During the first week of October, the Aiya team flew out to Las Vegas to exhibit at the annual Supply Side West show, one of the two largest ingredient shows we attend each year. The SSW shows are always short and sweet, with only 2 days instead of 3.
The Supply Side West shows (or any ingredient show, really) are normally considerably slower than our retail or consumer based shows – but there’s more potential to connect with larger businesses. However, this year’s SSW show was a bit different than the rest. The first day of the show was busier than it has ever been for us at an ingredient show! Maybe the increase in traffic was due to the spike in Matcha’s popularity and interest from earlier this year, or maybe it was due to our larger, more visible 10×20 booth, located on the corner of a walkway. No matter the reason, we are always excited to see so much attention on Matcha.
Because ingredients are such a foundation of the food industry, it’s always interesting to see the new and emerging trends of the year. This year, the trend seemed to be nutrition and energy by gummies! Gummies have always been a popular way to get children to take their vitamins, but it seems like the trend has increased even more this year. Now, you can take not only vitamins, but also energy, iron, and even essential oils from a gummy. Maybe this isn’t a completely new trend per se, but it seemed like you couldn’t turn a corner without seeing one of these gelatinous treats being sampled out. Who knows? Maybe next year, they’ll come up with a functional Matcha gummy!
As mentioned earlier, we had a larger 10×20 booth at this show, located on the corner of a main aisle. The setup of the booth was pretty cool, with one counter for the iced drinks (Iced Matcha and Iced Matcha lattes) and the tea flavored chocolates, and another smaller counter purely for the hot Ceremonial Matcha. We received tons of compliments about our larger sized booth and about how smooth and mild our Ceremonial Matcha was. We even ran out of the tea flavored chocolates during the second day of the show.
With that said, this was a great way to end our 2015 trade show year. We definitely enjoyed the difference in pace of this year’s SSW show, and hope next year’s show will be even busier. Maybe by this time next year, Matcha will be as well-known as kale or peanut butter. But even if it’s not, we hope that Matcha will continue to shine, not only through 2016, but for years to come. Till next year!