At the end of the day, I’m a voracious eater first, then a trade news writer second. So, while the Summer Fancy Food Show is a networking haven, it’s also an eating paradise, particularly because every company hits the ground running with their very best latest and greatest innovations. This year, as I perused the vast aisles and weaved my way through some seriously mind-boggling creations, I began to imagine what accompaniments I would place on my dream cheese and charcuterie board. Here’s what caught my eye at the show as my must-haves…
Coombs Family Farms Maple Stream
As a pancake and waffle enthusiast, I believe in the power of syrup. But syrup is sticky—anyone else having flashbacks to being a kid with syrup-coated fingers and some form of syrup goatee, the inevitable price of enjoying a syrup-filled brekkie? Yeah, good times but not exactly how I like to leave my Sunday brunches these days! With Coombs Family Farms’ Maple Stream, however, there is no sticky situation. Instead, the cutting-edge format allows consumers to simply spray or stream syrup onto whatever goodie they so desire. While the packaging is familiar and even common in aisles like cooking oils and sunscreen, I have yet to see syrup take shape in this way, a.k.a. the way of the future.
Vegan Rob’s Vegan Burger Puffs
As the Beyond Burger continues to rise as an icon in the alternative protein realm, it only makes sense that vegan companies tap into the hype with their own take on the popular plant-based item. Enter Vegan Rob’s, a company touting many a veg-friendly product, including the most unique Beyond Burger transformation: Vegan Burger Puffs. Inspired by the flavors infused in the Beyond Burger, Vegan Rob’s Vegan Burger Puffs are a vegan’s, vegetarian’s, and flexitarian’s dream as they boast all the same meatless meat perks as the Beyond Burger, but in a snackable form that is only encouraging eaters like me to always have their hand in a bag of a Vegan Rob’s Vegan Burger Puffs.
Phillia Spreadable Feta
There’s cheese, and then there’s the endless possibilities cheese offers, which is exactly what Phillia Spreadable Feta is and much more! Traditional feta forms will always have a spot on my cheese plate, but Phillia is making that fact a precarious one all because of the utter convenience of spreadable feta. With elevated cheese and charcuterie boards becoming more of the norm—I’m talking game-changing, a little wacky, and completely genius flavor combinations—Phillia Spreadable Feta is the perfect chameleon item that goes with anything and everything while still serving looks—hello stunning packaging!—and bringing that wow factor all thanks to its incredible, creamy flavor.
The Mushroom Benefit™ Umamis Crunch Snack
There’s no if, ands, or buts about whether or not even the most avid mushroom-haters could turn away a bag of The Mushroom Benefit’s Umamis Crunch Snack. Fact: They definitely cannot. As a vegetarian, I’ve seen mushrooms take on many forms, but The Mushroom Benefit caught my attention on the show floor with a puff-styled mushroom snack like no other. It was almost like a mushroom in disguise, a snack super sleuth! I’m going to be honest, I try my best not to munch, crunch, and lunch my way through booths while at trade shows—because how am I supposed to talk to all you lovely people if my mouth is full?—but I couldn’t resist Umamis Crunch Snack, and neither will shoppers once this item hits the market.
Toonie Moonie Organics Marshmallow
Between you and me, marshmallows are my guiltiest pleasure! Seriously, don’t invite me to any campfire hang-outs or anywhere with a s’mores-gasbord because I’ll just eat all of the marshmallows! Toonie Moonie, however, introduced me to a new way of eating marshmallows, and I’m not just talking about with a spoon! From desserts and treats to mixed drinks and sophisticated beverages, Toonie Moonie’s Organic Marshmallow line is the sweetest accompaniment to join the traditional cheese and meat items on any charcuterie board. Toonie Moonie’s line is also available in a variety of flavors that runs the gamut of all of my marshmallow needs: chocolate, vanilla, cotton candy, and more! I’m going to say it now: Marshmallows will be the next big thing on everyone’s list of charcuterie board staples.
Versatility is the name of the game these days, and the only limit on what can go on a cheese and charcuterie board is your own imagination! And, as deli, dairy, bakery, and specialty food providers continue to expand the scope of innovation, there’s no telling what boards will look like five, 10, or 15 years from now. But one thing is for sure: You can always count on the Summer Fancy Food Show to give both the supply- and buy-side a glimpse at what’s to come.