The SPI Group was out in force this year to explore and taste the newest and hottest food trends at the Winter Fancy Foods Show. We were just some of the over 17000 attendees over the three day show. The show encompassed over 1300 exhibitors showing their fancy edibles at the Moscone Plaza in downtown San Francisco.
Spread throughout two full halls were vendors showing off some of the most unique and a trendy foodstuffs you may (or may not) see in the grocery stores in the next year. Some of this years’ trends included:
- Fermented products – Kimchi and similar products were out in force this year. We noticed a local San Francisco company – Sinto Gourmet – who had award winning Kimchi, and sees this as a hot new trend.
- Coconut – with the rise in popularity of coconut water in the last few years, the coconut trend seems like it’s picking up steam. We noted several coconut-based products from coconut milk ice cream (fabulous!), coconut nectar, to coconut chips. One favorite was Dang Foods Toasted Coconut Chips. These had a great flavor and are touted as “the perfect snack.”
- Hummus – the popular ground chickpea spread is having a new awakening with unique flavors around every corner at the show. Flavors like Tribe Mediterranean’s Horseradish, Dill, Cracked Chili Peppers and Jalapeño were interesting as well as Cedar’s Mediterranean Foods offers of Cilantro and Tomato & Basil Hummus. Sabra is an industry leader and showcased more than a dozen varieties including Caramelized Onion, Cranberry & Fig, Chipotle, Sun Dried Tomatoes and Peppadew.
- Seaweed – Seaweed was showing up in multiple formats including various flavors of seaweed chips. Ocean’s Halo showcased various flavors including Texas BBQ and Chili Lime. Touted as a “sustainable superfood,” seaweed also showed up in almond seaweed crisps and an onion seaweed crunch from vendor Ocean Snack.
- Turmeric – This historically Indian curry spice was the “spice du jour’ at the show. It’s natural anti-inflammatory properties continue the health and wellness trend that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.
If you’ve never had a chance to attend a Fancy Food Expo, we’d highly recommend it. It opens your eyes to what is a continuing trend, and what some of the evolving trends will be. One thing for certain is the focus on healthy and functional products will continue to be “on-trend” and we at SPI Group will continue to assist the food industry with supply and technical help.