Just before the July 4th holiday, I walked the aisles of the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York, meeting colleagues and looking for trends.
The show is run by the Specialty Food Association at the Javits Center, with more than 2500 vendors. It’s a lot of work to try to work through the entire show. Exhibitors focus on what speciality and natural stores purchase, which can sometimes stray a bit from what one would call “fancy” but satisfies retailer buyers who are looking for new items to sell to their shoppers.
A press release from the Specialty Food Association spells out what the organizers felt were the official trends:
- Gazpacho to go
- Can’t beat beets
- Flower power
- Cocktail culture
- The maize craze
It’s hard to argue with the official announcement of trends from the show, so I have to agree with what they saw. A few others things caught my eye, too:
- Ginger: Ginger beer and craft ginger ale
- Jerky and meat snacks: Seeing creative protein offerings increase
- Matcha tea: Formats from bottled to powder
- Cold brew coffee: Bottled, concentrates, kits for making your own at home
- Yogurt: Fancy vanilla flavoring, savory flavors, whole milk, non-cow milk
- Bone broth: Seems similar to traditional broth/stock but described differently – but I may be wrong
- Honey: Additive in a number of products I saw
These are trends only because there were a number of offerings that had these attributes. A trend doesn’t always equate to success; it’s always possible a number of brands are jumping on a trend without demand. We’ll see them first in specialty shops and Whole Foods, then migrate to larger grocery chains. Let me know if you see any interesting products on your supermarket shelves.