My FitBit was pumping as I entered the Jacob Javits Center in New York City for my foodie adventure at the 2018 Fancy Food Show last month. Would I hit 10,000 steps by the end of the day? I had 365,000 square feet to capture with 2,400+ exhibiting companies. Better yet, would I burn off the calories I was about to consume on all the chocolates, cheeses, beverages, snacks, desserts and other delicacies from around the world?
What Are The Food Trends?
As a long-time foodie, I enjoy going to the Fancy Food Show each summer. It’s fun to see the trends and flavors unfold and sample what’s new.
According to Specialty Food Association’s (SFA) annual research, trends this year include:
♥ Sparkling and functional beverages along with cocktail mixers
♥ Cauliflower (I talked about cauliflower being popular with cookbooks too.)
♥ African flavors and foods from the Philippines (Filipino cuisine is being added to more restaurant menus.)
♥ Sustainability and upcycled products with ingredients that would otherwise go to waste
♥ Tea infusions with tea varieties being used in ingredients
♥ Functional foods, such as cannabis cuisine (this was a popular topic with new books too), collagen infused foods, and foods with hidden or unexpected fruits and veggies
Are Baby Boomers Big Foodies?
This year’s SFA research showed that baby boomers are not as big foodies as their millennial kids. They aren’t as inclined to order food online and have a below average purchase of specialty foods. However, boomers do cook from scratch and like to use seasonal foods. They are interested in all natural, organic and plant-based foods. And boomers read nutritional labels and desire quality ingredients.
Let’s Go Sample The New Products
I think the best way to introduce you to some of the trends is to share the food products I tasted. I didn’t sample from every booth, it’s way too much food to consume. I did make my way around the entire show and did an extensive amount of good eating.
I was overwhelmed by the number of food products related to health and wellness. Equally so were all the decadent foods for those times one wants to indulge. As I nibbled and noshed my way around the Show, I kept reminding myself that it’s all about “balance, variety and moderation,” the nutritional guidelines I learned when I was younger.
If you want to purchase any of these products, ask at your local supermarket. If they don’t have the specific product, check with Whole Foods or go on Amazon and see if they sell it. Often when I asked providers where I could find their products, they shook their head and said “Amazon” or their company’s website.
Drink Up and Have a Cocktail Too
According to SFA research, beverages are growing faster than food categories. SFA says that functional beverage sales are up as people are also drinking for health and beauty. Here are some highlights:
♥ Evy Cold Brew Tea by Evy Chen is the first cold-brew tea company in the USA.
♥ Fire Cider Apple Cider Vinegar Tonics will make your mouth pucker. Apple cider vinegar is supposed to be good for digestion and a whole lot more. Personally, I’d rather make a salad dressing with it than drink it.
♥ Natural Fruit Juices like Retreat Tropics are tropical fruit juices direct from family-owned orchards located in the famous Chanthaburi province of Thailand. Similar to a smoothie, these freshly-squeezed juices provide added Vitamin C and are associated with anti-oxidant and anti-aging properties.
♥ Brooklyn Crafted Gingerale & Beer are made with real ginger. So is Annie’s Ginger Elixir made by Brooklyn’s Annie Bassin, a post 50 female. She says to consume the Elixir at the first sign of a cold, cough, sniffle or body ache, or just drink because it tastes good.
♥ Cocktail Mixers are trending. Gus Grown-Up Soda offers a 7 oz. bottle mixer that can be consumed as a non-alcoholic cocktail or poured into a glass with 1 – 2 ounces of liquor for a tasty cocktail. It comes in Mojito, Moscow Mule, Tonic Lime and Sparkling Cosmo varieties. Bittermilk Handcrafted Cocktail Mixers are all-natural balanced cocktail mixers to make unique drinks like Charred Grapefruit Tonic with Bulls Bay Sea Salt and Smoked Honey Whiskey Sour.
♥ Tumeric’s medicinal properties can be found in varieties of The Republic of Tea mixed with Matcha, Ginger or Cinnamon, and in Twinings Soothe tea, blended with benefits to support healthy digestion. Twinings is introducing a new line of herbal teas: Energize with Matcha (which contains caffeine) to energize the body and mind; Renew with Lemon & Ginger for healthy balance from within; and Support with Lime and Ginger to promote a healthy immune system. (Note: Twinings Tea varieties may not be available until later in the year.)
It’s All Free – Gluten Free, Allergy Free, Lactose Free
I’ve noticed more gluten free products in my supermarket each week. The gluten free category is booming. More than just gluten free, now there are other allergy free products and foods to support different diets. I sampled:
♥ Gluten free snacks, baked goods, pasta, flours, granola, ethnic frozen foods: Cup4Cup baking mixes and flours developed by chefs of Thomas Keller’s The French Laundry ◊ OLO organic chickpea pasta with 20 grams protein and 11 grams fiber per 3.5 oz serving, note OLO also makes a chickpea polenta with more plant-based protein and healthy fiber ◊ feel good foods frozen potstickers, egg rolls, taquitos, & empanadas ◊ Victory Dance Foods Garden Granola made with fresh organic beetroot, ginger, lemon and apples (this granola won an award from SFFS) ◊ al dente Gluten Free pasta made with white bean and brown rice flour.
