Top trends from the Fancy Food Show

July 19, 2019

A panel of food industry experts identified 10 top trends drawn from canvassing the show floor at the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City last month. More than 200,000 specialty foods and beverages were on display at the show.

“It’s fascinating to observe the ever-evolving specialty food marketplace, which has grown into a nearly $150 billion industry,” said Denise Purcell, director of content for the Specialty Food Association. “From the uptick of members showcasing West African products to the blossoming of foods and beverages addressing sustainability and social concerns, the Fancy Food Show always reveals inspiring companies and products to our Trendspotter Panel.”

Here’s a look at the trends the food industry gurus identified:

  1. Upcycled foods — “With consumers learning more about food waste and the power of upcycling, we’re seeing some interesting applications of otherwise discarded ingredients,” said Trendspotter Melanie Zanoza Bartelme, an analyst with Mintel. Products that fit into this category included, among many others, Super Frau Walk This Whey, a waste product from the cheese-making process converted into a beverage that promotes digestive health.
  2. Mission-driven companies — Companies and products powered by environmental and social concerns were visible throughout the show.
  3. New sources of protein on the go — The protein and convenience trends converged with offerings like Crepini Egg Thins, which are refrigerated crepes made of egg and cauliflower.
  4. West African foods in the spotlight — Trendspotter Tonya Hopkins, founder of Food Griot, said she was impressed with the signs she saw of a “growing variety of artisanal products from West Africa and their continued influence in New World regions and food cultures in the Americas.”
  5. Global hot sauces — Hot sauces touting flavors from around the globe—many based on family recipes—were prevalent at the show.
  6. Raising the cocktail game — Many new mixers, tonics, and garnishes designed to help consumers make bar-quality cocktails at home were on display.
  7. Frozen dessert renaissance — Frozen desserts’ makeover began with ice creams offering high-protein varieties, dairy alternatives, and international flavors. It has since expanded to include cakes, cobblers, and other treats.
  8. Water everywhere — According to the Specialty Food Association’s State of the Specialty Food Industry report, 2019–2020 edition, specialty water is the top category forecast to grow over the next five years.
  9. Nutritious grains — Grains are being hailed for their nutrients, including sprouted varieties that offer activated nutrition as well as fiber-rich options like barley and buckwheat.
  10. Mushroom love — Interest continues to grow in mushrooms for their taste and flavor as well as nutrition and medicinal benefits.

Press release