Who’s hungry? The only reason we ask is because August and September are the peak months for food festivals and, as food and beverage marketers, we definitely plan to attend a few and suggest you do the same.
In addition to more free samples than you can shake a fork at, food festivals offer an inside look at the latest trends and the hottest new products within various industries. Below are just a few of the many food fests coming up in the next two months (some more category focused than others). For a more comprehensive list by state and even nation, visit FoodReference.com.
- Lisbon Sauerkraut Days (August 9-11th) (Lisbon, IA) – This ode to pickled cabbage features the crowning of the Sauerkraut King and Queen, a parade, and a cabbage weigh-off.
- Olive Festival (August 18th) (Paso Robles, CA) – Includes “olive oil and olive product sampling from producers all over California, culinary row with great food, wine & beer tasting, cooking contest and free olive oil ice cream.”
- National Hamburger Festival (August 18-19th) (Akron, OH) – This burger lover’s paradise features a hamburger cook-off, the Ohio Hamburger Eating Championships, “Bobbing for Burgers,” and the crowning of Miss Hamburger Festival. (Yes, you read that right – we said Bobbing for Burgers.)
- Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival (August 26th) (Austin, TX) – This event, which began in 1990, has become the world’s largest hot sauce festival, drawing as many as 15,000 spectators and more than 350 vendors each year.
- 77th Annual Louisiana Shrimp & Petroleum Festival (August 30th-September 3rd) (Morgan City, LA) – Billed as “Louisiana’s oldest chartered harvest festival,” this gathering is held each year to celebrate shrimp … and petroleum.
- Lowell Food Truck Festival (September 8th) (Lowell, MA) – Organized with the belief that “food trucks needn’t be a ‘treat’ restricted for city dwellers only,” this festival offers a taste of some of the finest meals-on-wheels in New England.
- Monroe Cheese Festival (September 8th) (Monroe, NY) – This shindig celebrates the town’s rich history of cheese making. Ironically, Velveeta (which is not technically a cheese) was first made in Monroe back in 1918.
- Taste of the Hawaiian Range & Agriculture Festival (September 21st) (Waikoloa Village, HI) – The annual event “showcases the isle’s grass-fed beef industry, bringing together local ranchers, farmers, restaurateurs and eager eaters to celebrate locally produced food.”
MARKETING LESSON: Hungry for some marketing inspiration (or just hungry in general)? Stop by a food festival near you and get ready to learn.