4 Trends From The 2018 Summer Fancy Food ShowJuly 05, 2018 - by Taylor Getler
Summer Fancy Food Show 2018 ran from June 30th – July 2nd at the Javits Center in New York City. The trade show is one of the cornerstone events for the Specialty Food Association, a trade group comprised of “specialty food artisans, purveyors, importers and entrepreneurs, as well as distributors, retailers, and others involved in the specialty food trade.” Folks from all of these categories were present at this year’s show, and new companies and classic brands alike had samples out for all attendees to try. This event is a great opportunity to discover growing trends, and here are four major ones that we noticed:
This year, you couldn’t swing a bottle of oxygenated turmeric water without hitting a booth sampling ethnic staple sauces. Culturally important sauces from Korea to Cuba are making their way into consumers’ pantries, as Americans get more comfortable with spices and actively seek out more “exotic” flavors that they haven’t experienced yet. Without a doubt, the star of the show this year was Gochujang, a yummy, spicy Korean sauce that isn’t completely unlike sriracha (but which usually has a thicker, smooth-dense viscosity, similar to ketchup or a wet chili paste). Bottled Gochujang was everywhere, and, as it continues to pop up on more restaurant menus, we can anticipate that this might be the next big food craze.
Other standouts included Peri Peri / Piri Piri sauce, a Portugese-African marinade, which is made with African Bird’s Eye chillis and mix of garlic, spices, and acid (typically red wine vinegar or lemon juice, depending on the brand).
Plant-based foods don’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon, and out of this meatless landscape, a new hero ingredient has emerged – cauliflower. The once-humble ingredient is now serving as everything from a chicken substitute to the base for pretzels and microwave meals. Being fairly plain-tasting on its own, cauliflower has proven to be remarkably versatile, while also being gluten-free and low in carbs.
One of the leading brands in this is Outer Aisle Gourmet, which came to the show with cauliflower pizza crusts and cauliflower sandwich thins.
As many shoppers move away from both sugar and artificial sweeteners, natural sweeteners like honey are having a real moment. Flavored honeys (particularly smoked honeys) are being offered as an ingredient for drinks, dips, salad dressings, desserts, etc. We also saw savory elements being added to honey for interesting contrasting flavors, like Pebeyre’s shaved truffle mushroom-infused honey, which made for a delicious spread on bread.
Holy Smoke showcased a “Hickory Smoked Wildflower Honey”, with a charred flavor that would make for an interesting addition to barbecue.
Shelf-stable creamers have seen tremendous growth over the past few years, and they didn’t disappoint at the show. According to Food Business News, shelf-stable creams and creamers saw 62% dollar growth between 2015 and 2017. Like cauliflower, this trend is an offshoot of the plant-based food movement, and shelf-stable dairy alternatives provide both the health benefits of moving away from standard dairy with the convenience of creams that don’t have to be refrigerated. This will likely come to influence other categories in the coming months and years – lines of shelf-stable yogurts, dressings, dips, etc. could be expected to be on the horizon.