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Grocery Showcase West celebrates 50th anniversary

All photos by Ariella Fong

The Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers (CFIG) brought together established brands, first-time manufactuers and distributors for two days of insight into the food industry, as well as product launches, at Grocery Showcase West. This year's trade show and conference, which took place from April 21 to 22, also marks the 50th Anniversary of the CFIG.

The showcase, held at the Vancouver Convention Centre, helps grocery entrepreneurs connect with distributors, retailers and industry leaders that can take small products and transform them into household names. Here are a few products to look for at a grocery store near you.

Rhythm Superfoods' Kale Chips, distributed by Temple Lifestyle, is packed with flavor and nutrients and comes in a variety of flavors, including Kook Ranch, Bombay Curry, Zesty Nacho, Texas BBQ and Mango Habanero.

Florida-based company Raaw Foods also highlights innovative flavor combos in their products. Juice blends include Pineapple Cucumber, Raspberry Lemongrass, Cranberry Ginger and Beets.

Canadian company ONEearth Functional Foods is just one of many exhibitors offering pre-made mixes. Their line of products caters to the health trend we have seen over the last few years, one that doesn't seem to be slowing down any time soon. Using local, organic ingredients, many of which grow on their own farms, ONEearth supplies easy to make baking mixes. Product line includes a Quinoa Crunch Chocolate Square Mix, Blueberry Amaranth Blonde Brownie Mix and a Chai Chia Coconut Cookie Mix along with a few others.

Convenient, easy-to-prepare dishes are also increasingly popular as households become busier. Catering to these demands are companies such as Vij's, recent winner of Vancouver Magazine's 2012 Best Indian Restaurant Award. Vij's line of prepared curries, including Curried Chickpeas, are accessible ways to enjoy fine dining in the comfort of your own home.

Other trends highlighted at Grocery Showcase West include innovative packaging—where social media and digital marketing are integrated in response to a changing demographic of consumers. QR codes and scanning apps are one of the few ways that connect a consumer to a product and provide a valued added experience. Other companies, such as Sally's Cereals are opting for ways to reduce their carbon footprint with smaller, streamlined packaging strategies. Packaging is now a conversation of art, social activity and the psychology of consumer behavior.

For more information on Grocery Showcase West and to view a detailed listing of all the 400+ exhibitors, visit CFIG's website.

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