The Specialty Food Association Trendspotter Panel tasted its way through the Summer Fancy Food Show in search of product trends in the specialty food industry. The show, which took place June 12-14 at the Javits Center in New York City, had more than 1,700 exhibitors featuring specialty foods and beverages from around the world.
“The specialty food marketplace has grown into a $175 billion industry fueled by the creativity of the producers of these foods and beverages,” said Denise Purcell, SFA’s VP, content and education. “That innovation was on display at the Summer Show with our Trendspotters highlighting unexpected twists on classics, reconceived packaging options, better-for-you indulgences and comfort foods, global flavors, and growing interest in sustainability and ethical production.”
Beverages with unexpected flavors and ingredients from spicy sodas to coffee made of figs to drinks spiked with everything from alcohol to sparkles.
- Don Pablo bourbon-infused coffee;
- FigBrew Figgee coffee alternative;
- Ouli by Dona Chai Spice Soda in flavors like peppercorn;
- Reveal Avocado Seed Brew; and
- Shrubbly, shrub made with lightly sparkling water and aronia berries.
Single serve, compostable, increased portability with decreased mess are just some of the trends in packaging seen at the summer show.
- Occo spices in single use half-teaspoon aluminum pods;
- PCS Gourmet Foods Sauerfrau Squeezable Kraut;
- Rufus Teague Can-O-Que Barbecue Sauce;
- SugarRoti spices, single use compostable pouch; and
- Whipnotic flavored whipped cream in a spray can with flavor pod embedded in the nozzle.
Vacuum- or flash-fried tomatoes, mushrooms and vegetables are bringing new alternatives to the chip category.
- Mush Garden Shiitake Mushroom Crisps made with a vacuum-frying technique, also available in tomato and okra;
- Popadelics vacuum-fried mushrooms made into chips;
- Rhythm Broccoli Bites and Mushroom Crisps; and
- Root Foods Tomato Chips, flash fried.
Sustainable and ethical choices
From upcycled or regeneratively grown ingredients to products that support the livelihoods of underserved communities, foods and beverages with sustainable and ethical characteristics continue to join the market.
- Black Mamba Foods sauces and condiments, ethical brand from Eswatini in Southern Africa;
- Ocean’s Balance Seaweed Seasoning made with regenerative Maine seaweed;
- Sea Tales Flame Roasted Sockeye Salmon, sustainable and made with transparent catching practices;
- Season Caviart plant-based caviar-style seaweed pearls; and
- Teffola Nutty Teff Granola, grown with regenerative farming.
Alternative comfort food
This Trendspotter panel pick for a top trend of 2022 is still going strong, with bases like sunflower seeds, tigernut flour, chickpeas, bananas and peas emerging.
- Current Foods salmon and tuna filet, made with pea protein and bamboo;
- Disturbingly Delicious Foods Spanish Chorizo Charcuterie Sauce, banana-based condiments;
- Good Food for Good plant-based creamy Bolognese sauce;
- Mosaic Grove Not Nuts! Tigernut Flour for use in baking as a nut-flour alternative for allergies; and
- Nutcase Vegan Meats Nutty Loaf.
Peppers are hot
Identified by the Trendspotter Panel as a top trend for 2022, peppers and traditional pepper sauces and condiments from around the world continue to be prominent.
- Ayo Shito Sauce, translated to “pepper”, Shito is widely used throughout Ghana;
- Chingonas Salsa Macha, an oil-based chili crunch sauce from Veracruz, Mexico;
- Mr. Chimi’s Hot Chiltepin Sauce, a chimichurri sauce with fiery hot chiltepin pepper; and
- Saba Awaze Sauces, Ethiopian and Eritrean style hot sauce.
Play with food
Whimsical products from edible candles to animal-shaped cheese are popular with kids and adults.
- Greenomic Delikatessen Good Hair Day Pasta in whimsical packaging;
- Let Them Eat Candles chocolate novelty edible candles;
- Mac Yourself Cheddar Cheese Sauce Mix;
- Muratbey Misto animal-shaped cheese; and
- Supernatural Kitchen plant-based sprinkles for baking.
For more information, visit specialtyfood.com.
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