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Canada’s Largest Consumer Food Show, EAT! Vancouver, Celebrates 10th Anniversary

June 27, 2012

Logo - EAT! Vancouver

EAT! Vancouver is Canada's largest consumer food, beverage and cooking festival held annually at B.C. Place Stadium in Vancouver, British Columbia. This year's 10th anniversary show took place from June 1-3, 2012 and included such activities as cooking demonstrations, wine and cheese seminars, cookbook signings, and chef competitions. Hundreds of brands and companies were present at the show, with a diverse range of products. Both major and start-up names could be found, representing anything from food, beverage and kitchen equipment exhibitors, to wineries, breweries, and restaurants.

Food trends spotted throughout the show included health and wellness, organic, wild, local, artisan/craft, gourmet, free-from, fair trade, superfoods, convenience, ethnic, sustainability, and raw. The strong showing of superfoods at the show emphasized vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds that are naturally high in nutrients and antioxidants. One Canadian company offering these products is Everyday Superfoods from Vancouver, B.C., which showcased a range of raw vegan cereals containing mixes of organic chia seeds, buckwheat, hulled hemp hearts, cranberries, pumpkin seeds, goji berries, almonds, pecans, and raisins.

The popularity of organic food continues to grow and evolve as demonstrated by the “Pets EAT! Too” feature area. Auntie Kim's Better Bickies, a Canadian company hailing from Squamish, B.C., had a wide range of organic dog snacks at the show. These bite-sized treats, handmade from human-grade ingredients for the health-conscious pet lover, contain no wheat, corn, soy, GMOs, additives, preservatives or chemicals of any kind.

Free-from foods were prevalent throughout the show, offering tasty vegan, kosher, nut-, soy-, lactose-, MSG-, and GMO-free options. For example, vegan cheese, fruit and nut bars, coconut sugar, and cereals were marketed for consumers both with and without special dietary needs. Cloud 9 Specialty Bakery from New Westminster, B.C., had a tantalizing display of gluten-free cookies, baking mixes, and their signature gourmet marshmallows.

Wild food was also present at EAT! Vancouver, in the form of gourmet, forest-harvested mushrooms. Vancouver Island-based company, Untamed Feast, harvests these mushrooms (which cannot be farmed of cultivated) predominantly in B.C., using their mobile, commercial food dehydrator. Image Source: Untamed Feast

Innovations in packaging were also seen throughout the show. One example came from haywire winery of Summerland, B.C., whose 3 litre Bag in a Box wines were touted as being environmentally friendly and perfect for camping, hiking, or other outdoor use. Another example is from The Spice Depot of Burnaby, B.C., whose kosher, MSG-free spices are sold with a grinder on every bottle for fresher spice flavour, as opposed to conventional pre-ground spice shakers. Image source: Haywire winery

These are just some of the innovative and interesting things showcased at this year's event! Keep an eye out for next year's EAT! Vancouver show, scheduled to take place from May 24-26, 2013 at B.C. Place Stadium in Vancouver, B.C.

Alex Tse
B.C. Regional Office

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