Top Five Specialty Food Trends

One of my favorite ways to track trends is to see what’s showing up at the Fancy Food Show, the conference and expo put on by the Specialty Food Association.  I wasn’t able to attend this summer for the 59th show in NYC, but there were several trendspotters on the case —  Rachel Hofstetter, Author, “Cooking Up a Business;” Sara Moulton, Sara’s Weeknight Meals; Kara Nielsen, CCD Innovation; Charles Passy, The Wall Street Journal Digital Network; Denise Purcell, Specialty Food Media; Lauren Purcell and Dana Bowen, Everyday with Rachael Ray, Regina Ragone, Family Circle; Beverly Stephen, Food Arts and Susie Timm, Girl Meets Fork. Here’s their list of the top five food trends from the show — predicting what will be hot on store shelves and restaurant menus.

Reinvented Frozen Treats 

These are not your typical neon-colored popsicles  — look for kale pops and other frozen treats that are studded with vegetables, fruits and other “health-promoting” ingredients.

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Grains and Seeds in New Places


I also spotted these Lebanese-inspired zatar chips with sesame seeds at the National Restaurant Show.  Seeds in chips and crackers are increasingly popular, but also look for chia pods and quinoa chocolate bars.

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Global Meal Starters

It will be easier than ever to whip up an international meal at home with the new array of simmer sauces that can transport you to Africa, India, Morocco, Mexico, Thailand and Greece.

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Retro Mania Done New

Nostalgia continues to be big. Some of the comforting treats included Callie’s Cheese Crisps, City Bakery Hot Chocolate and Short Stack’s Banana Pudding Pancakes and Waffle Mix.

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Be Your Own Mixologist

The trendy drinks on the exhibit floor included cocktail bitters, BBQ bloody mary mix, lavender martini mocktails and tea crafted for cocktails.

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Other trends identified were single-serve snacks with calorie counts, Vietnamese flavors, chickpea and seaweed snacks, maple products, and sweet and savory cookies. Trends with staying power identified at prior Fancy Food Shows included coconut, salted caramel and innovations in gluten-free foods.

All photos courtesy of the Specialty Food Association on flickr

 

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