NEW YORK, NY
Thursday, July 18th, 2019
The 65th Annual Summer Fancy Food Show has long come and gone, but there’s still much hype riding off of the specialty food high. And for those of us that weren’t able to attend the amazing show in New York, the Specialty Food Association Trendspotter Panel has got the lowdown on the top trends, tasting six football fields worth of exhibits to curate the best products currently attaining prominence in the specialty food industry.
"It's fascinating to observe the ever-evolving specialty food marketplace, which has grown into a nearly $150 billion industry," said Denise Purcell, Director of Content for the SFA. "From the uptick of members showcasing West African products to the blossoming of foods and beverages addressing sustainability and social concerns, the Fancy Food Show always reveals inspiring companies and products to our Trendspotter Panel."
The press release listed the Summer Trendspotter Panel included Melanie Zanoza Bartelme, Global Food Analyst, Mintel; Jonathan Deutsch, Ph.D., Professor, Drexel University Center for Food and Hospitality Management; Tonya Hopkins, Founder, Food Griot; Vallery Lomas, Founder, Foodie in New York; Kara Nielsen, Vice President, Trend Practice, CCD Innovation; and Victoria Jordan Rodriguez, Director of Sponsorships, James Beard Foundation.
So what did these connoisseurs of the specialty food realm have heralded as the top Trends from the 2019 Summer Fancy Food Show? The list is as follows:
1. Upcycled Food
"With consumers learning more about food waste and the power of upcycling, we're seeing some interesting applications of otherwise discarded ingredients," said Trendspotter Melanie Zanoza Bartelme.
The companies to look out for are:
- Assured Edge Solutions/Healthier Way—Sweet Potato Flour: made from 100% USA sweet potato flour, no added sugars or salt
- Avocado Leaf Tea, made from discarded avocado leaves
- J.Q. Dickinson Salt-Works, LLC—Dr. Dickinson's All-Natural Liquid Nigari: made from a by-product of the salt-making process where 74 trace minerals are left over after the salt is harvested
- Scrap Frozen Foods—Pizza: made with upcycled sauce and toppings from vegetable scraps like broccoli leaves, and imperfect, ugly produce
- Super Frau—Walk This Whey: a waste product from the cheese-making process made into a beverage good for digestive health
2. Mission-Driven Companies
Companies and products powered by environmental and social concerns were visible throughout the show.
- Afia Foods—Falafel and Kibbeh: a woman-owned company that supports Syrian refugees
- Luv Michael Granola: gluten-free and nut-free granola made by a nonprofit organization that trains and employs people with autism
- Sindyanna of Galilee—Za'atar Peace Mix: a female-led nonprofit that promotes fair trade and access to education and economic opportunities, agricultural and financial advice, to Arab women
3. New Sources of Protein on the Go
Where protein and convenience trends merge into new innovations, such as:
- Choopoons—Simply Free Wellness Yogurt: plant-based yogurt made with cucumber seed protein with cacao fruit pulp as a natural sweetener
- Crepini—Egg Thins: refrigerated crepes made of egg and cauliflower
- The Perfect Bite Co.—Egg Bites: gluten-free individual egg bitEs that can be baked for a high-protein snack
- Purely Elizabeth—Collagen Protein Oats: cup of instant oatmeal enhanced with collagen protein and a squeeze pack of Nutzo nut and seed butter
- Speka—Cottage Cheese Bar: thick cottage cheese transformed into a snack bar enrobed in chocolate or caramel coating
4. West African Foods in the Spotlight
"Glad to have witnessed signs of what I hope are a growing variety of artisanal products from West Africa, and their continued influence in New World regions and food cultures in the Americas, i.e. United States, Caribbean/ West Indies, Central and South America," said Trendspotter Tonya Hopkins about the following products and companies.
- Hapi African Gourmet Sunbutter Sauce: an allergen-free take on classic African peanut sauce
- Yolele Foods Fonio Chips: made from an authentic grain that's a staple in West African cooking
- Zena Exoticfruits SA: Cashew Apple Butter, made from the fruit of the cashew nut
5. Global Hot Sauces
What’s a good function without some good sauce? Hot sauces touting flavors from around the globe—many based on family recipes—were prevalent at the show.
- Auria's Malaysian Kitchen: Lime Leaf Sambal Sauce, Malaysian hot sauce from family recipe
- Cantina Royal Hot Sauce: a line of Mexican-inspired hot sauces from Cantina Royal Restaurant & Bar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
- SD Sauce—Nam Jim by Sutta: Thai hot sauce from a family recipe
- Shaquanda's Hot Pepper Sauce—Oooohmami: celebrates the flavors of Barbados and New York City, and is inspired by the creator's Bajan mother and grandmother
- Volta West African Foods—Sheto West African Hot Sauce: from Ghana. Through its blog, the company connects consumers with West African food, music, and culture
6. Raising the Cocktail Game
As an aspiring home-bartender, I always get excited for new and easy recipes that I can make on my own. The following new mixers, tonics, and garnishes helps consumers fashion bar-quality cocktails without the bar-prices.
