uhrmacher Recently someone pointed out to me that my last couple of columns had a negative tone and it would be nice to mention some of the good things I've observed recently. Let's start with a couple of food shows.

Food shows are food-focused trade shows at various venues around the world where food manufacturers and marketers setup booths and buyers attend for one to five days.

The New York Fancy Food Show:

No other show can compete with this one. Being a New Yorker, the convenience of having it in the same city helps me feel that way. Regardless, this show is my absolute favorite. Vendors come from all over the world to display their gourmet food items. Honestly, I could spend a day in the section from Italy! Many of the food shows I go to are health-food oriented and, as a result, the average culinary quality of the items being sampled is low. This show provides an opportunity to try premium items from all over the world.

Aside from the opportunity to sample all this great food, this show gave us an opportunity to meet many different kinds of customers. After an exhausting three days I was left with a few distinct ideas about the direction of Expert Foods and, perhaps, the low-carb industry.

  1. The customer base has broadened. At least a third of the interest in our products came from food service (i.e. caterers, restaurants, hotels, etc.) operations rather than retail stores. They see a need to provide high-quality healthy options to their customers.

  2. Low-carb was present, but with less frenzy. At the San Francisco Fancy Food Show in January many vendors started putting out low-carb signs during the show. They felt it was necessary to be competitive. Of course, that frenzy led people to put out those signs even though their products weren't really low-carb. There was certainly less of that at this show.

  3. The buyers are well-educated. We received better questions than ever at this show. Buyers have more experience and more information before the show, leading them to ask smarter questions. Educated customers are our best customers!

American Culinary Federation National Convention:

The ACF show was very different from Fancy Food. The ACF is a 75 year old trade group of chefs ranging from independent restaurants to major hotel and cruise line companies. This trade show ran in Orlando for two days as part of the ACF's five day national convention which included classes, seminars, and a gala dinner or two. On the trade show floor over 70% of the room was wearing a white chef's jacket — an impressive sight to see. We didn't actually have a booth at this show. I was walking the floor to see if we want to show there next year or at any of their regional shows in the intervening twelve months.

Toward the end of the trade show I ended up speaking with Jack Hayes, the southeast bureau chief of Nation's Restaurant News, one of the largest restaurant trade magazines in the U.S. I asked him what he thought was interesting about this year's ACF show. He indicated there were two large changes this year:

  1. A significant focus on ethnic diversity. Asian cuisine was in evidence everywhere.

  2. A role of the chef in a restaurant/food service operation has become a serious treatment of nutrition.

The first point is interesting however I think the second point is more interesting for readers of Low Carb Luxury. It was great to see so many of the chefs at the concerned about the nutritional profile of their offerings. The ACF even sponsored a nutritional cooking contest. Unfortunately, I only was allowed in the trade show and didn't see the contest.

Of course, there were a few issues with some of the vendors on the show room floor. There were several items labeled low-carb that had flour or sugar listed prominently on their ingredients label. My favorite was one vendor who made a wild claim about net carbs calculations, "you can subtract sugar if you're on South Beach." I'm sure Dr. Agatston would love that.

A Great Question:

Recently, I received a great question from a consumer. Basically, she was confused how a product labeled "no sugar added" could have dextrose on the ingredients label. She questioned whether the FDA was lax in enforcing their rules.

Unfortunately, this product hasn't broken any rules. The "no sugar added" health claim means the product hasn't added any table sugar (a.k.a. sucrose) to their product. The claim implies nothing about any other sugar (including dextrose, lactose, etc). Along the same lines "sugar-free" products can have any amount of fructose in them and still make that claim.

I hope everyone has a great August. Please keep sending in the questions. It is great to hear from you. I can be reached at MarkLCLux@ExpertFoods.com.

                                                          

Copyright © August 2004  Mark Uhrmacher and Low Carb Luxury
Title photo Copyright © 2004  Neil Beaty and Low Carb Luxury



       

 
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