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No Photos Allowed

Another brand can be added to my post about the private-label coffee trend. It’s “Firehouse Blend” coffee from City Brew Coffee Roasting. Like other new private-label coffees on the market, Firehouse Blend benefits a cause: a portion of proceeds goes to the International Association of Fire Fighters’ Burn Foundation.

I found the coffee behind a glass display in the New Products section of the show. This is the place where the latest new items are showcased. This was a lively area because each time an attendee tried to get a cell phone photo of one of these innovative products, a show official quickly approached and pointed to clearly marked “no photography allowed” signs. The official would then explain that since the products are so new, companies don’t want others copying their ideas. I witnessed this exchange about five times in the 15 or so minutes I spent in the area.

Although I obviously can’t post any photos, here’s a description of some of the items that caught my eye:

- Big Train’s concentrated organic tea that can be mixed with milk or a milk substitute to make spiced chai.

-Valley Fine Foods’ frozen butternut squash ravioli.

-Teva Foods’ “Smart Fries,” air-popped potato sticks that have 80% less fat than regular potato chips.

-Vimpex International’s single-serve, shelf-stable vegetables. Available in corn, carrots, beans and green beans, the vegetables are already sold at Wal-Mart under the Great Value brand.