Be Local: Feast Portland
by Brad Bennett/channel marketing manager, deli, Tyson Foods Inc.
If you’re looking for the perfect foodie destination, just head to the weirdest place on the left coast! Feast Portland is not your average food and drink festival. What I experienced could only be described as a movement that showcases the energy, creativity and enthusiasm driving America’s food revolution.
- Three days
- 20,000-plus attendees
- 127 chefs
- More than 50 events, classes and experiences
- 162 media members
The city’s famous slogan, “Keep Portland Weird,” was infused throughout in only the best ways. Everybody created their own wacky weekend experience, and we jumped from events like the ’80s vs. ’90s cookoff over to the Healthy-ish 5K-ish with a brunch at the finish line! My favorite stop was the Grand Tasting, a city-block-sized food celebration of all things fresh and delicious with more than 80 vendors. Feast positioned each event to show off its own backyard and the variety of local spaces and cultures. There was certainly nothing predictable here!
My team is always on the lookout for new ways to engage consumers with a prepared foods experience that goes beyond the typical grocery deli encounter. As I explored Feast Portland, I found new ways to get deli out of the store and into the mindsets and on to the plates of shoppers across the U.S.
In its seventh year, this three-day event presented by Bon Appetit boasted a range of chef-inspired large-scale events, hands-on cooking classes, and dinner collaborations. I found a celebration of the newest, the hottest and the best the food world has to offer. I quickly discovered some of the most compelling experiences and original ideas in the modern food festival conversation. No wonder it’s been called “the best food festival in the country” by Thrillist and recognized by media powerhouses like USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes and Eater National.
The 127 renowned chefs who fed us well were truly crafty; the fun, cool booths were welcoming; and eye-catching brands were everywhere. New Seasons Market, as the only grocery sponsor, had a presence at all of the main events. Their food was delicious and eclectic, ranging from cheese- and berry-filled pastry cones to nachos with more of a kick to molasses and key lime ice cream sandwiches. They also handed out cool, usable giveaways like sunglasses and totes.
I’m off on another adventure, and I’ll share my experiences next month from a festival that transforms one of deli’s basic building blocks into a memorable meal experience. Join me down in the Big Easy for the National Fried Chicken Festival!
To follow along on my Food Quest journey, visit TysonVelocity.com/FoodQuest.
1) Tyson Foods, Emotional Trigger Study, 2017; Tyson Foods, Prepared Foods Challenge, 2016; Tyson Foods, Awareness, Trial, Repurchase, 2016
2) Feast Portland, Portland OR, 2018