♥ Dairy and Lactose free Ice Cream was available at the Beckon brand booth from female founders Katy and Gwen. I liked flavors like Sea Salt Chocolate and Espresso. I also tried Noona’s Dairy Free Sesame Ice Cream since I’m a fan of sesame and tahini.(Note not all of Noona’s ice creams are dairy free.)
♥ FODMAP diet followers like me who suffer from IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) will appreciate Fody Low FODMAP & Gut Friendly foods. FODMAPs are a group of short-chain carbs found in everyday foods such as pasta, bread, onions, garlic, beans, milk, apples, honey,mangoes and more. FODMAPS are commonly malabsorbed in the small intestine, causing uncomfortable symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, and other IBS woes. Fody has a new extensive line of products that are gut-friendly.
♥ Diabetics watching their carbs? Check out al dente Pasta Company’s carba-nada pasta. It’s lower in carbs and higher in protein. Note it is GMO free but not GF. Besides low carb pasta you might also want to try PUR gum and mints that are aspartame free and naturally sweet and Swerve, a natural sweetener made from ingredients found in select fruits and starchy root vegetables. It’s zero-calorie, non-glycemic and safe for those living with diabetes, since it has no effect on blood glucose or insulin levels.
Are You Eating Enough Protein, Plant-Based and Superfoods?
There is a plethora of protein bars and protein powders on the market from small creators to major players. Now some have added prebiotics and probiotics and ingredients that are plant-based and superfoods. Here are the some I noticed:
♥ Protein bars come in different shapes and sizes such as high fiber, prebiotic + probiotic truth bars with 10 grams of protein ◊ This Bar Saves Lives which give life-saving nutrition to a child in need every time you buy a bar ◊ R.e.d.d. positive energy bars with 10 grams of protein and 11 superfoods ◊ Siren Protein Bites with 12 grams of plant protein per serving ◊ TeaSquares energy snacks infused with naturally occurring caffeine from organic tea.
♥ Protein and superfood powders can be added to smoothies, baked goods and other recipes. According to Navitas Organics, superfoods are “nutrient-rich foods considered beneficial for health and well-being.” Offerings that popped for me were Navitas Organics Superfood powders made with gogi berries, chia seeds and cacao and their line of Essential Blends Vanilla & Greens and Cacao & Greens ◊ Primal Kitchen Collagen Peptides powder with 10 grams of collagen.
♥ Superfoods and Probiotics sprouted up in snacks, cereals and nut blends like Activated Superfood Popcorn with millions and billions CFUs of friendly probiotic cultures in every bag ◊ Worthy Superfood Blendie Bowls containing 10 grams of plant-based protein, 2 servings of veggies and fruit, 8-9 grams of fiber, omega 3s and 6s – all for around 150 calories.
♥ Plant-based snacks are options for vegans, I found bohana popped water lilly seeds which have been consumed in India for thousands of years with 3 grams plant protein ◊ Lebby Chickpea snacks with 4-5 grams of protein (these are higher in fat so read the labels) ◊ Peeled Snacks has some fruit and veggie snacks with protein ◊ RIND are skin-on fruit snacks and claim they are “all taste and no waste” — since they use the whole fruit it helps reduce unnecessary food scraps ◊ Aree Almond Bean Chips were one of my favorite snacks at the show ◊ Bada Bean Bada Boom are plant-based snacks.(Note: these two snacks are not on the market yet.)
The Power of Cauliflower
Cauliflower is the “it” veggie right now. Little Green Sprout’s Organics by Green Giant sells frozen riced cauliflower. CauliPower has Paleo Cauliflower Pizza Crust as well as a cauliflower-based baking mix. You can also find Ground Up Cauliflower crackers.
Always Room For Chocolate
Last, but not least, I give you chocolate. Yes, yes, yes, I ate a ton of chocolate. I just could not resist chocolate in all it’s glory:
♥ K+M Extravirgin Dark Chocolate from Michelin-starred Chef Thomas Keller and legendary Italian olive oil producer Armando Manni ◊ Moodibars dark chocolate bars from Astor Chocolate to express your mood ◊ Edible Chocolate Candles (Such fun for a birthday celebration.) ◊ Green & Black’s Organic Hazelnut & Currant Dark Chocolate bar (I love fruit with my chocolate.) ◊ FlavaBars that contain 5x the cocoa flavanol antioxidants of standard dark chocolate. Plus FlavaMix drinking chocolate that contains 9x the cocoa flavanols of a typical dark chocolate bar, and 8x the cocoa flavanols of a typical cocoa powder.
♥ I savored Mojo Premium Belgian 70% Dark Chocolate Mousse (just a little spoonful was so satisfying) ◊ Skinny Dipped Dark Chocolate Raspberry Almonds ◊ Dark Chocolate and Blueberries Undercover Quinoa ◊ Bonchou Mini Chocolate Eclairs (simply the best!)◊ Peekaboo Organic Chocolate Ice Cream (OMG there’s hidden cauliflower in this ice cream.)
Wow, that was a whirlwind of a foodie adventure. I’m so full. I can’t believe I ate all that food! Any I mentioned you want to try or have tried? LMK what you like best.