Fancy Food fans unite! I recently attended the Specialty Food Association’s 2015 Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco and thoroughly enjoyed sampling the wide variety of foods and beverages showcased for eager foodie attendees. Today, I’m sharing 6 top trends from the Fancy Food Show you’re sure to notice soon on the shelves of your local specialty supermarket!
1.) Antioxidant Power: Super-Dark Chocolate and Green Tea
Consumers looking to indulge in treats while still keeping an eye on health will be delighted with recent sweet-tooth satisfying chocolate products. The purported health benefits of dark chocolate (70% cacao or higher) owe to a high concentration of flavonoids—plant phytonutrients that can help support cardiovascular health and insulin management. Antioxidant-rich green tea has also continued to rise in popularity, both in traditional brewed form and as a fresh kick of flavor in desserts and beverages.
2.) Beyond-the-Sushi-Wrapper: Snackable Seaweed
Healthful and perfectly paired with the many Asian flavors that remain a major food trend, seaweed showed up in a multitude of snack foods this year. Fans of seaweed will enjoy the new creative uses of this oceanic plant that’s chock-full of thyroid-supporting iodine and vitamin B-12.
3.) Turmeric: The Anti-Inflammatory Showstopper
Known for years as one ingredient in spicy Indian curry dishes, turmeric root is on the rise—both for its robust anti-inflammatory dietary properties as well as its exotic eastern flavor profile. Turmeric won fans at this year’s show in tea, sodas, and snack foods.
Last year, coconut water was the hottest emerging trend in beverages for the health-minded foodie. This year, the humble coconut all but dominated the beverage and food scene—from baking ingredients like coconut sugar and flour to new twists on favorites like peanut butter and beer.
Fancy Food items to check out: Steve’s Ice Cream (non-dairy flavors are made with coconut cream, including Cookie Butter!), Dang Foods Coconut Chips, Big Tree Farms Coconut Nectar, Maui Brewing Company Coconut Porter.
5.) Crazy for Cruciferous: Eat Your Veggies!
Foodies have gotten really creative with vegetables in the last few years, and this year’s Fancy Food Show upped the ante once again with unexpected ways to elevate veggies, particularly cruciferous varieties, such as cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli. It’s amazing how these once-just-side-item plant foods have been transformed into innovative yet delicious products.
Who doesn’t love breakfast for dinner? The culinarians at Fancy Food Show shared dozens of ways to enjoy our favorite breakfast flavors (think bacon, maple, and buttered toast) any time of day.
And, of course, for something a little weird…
When it comes to the Fancy Food Show, there are plenty of “a little weird” products to try! Check out this list of Sofi Award Finalists from 2014, and make sure to read up on this year’s favorites when the 2015 list is released. Maybe read it while snacking on some unconventional pickles from this year’s show?