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Specialty Food Association Reveals Trends Following Winter Fancy Food Show; Denise Purcell Comments

Specialty Food Association Reveals Trends Following Winter Fancy Food Show; Denise Purcell Comments

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2022

The industry all came together once more after more than two years for the Winter Fancy Food Show (WFFS) in the Las Vegas Convention Center. From February 6–8, the Specialty Food Association (SFA) Trendspotter Panel gathered in person to search the aisles for the show’s hottest trends, which featured thousands of products from around the world, with companies ranging from established to startup. Now, SFA has revealed the top nine trends from the 46th WFFS.

Denise Purcell, Vice President, Content and Education, Specialty Food AssociationHealth, comfort, and sustainability are threads throughout several trends coming out of the Winter Fancy Food Show,” said Denise Purcell, SFA’s Vice President, Content and Education. “We continue to see the effects of the pandemic through the popularity of comfort food and snacks, innovations in environmentally conscious products like upcycled foods and hemp are increasing, and plant-based meat and dairy alternatives are going strong as are global flavors across categories. We’ll be looking for these to show their prominence at the Summer Fancy Food Show in June.”

The Winter Fancy Food Show Trendspotters included Artisanal Foods, Chef Jon Batista, Co-Owner Jinelle Batista, Chef Jordon Dunewood, and Chef Juan Montano; Melanie Zanoza Bartelme, Associate Director, Food and Drink, Mintel; Chef Osei Blackett and Chef Picky, Brooklyn; Kantha Shelke, Ph.D., CFS, IFT Fellow, Principal, Corvus Blue; and V. Sheree Williams, Executive Director, The Global Food & Drink Initiative, Editor, Cuisine Noir.

Identified by its panel of Trendspotters, Specialty Food Association has revealed the top nine trends from the 46th Winter Fancy Food Show

Many trends the panel saw at this year’s show were featured in its predictions last November. According to the release, the nine trends we will be seeing an insurgence of this year are:

Hemp in the Spotlight

Plant-based products continue to rise in popularity; hemp-based products, too, fall under this category and are seeing immense growth. The crop has been incorporated in things such as burgers, dressings, and as a better-for-you ingredient in chocolate.

Tea and Coffee Innovations

Waking up to a freshly brewed coffee or tea has been made a lot easier—and, if I may say, a more necessary component—now that many consumers are continuing to work from home. Consumer interest raised and has spread to teas and coffees in new formats, as was showcased at WFFS.

Dates Proliferate

Innovations continue to roll out utilizing this versatile fruit, shown in formats such as treats or rich spreads.

Snacks With Benefits

Multi-functional products such as nutrient-rich chocolate bars to pizza crust made from carrots are trending as consumers look for snacks that also boast health benefits. Low-carb and veg-based snacks proliferated the show floor, with the occasional chocolate or two.

Alternative Comfort Foods

Consumers are looking for alternative-based products, whether it’s for their diet or preference. This pick for a top trend of 2022 by the Trendspotter Panel is going strong with plant-based and dairy-free options in savory and sweet categories.

Sustainable Options

More food products are hitting the market that incorporate upcycled ingredients, but the trend extends to non-food products and packaging as well.

Peppers Are Hot

The Trendspotters continue to see a variety of peppers as ingredients in sauces and condiments from around the world.

The Fully Stocked Bar

Mixers and concentrates in tropical flavors and uncommon garnishes continue to dress up at-home cocktail preparation. And with preferences leaning toward non-alcoholic fare, the category is continuing to grow.

A World of Snacks

Sweet and savory snacks capturing recipes and local ingredients are bringing global flavors to U.S. consumers' home pantries.

Click here to learn more about the trends and how to expand your shelves. And for some personal highlights from the team and industry members, check out our recap here.

Keep a lookout for Deli Market News as we continue to spot the latest.

Specialty Food Association