What's next on store shelves? Snacks made with crickets, grass-fed everything, and protein where you least expect it, according to an expert panel of trendspotters who combed the exhibit halls at the 2016 Winter Fancy Food Show, owned and produced by the Specialty Food Association.
With enough chocolate, cheese and olive oil to fill four football fields, the show is the largest marketplace devoted exclusively to specialty food on the West Coast. It ends today at Moscone Center in San Francisco.
Here are the panel's Top 5 Trends for 2016, along with some examples of the trends from the show. :
1. Southeast (Asia) meets West
Lots of foods at the show featured flavors inspired by Asia, but fused with American inspiration.
● Little Red Dot Kitchen: Bak Kwa meat snacks
● Saffron Road: Tandoori Seasoned Chicken Nuggets
● Wei Kitchen: Shallot Oil
● Hey Boo: Thai Iced Tea Coconut Caramels
2. Grazing on Grass
Grass-fed beef was all the rage, showing up in everything from yogurt to jerky.
● Organic Valley: Vanilla Grassmilk Yogurt
● The New Primal: Grass-fed Beef Jerky
● Dahlicious, Inc.: Organic Cucumber Mint Lemon Lassi with grass-fed milk
● Steve's Ice Cream: Made with grass-fed milk
3. Pushing Protein
Protein was definitely on trend, as food makers found creative ways to incorporate it into their products with ingredients like crickets and hemp.
● Bitty Foods: Chiridos: snacks with cricket flour
● Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods: Cinnamon Hemp Heart Bites
● Explore Cuisine: Organic Edamame Spaghetti
● Chicago Bar Company: Chocolate Sea Salt RXBAR
4. By the Cup
Manufactures kept an eye on convenience, offering lots of snacks in individual portions.
● Ricebliss: Acai & Chia Brown Rice Snack
● Dr. McDougall's Right Foods: Sweet Potato Kale Quinoa Salad
● Purely Elizabeth: Cranberry Pecan Ancient Grain Granola Plus Puffs
● LonoLife: Chicken Bone Broth in Recyclable K-Cup
5. Purple Reigns
Purple was the color of moment, as companies incorporated the vibrant hue into everything from corn flakes to iced tea.
● Back to the Roots: Organic Stoneground Purple Corn Flakes
● Love Beets: Smoky BBQ Shredded Beets
● Lotus Foods: Purple Potato and Brown Rice Ramen
● The Republic of Tea: Sonoma Cabernet Iced Tea
The Specialty Food Association is a thriving community of food artisans, importers and entrepreneurs. Established in 1952 in New York, the not-for-profit trade association provides its 3,200 members in the United States and abroad the tools, knowledge and connections to champion and nurture their companies in an always-evolving marketplace.
The Association (formerly the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade, Inc.) owns and produces the Winter and Summer Fancy Food Show, and presents the sofi Awards honoring excellence in specialty food. Learn more at specialtyfood.com.