Naturally New York’s ‘A Fancy New York Pitch Slam’ Returns to Summer Fancy Food Show

NEW YORK, May 31, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Naturally New York’s “A Fancy New York Pitch Slam” will return to the biggest specialty food industry event in North America, Summer Fancy Food Show, from 4-5:30 p.m. on June 26 at the Javits Center (429 11th Ave.; main stage; level one; hall E) in partnership with the Specialty Food Association (SFA). Naturally New York’s Pitch Slam gives natural and specialty products entrepreneurs the center stage to pitch their consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands to a panel of expert judges and Fancy Food Show attendees. Five finalists will compete for a chance to win a $150,000+ prize package including cash, services and a free booth at the 2024 Winter Fancy Food Show, to help propel their company’s growth.

“The first Fancy New York Pitch Slam collaboration was a highlight of the Summer Fancy Food Show last year,” said Denise Purcell, vice president, resource development for the Specialty Food Association. “There is a lot of positive momentum going into this second Pitch Slam event. We are looking forward to an exciting competition and opportunity to collaborate with Naturally New York.”

To qualify for the competition, companies must have been in the market for at least one year (before the date of entry into the contest) with a CPG natural or specialty product or service; have generated $100,000 - $2,000,000 in gross revenues during 2022 (across all sales channels); and be a member of Naturally New York (NNY) or SFA. Applications were received from around the country, and narrowed down to five finalists who will advance to the live event to present their pitch:

  • Harlem Baking Co., a premium dessert, food company founded by Charles Devigne, U.S. Marine Corps veteran and New York City restaurateur based in East Harlem, who is known for his original, handcrafted, gluten-free, hormone-free cheesecake and the development of his unique sustainable packaging for delivery.
  • Jasberry, a B Corp, social enterprise food company co-founded in Bangkok, Thailand, by CEO, Peetachai (Neil) Dejkraisak and CMO, Pornthida Wongphatharakul that transforms lives by solving farmer poverty with the world’s first, non-GMO, Jasberry Organic Superfood Rice.
  • Kekoa Foods, a purpose-built, inclusive food company based in New Jersey and co-founded by fathers and partners, Danny Auld, president, and David Fullner, CEO, that focuses on veggie-forward organic purees incorporating herbs, roots, and spices for nutritional value and palate expansion resulting in a bold new take on baby food.
  • Loisa, a New York-based, minority-owned food company, co-founded by Scott Hattis, CEO, and Kenneth Luna, that brings an upgraded Latin cooking experience to families with its line of pantry and flavor essentials including non-GMO, organic, vegan, allergen-friendly seasonings and sauces that replace existing mainstay artificial ingredient brands.
  • SAYSO, a Brooklyn-based, women-owned, premium cocktail company co-founded by Alison Evans and Chloe Bergson who invented the first-ever craft cocktail tea bags to create complex, mixologist-quality cocktails and mocktails, in minutes, with clean ingredients that are low-sugar, Kosher, gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan and plant-based.

Heather K. Terry, founder and CEO of GoodSAM Foods, will host the event. She will be joined by a panel of all-star industry judges: Christina Briscoe, food and beverage category manager, SoHo House & Co., North America; Melissa Dolan, director, Emil Capital Partners; John Lawson, senior local forager, Northeast Region, Whole Foods Market; and Tapan Shah, head of venture capital, Snack Futures, Mondelēz International. Pitch Slam finalists will each have 3 minutes to present their pitch and will be judged on presentation, storytelling abilities, innovation, social impact, branding, packaging, and market viability. Attendees will have the opportunity to vote for the People’s Choice winner, who will also receive a valuable prize package.

“All finalists, whether they win or lose, benefit from our Pitch Slam event,” said Terry, who is also an executive board member and founding partner of NNY. “The visibility alone is worth the opportunity. Last year, we had 625 professionals in attendance. It’s a huge boost to any brand.”

“A Fancy New York Pitch Slam” is open to Summer Fancy Food Show attendees and Naturally New York members and guests. The event is included as part of the Summer Fancy Food Show registration or individual event tickets can be purchased for $35 or $25 for NNY members. The winners will receive prize packages from: Specialty Food Association, NIQ, FounderMade, SPINS, Kerry, JPG Resources, Pitch Publicity, New Hope Network, Haven’s Kitchen, Ampla, SG, BeyondBrands, Foa & Son, SIX60 Partners and BeyondSKU. Register at:

About Naturally New York:

Naturally New York (NNY) is a distinguished 501(c)(6) trade association that was established in 2021 with a singular objective: to foster connections among New York area entrepreneurs, leaders, investors, and service providers within the thriving natural products community. NNY’s mission is to harness, accelerate, and elevate the power and impact of conscious business practices in the natural, organic, and sustainable products ecosystem. Through community-based programming, networking opportunities, influential advocacy, and collaborative endeavors, NNY unites and engages a diverse range of brands, investors, and service providers, from promising start-ups to established Fortune 500 companies. Together, NNY shapes a more equitable, prosperous, and healthier world. Join NNY to forge a transformative path towards a future where purpose-driven businesses thrive at: Stay connected with NNY on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok and Twitter.

About Specialty Food Association:

The not-for-profit Specialty Food Association (SFA) is the leading membership trade association and source of information about the $175 billion specialty food industry. Founded in 1952 in New York City, the SFA prides itself on being an organization by the members and for the members, representing thousands of specialty food makers and manufacturers, importers, retailers, buyers, distributors, brokers, and others in the trade. The SFA owns and operates the Fancy Food Shows—which are the largest specialty food industry events in North America—as well as the sofi™ Awards—which have honored excellence in specialty food and beverage annually since 1972. The SFA produces the Trendspotter Panel annual predictions, the State of the Specialty Food Industry Report, Today's Specialty Food Consumer research, the Spill & Dish podcast, year-round educational programming for professionals at every stage in their business journey, and SFA Feed, the industry's go-to daily source for news, trends and new product information. Find out more online and connect with SFA on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and TikTok.

Photos accompanying this announcement are available at:

Naturally New York Naturally New York Naturally New York Pitch Slam Finalist Kekoa Foods Naturally New York SFA

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