- Bittermilk, LLC—Bittermilk No.2 Tom Collins with Elderflower & Hops: bar mixer
- Gray and Company—Peninsula Premium Cocktail Cherries: American grown and made not-too-sweet garnish
- Q Drinks—Elderflower Tonic Water: bar mixer
- Root—Crafted Cocktail Mixers: in six flavors
- Straightway Cocktails—Straightway Old Fashioned: pre-mixed cocktails
- 1pt One Part—1pt: a floral tisane-like cocktail infuser for alcohol that blends with gin, vodka, and other spirits
7. Frozen Dessert Renaissance
The frozen desserts makeover began with ice creams offering high-protein varieties, dairy alternatives, and international flavors. Now you can also expect them to come as cakes, cobblers, and other treats as well.
- Belgian Boys—Cheesecakes & Lava Cakes: heat-and-serve or thaw-and-serve single style cakes
- Mama Biscuits—Comfort Cobblers: in a variety of flavors including Peach and Blueberry Lemon
- Whipped Urban Dessert Lab—Oate: oat-milk ice cream that is nut- and allergen-free
- Peekaboo Organic Ice Cream—Cotton Candy With Hidden Beets: ice cream with a full serving of vegetables, a great and sneaky way to get kids and adults alike to get their daily intake
- Scoop by Spot Dessert Bar—Misugaru Ice Cream: East Asian flavors with an umami/grain taste in ice cream
- Sweet Nova—Superfood Freeze: frozen, non-dairy smoothies made of bananas and added nutrient-rich superfoods churned into ice cream form
8. Water Everywhere
According to the SFA's State of the Specialty Food Industry report, 2019-2020 Edition, specialty water is the top category forecast to grow over the next five years, making it easier than ever for millennials to stay hydrated.
- Alkazone—Antioxidant Alkaline Water: contains a high pH level and electrolytes, enriched with potassium
- Flow—Alkaline Water: naturally alkaline spring water in a boxed ecopack
- Formula Four Beverages—OXiGEN Water: water containing proprietary O4 oxygen molecules
- TapDrops: a collection of liquid concentrates that can be added to purified water to recreate profiles of the world's regional waters such as Paris, Rome, and New York City
9. Nutritious Grains
Grains are being hailed for their nutrients including sprouted varieties that offer activated nutrition as well as fiber-rich options like barley and buckwheat.
- Angelic Bakehouse—Sprouted Crisps: cracker/bread crisps made with sprouted grain blends
- Lil Bucks—Clusterbucks: sprouted buckwheat snack for high fiber and activated nutrition
- Living Intentions—Superfood Cereals: high-fiber cereals made with sprouted ingredients
- Second Brain Foods—Barley Crunch and Barley Bar: snack mix and bar that showcases prebiotic-friendly barley, which is high in beta glucans
10. Mushroom Love
Last on the list to join is the fungi, but not all in a form that you would expect. Interest continues to grow in mushrooms for their taste and flavor as well as nutrition and medicinal benefits.
- Chaga Island: beverages made from slow-brewing Chaga mushrooms
- Leep Foods—Leepin' Blended Burger: a partially plant-based burger made of 30 percent organic mushrooms blended with 70 percent grass-fed beef
- The Mushroom Benefit, Ltd.—Cuisine Bags: flavorful blend of mushrooms in a sachet that is used in soups, stews, and marinades. Also available in Umamis Crunchy Snack, a dried, crunchy mushroom snack
- South Mill Mushrooms—Shroom Splits, Filet Mignon, and Portabella: meat snacks that pair slices of grass-fed beef with meaty portabella mushrooms
Not only did the Trendspotters provide an exhaustive list of the top trends, they also provided a list of the most Functional Foods and Beverages and Plant-Based Snacks. The foods and beverages that were selected have added functionality or health attributes that continue to be a priority for many consumers. Plant-based ingredients continue their reign not only in alternative meats and dairy but in categories like snacks.
- Makfa—Livingood Pasta: made with beta-glucan, a soluble fiber found in oats to fight cholesterol
- Woodland Foods—Organic Moon Milk: shelf-stable coconut milk made with turmeric and ashwagandha, an herb used in Ayurvedic medicine
- ALO—ALO Snacks: dried aloe vera paired with dried ginger, mandarin, or mango
- Münki Food Company—Tropical Kale Superfood Granola: non-GMO, vegan, free of gluten, refined sugar, dairy, peanut, and soy. This snack is probably the safest thing to provide at a mixed function
If you’re still not satisfied, other noteworthy products from the 2019 Summer Fancy Food Show were:
- The Forest Farmers—New Leaf Maple Birch Syrup and Maple Walnut Syrup: new takes on syrup that promote biodiversity
- Old Arthur's—Barbecue Sauces and Dry Rubs: based on a 160-year-old recipe developed by an enslaved man, Arthur Watts, who was emancipated at age 27. The family has maintained the recipe for five generations
- Omnom Chocolate Reykjavík—Black n' Burnt Barley: bean to bar chocolate made with barley for a dark, toasty flavor, from an Icelandic company
- RISE Brewing Co.—Oat Milk Latte: no-sugar-added latte in a can, a concept that appears to be growing in the mainstream U.S. market
- Rösti: a hand-held, filled potato snack based on a traditional Swiss recipe
- SoulBee—Honey Flakes: sweet honey in flake form for coffee and tea
- Sweet Tahini Spreads: ground sesame seed spreads in flavors such as Date, Cacao, and Halvah
- Wackym's Kitchen—The Temptress Cookie: co-branded, the bite-sized cookie is made with Imperial Milk Stout beer from Lakewood Brewing Company
And that’s it! Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some scouring to do. In the meantime, stay tuned with Deli Market News for all your specialty foods needs.