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Buyers’ Picks: Fermented Specialties


As consumers are becoming more interested in their health and well-being, fermented specialty foods and beverages continue to interest shoppers looking for products that provide probiotics and other nutritional attributes. The category is far-reaching—from kombucha to yogurt—and specialty food makers are innovating on flavors and production methods.

Following are buyers' recommendations for fermented products making an impact in the category.

Tina Knight, store manager, Eddies of Roland Park, Baltimore

  • Atwater’s Cantonsville Sourdough
  • DC Dills Fermented Kraut and Fermented Krabby Kraut
  • Lindera Farms Ramp Vinegar
  • Pepe Saya Cultured Butter
  • Pequea Valley Farm Yogurt, Assorted Flavors
  • Wild Bay Kombucha, Assorted Flavors

“The trends are all about gut health, microbiome, and how many other bodily systems are affected by having a strong microbiome. As a result, fermented foods and kombucha in particular, continue to grow in popularity," said Knight.

Kate Harper, chief brand curator and head of product, Hive Brands, New York

  • American Vinegar Works Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Figure Ate Naturally Fermented Persimmon Vinegar 
  • Kitchen Garden Farm Organic Habanero Sriracha (Medium)
  • Pacific Pickle Works Mother’s Puckers Homestyle Pickles 
  • The Real Dill Habanero Horseradish Dill Pickles

Loan Heilner, director of merchandising for non-perishables, FreshDirect, New York 

  • Alexandre Family Farm, A2/A2 Organic 100% Grass Fed Probiotic Kefir, Whole Milk
  • Hawthorne Valley Wild Fermented Sauerkraut, Original
  • Mother In Law’s Kimchi Vegan Table Cut Napa Cabbage
  • Rowdy Mermaid Roaring Pineapple Organic Kombucha
  • The Spare Food Co. Lemon & Ginger Probiotic Sparkling Tonic
  • White Moustache Labneh

“Consumers are searching for beverage and food products that go beyond nutrition. As digestive well-being gains prominence, they are seeking the health benefits of fermented products such as sauerkraut, probiotic beverages like kombucha, as well as certain kinds of yogurt and labneh. We’ve also seen an uptick in customers searching for Korean products, such as kimchi, which is a classic fermented food. FreshDirect’s vendors are stepping up to meet heightened consumer demands and offering a variety of tasty flavors," said Heilner.