The Specialty Food Association (SFA) hosted its bi-annual Fancy Food Show in New York City from June 30 to July 2, 2018. The international event included over 2,400 exhibitors at a huge three-story trade show known as a main attraction for retail food distributors and food media editors to come and scout out new food and beverage products their customers and readers will love. The focus is mainly on new packaged foods hoping to be the next best superfood snack or unique cooking ingredient to gain traction with modern day consumers. While the Fancy Food Show is one of the best opportunities to debut and promote new products, the success of these foods depends mostly on the combinations of food ingredients used to create new and exciting consumer experiences. Below are the top food trends and new products to look forward to this coming year:
1: Functionality: While prepared and packaged foods have always provided convenience, not all are recognized for their positive nutritional qualities. However, health and wellness prevailed at this year’s show. Many products are now balancing flavor and wellness, packing vitamins, protein, probiotics and more into foods and beverages that promise both great taste and good health.
2: Cauliflower: It looks like cauliflower is the new kale. While cauliflower-rice, “steaks” and purees now show up on restaurant menus, cauliflower is continuing to make its way to the packaged food aisle in increasingly creative ways. This year’s show featured cauliflower pretzels, pizza crusts and even a cauliflower-based baking mix.
3: Ice Cream: A whole new class of exciting ice cream flavors debuted at this summer’s show. Standouts included those with unexpected flavors and ingredients such as black sesame, toasted rice and even purred vegetables, such as flavors like vanilla with zucchini, mint chip with spinach, and strawberry with carrot. Most of these products rely on emulsifiers and thickening ingredients, such as cellulose gum and gellan gum, to provide the creaminess and texture that customers love and expect with ice cream.