Michael Szyliowicz

Gulfood Trade Show Image

This huge trade show is a chance to connect with our existing customers in the Gulf region and meet new ones.  Gulfood is now the largest annual food show in the world, held every February.  This year there are 80,000 attendees and 4,500 exhibitors.  Visitors come from throughout the region including Dubai and the Emirates, Saudi Arabai. Yemen, North Africa, India, Greece, and other EU countries.  It is like the traditional bazaars of old, with merchants offering an astonishing range of food and beverage products.  Within the USA Pavilion the range of food offerings includes among others, cotton candy and waffles, nuts, condiments, tea and cocoa, and coffee and candy.

For a decade we have sold our existing product line of sauces and flavors to distributors and customers in the Middle East.  In the last few years there has been a greater emphasis on customization as brands have grown and sought to differentiate themselves from competitors.  The emergence of cafes and QSR’s in the US and Europe has fuelled a surge in franchised concepts and new ones created in the region.  And as with their American and European counterparts, the focus is on beverages as a way to increase and sustain profitability.  This year fruit flavors, teas, and...

Michael Szyliowicz

Seoul may very well be the most caffeinated city I’ve ever visited. I knew that the major coffee chains had outposts here, but I was unprepared for the astonishing number of independent cafes and roasters delivering terrific cups of coffee. Walking through the Gangnam district, with no real desire to imitate Psy and begin dancing, I found coffee shops are chock a block. Familiar names like Starbucks, Java City, Coffee Bean, and Dunkin Donuts are next to outlets like Tom N Toms, Holly’s, and Caffe Bene. It is estimated that there are 30,000 locations serving coffee in Korea. And I would not be surprised. On one small street, literally every other storefront contained a different coffee company. Banners in front of stores promoted coffee drinks, tea lattes and fruit smoothies.

Seoul’s independent cafes take things to a whole new level. Many roast their own beans, and in the neighborhood of Insaedong a number of cafes contained small roasters inside. One proudly displayed its SCAA membership. They offered coffee by the cup, using freshly roasted beans and traditional pour over methods to make the drinks. The beans were from all over the world: Sumatra, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Brazil, Cuba, Colombia, and other locales. And the...

Beverages, Innovation, Travel
Michael Szyliowicz

Telescope coffee shop

No other city in the world has the same connection to coffee as Paris. Cafés are on every corner, and have been the destination of choice for centuries. Sitting outside a café, sipping on an espresso and watching the world go by is a time-honored pastime. Café aficionados can enjoy an espresso, latte, cappuccino, or “,” which is espresso diluted with hot water. But it’s still difficult to get a cup of drip coffee, whether made in a pour-over filter system, a Chemex, a Solo, or a siphon.

That’s about to change. Lucky for brew enthusiasts (which most American coffee-drinkers are), a movement made popular in the United States over the last several years is starting to gain traction in the cafés of Europe. The movement is known as the Third Wave, and it centers on the celebration of coffee in all of its forms. Often the focus is on serving brewed coffees from different areas around the world, highlighting their variance in taste and the impact that terrain or geography plays in the flavor. This Third Wave is spreading, having become established in England and, to a lesser extent, France.

On a recent visit to Paris, I visited Telescope, a tiny coffee house that features different coffees from independent roasters in the UK. Here, they give new meaning to the word "precision." Utilizing a digital...