Interact hit San Francisco last week to check out the latest and greatest in specialty food. We geared up with visits to the ferry building, the farmers market and the Good Food Awards before ending up at the 2017 Winter Fancy Foods Show. We had a great time hanging out with clients, industry friends and thought leaders! Here are our insights into what food trends will take prominence this year.
While dietary trends are embracing fat these days, there is still a demand for nutritionally lighter foods. Brands are angling products in more creative ways to communicate them as lower calorie alternatives that still satisfy cravings.
Salami is not typically categorized as a “diet food”, but Meat Crafter’s Skinny Salamis sells itself as such with callouts for high protein and a lower calorie count.
The term “crisps” is being used as both a product identifier and a description of texture to convey a lighter snacking option. Cello Whisps are also calling out protein content and ingredients on package.
Urban Food’s integration of natural, nutrient rich foods in a bite sized snack is another way we’re seeing diet foods evolve.
SWEET MEETS HEAT
Consumer palates are opening up to new taste experiences. Riding the coattails of the Sriracha boom, more spicy foods are emerging – but with the intriguing addition of sweeter flavors.
This spicy-sweet treat from Little Bird Curious Confections is perfect in place of traditional simple syrup to add a kick to your coffee and cocktails.
Any of Spice Mama’s complex yet balanced flavored chili sauces can easily stand in as a dip or marinade for many favorite foods.
Mike’s chili pepper-infused honey is a tasty and surprisingly versatile condiment, excellent drizzled over pizza, cornbread and even ice cream.
Cannoli chips, chocolate covered bugs, and other unique confections set the stage for sweet snacks. These products are satisfying sugar cravings without the guilt of processed ingredients and high calorie counts.
We’ve all been tempted to eat more cookie dough than was on the spoon. Now we can, without fear! Edoughble ready-to-eat cookie dough is egg free and totally indulgent.
A snacking adventure unlike any other, Smashmallow uses simple ingredients and boasts only 80 calories per serving.
Ocean’s Halo has united seaweed and chocolate to create an unlikely yet satisfying pairing, with a savory-sweet flavor and crispy texture.
THE GROWTH OF BEETS
Quinoa has been a health trend darling for a few years now, despite being relatively unknown prior to that. Beets are carving a similar path, rising from a niche food to being introduced to traditional diets in uniquely executed ways.
Beets are known to boost immunity and fight sickness, and Teapigs beet-infused tea is a great way to gain those benefits without having to munch on one.
Ketchup means sweet, red tomato sauce to the average American palate. The Foraging Fox is challenging the condiment category with their beetroot ketchup.
Natalie’s Gourmet has beets starring as a unique twist to an otherwise traditional salsa recipe, bringing another level of flavor and added detoxifying benefits.
SHRUBS AND VINEGARS
Kombucha paved the way for old world remedies with astringent flavor profiles to become popular, as seen by the rise of vinegar-based beverages. With gut health and vitality in mind, these new age beverages are being used more for regimens than casually.
We were impressed by the flavor of Olitalia drinking vinegar, though its structure is more reminiscent of olive oil than a ready to drink option.
Labeled as a sparkling shrub (a mix of vinegar, fruit and sugar), Tartly has effectively branded itself as a more approachable vinegar-based beverage.
Light a natural, pro-biotic fire on your belly with this feisty tonic. Fire Cider is made with apple cider vinegar, ginger, garlic, horseradish and more – this one isn’t for the faint of heart.
BEST IN CLASS
We’ve got to give a couple shoutouts to our favorite products that we saw at the show! For innovative structures and designs, we tip our hats to these products.
A multi-culturally inspired line of bitters with attention and care to detail listed on every package, we’re thirsty for some cocktails made with Dashfire Bitters.
Copper Cow’s coffee kit brings the Vietnamese coffee experience to you. The coffee can be brewed poured over a single cup for a truly personal experience.
We were immediately drawn to Hexx Chocolate for its beautifully engaging design, which combined different flavors into one visually unified structure.
We’ll be visiting lots of food and beverage centered events throughout the year, so stay tuned to hear more of our industry insights!