“We were very pleased with the turn out this year,” said Executive Director of JETRO New York, Atsushi Semimoto.
New York, NY (PRWEB) March 5, 2011
The International Restaurant & Foodservice Show (IRFS) of New York came to a successful close at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. From February 27th through March 1st, an estimated 19,000 professionals from the restaurant and food service industry strolled through the 80,000 square foot space. Many of the visitors made sure to sample the authentic Japanese delicacies from one of the show’s most popular showcases, The Japan Pavilion. This year, The Japan Pavilion featured eighty vendors with unique, high quality products and regional specialties, twenty-six of whom were exclusively invited to the show by the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) under the auspices of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF).
“Always one of the most anticipated sections at the IRFS,” said Ron Matthews, Industry Vice President for Reed Exhibitions, “the Japan Pavilion brings international flair, buzz and an elevated excitement as guests flock to that area to discover delicious and healthy foods that aren't commonly seen here.”
Vendors who showcased products (some of whom made their international debuts) were chosen from hundreds of potential applicants throughout Japan, and were specifically selected for the quality, authenticity and health attributes of their products. Products on display included vinegars, soy sauces, sea salt, tofu, wasabi, pickled vegetables, teas, cocktail mixers, sake, noodles, udon and seafood.
“We were honored to be chosen by JETRO to display at the IRFS this year,” said vendor Shingo Ito, President of Otokomae Tofuten, who featured soy milk at the show. “We were inspired at the show to mix our soy milk with black tea and we spontaneously created a brand new product!”
This was the first trip to New York for specialty food marketer Michiko Yamaguchi of Germnon LLC. “This event allowed us to reach consumers we typically can't connect with, and introduced us to buyers who don't know our brand but are looking for something unique and authentic,” said Mr. Yamaguchi. “Many guests were surprised by how user-friendly our products are, and I was surprised how visitors positively reacted to lesser-known spices like the yuzu flavor.”
“We were very pleased with the turn out this year,” said Executive Director of JETRO New York, Atsushi Semimoto. The 2011 show saw a 10% up-tick in pre-registered guests and a 35% increase in buyer registration. “The cooking demonstrations added extra excitement and evoked crowd participation,” he went on to say, referring to the four demonstrations JETRO organized.
Chef presenters at the demonstrations included Chef Hiroko Shimbo of Hiroko's Kitchen and Chef Shannon Johnson of Applebee’s Restaurant Group, who explained the Art of Izakaya Dining, showing guests how to extract inspiration from Japanese casual-dining dishes to create healthy and delicious menu items. Chef James McCurley of PF Chang's demonstrated how he incorporates Izakaya-style dishes such as okonomiyaki, into menus to add new and exciting flavors, while Chef Kevin Yeung of Moody's explained how udon noodles are utilized in a casual dining setting. “Overall the show and demonstrations were a success,” stated Mr. Semimoto.
The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) is a government-related organization that works to promote mutual trade and investment between Japan and the rest of the world. JETRO has seventy two offices in fifty-five countries, as well as six branches in the United States, located in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco. Established in 1958 to promote Japanese exports, today JETRO's mandate includes encouraging overseas businesses to bring their operations to Japan, thereby stimulating healthy competition, providing new employment opportunities, and helping to improve Japan’s overall economy. For companies in the US looking to expand or differentiate their product offerings, JETRO showcases premium goods that are uniquely Japanese.
The International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York is the only comprehensive event devoted to the Eastern U.S. restaurant, foodservice and hospitality market. The Show provides a strategic forum to demonstrate food products, technology and equipment - as well as discuss service solutions with current customers and new prospects. The International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York is owned and sponsored by the New York State Restaurant Association, and produced and managed by Reed Exhibitions, the global leader in trade show management. http://www.internationalrestaurantny.com