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Piller's Black Kassel - Snack like Royalty with Black Kassel Salami Whips
BelGioioso Cheese - Fresh Mozzarella Burrata Stracciatella - The Heart of Burrata
Specialty Food Association Trendspotters Reveal Winter Fancy Food Show Trends

Specialty Food Association Trendspotters Reveal Winter Fancy Food Show Trends

Wednesday, February 6th, 2019

Call me a Millennial but keeping up with the times is a job and a half, and one worth doing for obvious reasons—if you want to rule the group chat, you have to stay meme-fluent. Similarly, if you want to head the industry’s trends, you gotta push for innovations yourself—a fact that was not missed by companies in attendance at the 44th Annual Winter Fancy Food Show showcasing over 90,000 products. And, with so many products to comb through, the Specialty Food Association’s Trendspotter Panel took a few notes and came up with a list of trends taking over our industry in 2019.

Denise Purcell, Head of Content, Specialty Food Association“Sustainability and social good, through upcycling, ethical sourcing, diverse crops, and cause-related products, are growing ever more in popularity. We saw this emerging at the Summer Fancy Food Show this past June, and it’s really come to life here at the Winter Fancy Food Show,” said Denise Purcell, SFA’s Head of Content. “Combine this with more traditional trends like single serve, on-the-go, and jerky, and we’re seeing a whole new way of eating and snacking. Innovation is happening very quickly within the industry, and it’s exciting to see how these trends will evolve over the next few months.”

According to a press release, the Trendspotter Panel believes the following trends will stand out in 2019:


Environmentally conscious companies and products are trending

Companies and products powered by environmental and social concerns were populous at WFFS. For many, this included companies touting biodiversity, ocean harvest, upcycling, and mission-based ethos and products like:

  • Believe in Bambara, Beans and Flours: bambara is known as a “complete food”
  • Terviva, Pongamia: a long-living tree that producing seeds similar to soybeans
  • Yolélé Foods, Fonio: gluten-free ancient African supergrain
  • Barnacle Foods: Kelp Salsa and Kelp Pickles
  • Blue Evolution: Kelp-based pasta and salad
  • New Frontier Foods: Ocean’s Halo kelp-based superfoods drink
  • Render Foods LLC: Bryner, vegetable drink upcycled from leftover pickle juice; Weyla, sparkling fruity beverage upcycled from whey
  • Renewal Mill: Extra Dark Chocolate Chip Cookie, made with okara, a superfood harvested from the pulp of organic soybeans that is created during soymilk production
  • Ugly Juice LLC: Good Use Ugly Juice, cold-pressed juice from imperfect fruits and vegetables
  • Kuli Kuli: Organic Moringa Greens and Protein Smoothie Mix, sourced directly from family farmers and women's’ cooperatives in rural areas
  • Roam Free: Bison Bites, regenerative bison operation on 300 acres in Western Montana
  • This Bar Saves Lives: buy a bar, send life-saving food to a child in need


Healthy eating was on trend at this year's WFFS, and is on track to continue throughout 2019

If you’re a nutrition fan, you're in luck! There’s no sign that health and healthy eating are slowing their roll in our industry and beyond. From functional foods and CBD products to those boasting energy and recovery, detoxing, stress, gut health, antioxidants, and more, healthy foods like the following are still seeing tremendous growth:

  • Agate Smart Honey: CBD Infused Honey
  • Buddha Teas: CBD Ginger and Turmeric Tea
  • Engage Organics: Popcorn Mix, whole plant hemp flower spice blend
  • New Age Beverages: Marley, Marley+CBD Mellow Mood
  • Anya's Apothekere: Jalapeño Fermented Honey Sauce
  • Purely LLC: Q-Soo Sparkling Fruit Tonic, fruit-infused drinking vinegar (shrub) and sparkling water
  • Wild West Ferments: El Curtido, Central American-style condiment
  • Lumen: Hemp Elixer, with adaptogenic and Ayurvedic herbs
  • Numi Tea: Daily Super Shot, with adaptogenic plants and herbs
  • The Republic of Tea: SuperAdapt Burnout Blocker Herbal Tea Supplement


Protein-rich diets—and products—are trending off the charts

All things protein are sticking around in 2019. Whether it’s products catering to carnivores or vegans, protein-rich diets are trending off the charts and the following products are but a few to watch:

  • Maruden Co. Ltd.: Cod and Salmon Jerky
  • Shima’s: Jerky Chips
  • True Jerky: Jerky Trail Mix
  • Bovino: Crispy Beef Jerky
  • Don Bugito: Chile-Lime Crickets with Pumpkin Seed
  • Good Catch: Fish Free Tuna
  • Trois Petit Cochons: Sous Vide Egg Bites

In addition to those top three trends, the WFFS Trendsetters spotted edible beauty, fruit and vegetable-based flours, nuts and oats, and single-serve on-the-go as other trends growing in popularity in 2019. The following companies were but a few that stood out to this year’s panel:

Single-serve on-the-go options were a popular trend this year at the WFFS

  • Deep Rose: Deep Petal Lemonade
  • Nielsen-Massey Vanillas, Inc.: Rose Water
  • Petal: Sparkling Botanical Blend beverage
  • AvoLov: Avocado Powder
  • Kaibae: Organic Baobab Fruit Powder
  • Hearthy Foods: Flours, including apple, banana, spinach, and broccoli
  • Elmhurst Milked LLC: Elmhurst 1925 Milked Oats, Barista Edition
  • Kotatsu: Cashewmilk Cheese
  • Purely Elizabeth: Coconut Cashew Bar
  • Lotus Foods: Rice Ramen Noodle Soups, individual cups
  • Rustic Bakery: Pecan Shortbread 3-Pack, snack pack
  • Split Nutrition LLC: Almond Butter and Strawberry Spread, individual split fast pack

This year’s WFFS Trendspotters included:

  • Polly Adema, PhD, Director & Associate Professor, Master of Arts in Food Studies, University of the Pacific San Francisco Campus, San Francisco, CA
  • Reem Assil, Chef/Owner, Reem’s California, Partner, Dyafa
  • Andrew Freeman, Founder, af&co.
  • Lawrence Jacobs, Specialty and Grocery Buyer, Oliver’s Markets
  • Kara Nielsen, Vice President, Trends & Marketing, CCD Helmsman, Emeryville, CA
  • Tu David Phu, Chef/Owner, AN - a Vietnamese Dining Experience
  • Wendy Robinson, Buyer, Market Hall Foods
  • Melina Romero, Manager, Trend Practice, CCD Helmsman, Emeryville, CA

If you’re like Deli Market News and are already counting down the days until Summer Fancy Food Show 2019, click here for more info! And, keep checking back with us for the latest and greatest industry news.

Specialty Food Association