In order to get some idea of the Swiss products, the buyers at Fairway Market traveled to Switzerland in April 2017, where they met with every company that had signed up for the Food Challenge and had products and company presented in short pitches. In total, the representatives of the supermarket chain were inspired by 39 companies.
The buyers are now back in the US after having been deluged with choices, and must now select only a handful of SMEs. However, taste isn’t the only deciding factor; the price and the packaging also have to be right. Attention is also paid to the product features, which must mirror today's trends such as sustainability, regionality or organic cultivation.
Foreign products that have been sustainably produced are definitely a trend in the US.
“Swiss food producers have embraced environmentally-friendly production, even if the companies are not always so aware of this,” explains Damian Felchlin, a food specialist at Switzerland Global Enterprise.
An effort that is worthwhile
Swiss SMEs face a tough challenge. They have to make final clarifications, complete forms and take care of liability insurance. Those companies that receive an order from Fairway Market will be the winners and allowed to ship their products to the US, where they will be showcased for three weeks. Afterwards, milk products will remain on the shelves for six weeks, while Fairway Market will sell other food products for a further six months. There is also an opportunity to secure long-term supply contracts.
The Food Challenge, which is supported by the Federation of Swiss Food Industries, fial, Switzerland Global Enterprise and Swiss Business Hub USA, is a fantastic opportunity for Swiss SMEs. Fairway Market has 14 retail outlets in New York and the surrounding area.