Last weekend, I sent myself and Mr. to check out Eat! Vancouver 2011. The biggest food consumer show in town, Eat Vancouver attracts visitors in the thousands each day. Except for the Pet Food section, we dropped by almost every booth at the event. If you didn’t go to the show, it’s actually impossible to tell you everything, so we will give you a glimpse of what you missed.
Things I Liked
BC Salmon Farmers Association – A huge fan of its smoked salmon nuggets, a must-have at the show. They hand out small pieces of the salmon nuggets as a sample, but you can also pay $2 (or 4 tickets) to get a bigger serving.
Island Farm – They used to hand out free ice cream, but it’s gotten so popular they now charge you $1 for a generous scoop of ice cream. We tried a flavour called “Moose Track”, which is vanilla ice cream with fudge swirls and tiny peanut butter cups. It’s very creamy, a bit rich, and I like the crunch of the peanut butter cups.
Cupanion – It looks just like one of those traveller’s mug out there, but in my opinion, a cooler concept. It’s actually a promotional item which you can print customizable images and messages right onto the mug. It’s light, BPA free and 100% recyclable – oh and it’s dishwasher and microwave safe. At the show they were selling sample ones for $2 to fundraise for the Run for the Cure, so I bought one but have yet to try it.
Boylan Bottling Co – I think I pretty much tried all its flavour offerings at the event. I also tried its all-natural Leaf Tea; subtle flavours but it’s quite refreshing.
Things I Didn’t Really Like
While walking around, a few products (surprisingly, none of them was a food item) caught my eyes and I ended up listening to each of the sales pitches. Some could be a winner, some not so much.
Zoku Quick Pop Maker – Very intrigued by the idea that you can make popsicles without a freezer. You will need to freeze the pop maker for at least 24 hours prior, then all it takes is 10 minutes to freeze the fruit juice or whatever you use to make popsicles. What’s my problem? It costs $150 (a show special) when you pay just $5 to buy those basic popsicle trays at IKEA or something. It probably doesn’t even take 24 hours to freeze using those trays.
Wine Shield – Again, great concept to help keep your wine fresh, but the product looks just like a bubble wrap (with bubbles arranged in a grapevine shape) and it costs you $1 a piece. I wonder if I can just cut up some bubble wrap and place it in my wine bottle (I kid).
Perhaps I’ll let pictures do the talking…
I have been to the event a number of times in the past few years. I have to say, the amount of samples/product trials has gone down over the years or they start charging money for them. I would imagine the market place has gotten more competitive and vendors would try harder to get consumers’ attention and buy-ins. I guess they are doing much better than I thought so they didn’t need to do the hard-selling. All in all, a fun event for those who love to eat.
In September, they will be holding Eat! Fraser Valley 2011, which attracts a different crowd (geographically speaking) and different vendors exhibit there. Check out this show if you are in the area.
Lastly, stay tuned for Mr.‘s take on Eat Vancouver 2011.