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Crunchy Snacks, Soups, Breakfast with Benefits Top Summer Fancy Food Show Trends on the Radar

As the Specialty Food Association opens its Summer Fancy Food Show today in New York City, several trends related to indulgence, health, and convenience have emerged among the thousands of products exhibitors will showcase through June 27 at the Javits Center. The SFA Trendspotter Panel identified some as the top trends of 2023 and they continue to gain momentum as new products come to market. Others have emerged from category forecasting in SFA’s newly released research, State of the Specialty Food Industry, 2023-2024 Edition.

The SFA Trendspotter Panel, made up of retail and foodservice buyers, market researchers, chefs, food writers and educators, and other industry professionals will be working throughout the Show’s three days, reporting on strengthening and emerging trends. On Tuesday at 11 a.m., Trendspotter representatives will join a panel discussion on trends from the Summer Show on the Big Idea Stage on Level 3.

Following are examples of products that fit trends currently on the radar. You’ll find more examples throughout the exhibit halls and on the SFA Fancy Food Show App.

Crunchy Snacks. Salty snacks, including chips, popcorn, and pretzels, hit the top spot in best-selling retail categories for the first time, according to SFA’s brand new State of the Specialty Food Industry research, 2023-2024 edition. A return to more social events and entertaining is driving sales as is the fact that personal indulgence has proven to be pandemic- and inflation-proof. Here are some examples at the Summer Fancy Food Show:

• Pretzel Pete’s Seasoned Pretzel Medleys Topzels, crushed pretzels to use on ice cream, yogurt, oatmeal, and more. Booth #5430

• Sal de Ibiza Chips La Vie en Rose, potato chips kettle fried in sunflower oil and finished with fleur de sel and rose petal flakes. sofi Winners display, Hall D

• Wine Chips Furikake Private Reserve Wine Chip, chips flavored with furikake and meant to be paired with sake. Booth #242

Soups, Refrigerated and Frozen Entrees for Convenience. One of the SFA Trendspotter panel’s top picks for a 2023 trend, convenience remains king and is taking the form of fast meals like soup, refrigerated and frozen entrees. Examples:

• 18 Chestnuts Vegan Soups Roasted Cauliflower soup, part of a line of shelf-stable, gluten-free vegan soups. Booth #6342

• Pasta Noodles Co. Rapid Cook Meals, packaged in small portable containers these rapid-cook pastas use steam technology to cook by adding hot water. Booth #1777

• Simply Spanish Paella, made in small batches weekly using traditional recipes in seafood and vegan varieties. Booth #1674

Seasoning in New Forms and Functions. Related to trends in convenience and easy, no-mess, no waste prep, seasonings are hitting the market in new powder and spray forms. Examples:

• Cornhusker Kitchen Gourmet Duck Fat Spray adds a rich flavor and has a high smoke point. Booth #4826

• Fine Italian Food Mantova Poke Spray Oils, available in five flavors in an eco-friendly dispenser to season poke. Booth #1552

• Mantis Sweet Heat BBQ Dust is a powder that can be used for barbecue but also in dips, on popcorn, and to rim a cocktail glass among other uses. Booth #4507

Ready-to-Drink Tea and Coffee. Continuing a sales wave that began with a Covid boost, refrigerated RTD tea and coffee is forecast to be a top grower in the newly released State of the Industry research, driven by non-dairy and functional varieties and tropical flavors. Examples:

• Bahari Iced Teas made with tea sourced from Kenya in flavors like Iced Bloody Mary, tomato iced black tea. Booth #6357

• Bandida Horchata Cold Brewed Coffee, a dairy-free version of the creamy rice drink. Booth NEW NOW NEXT

• Vando’s Naturals Niron’s Sparkling Iced Espresso made from wood fired roasted beans. Booth #755

Alcohol-Free Cocktail Culture. Non-alcoholic beverages continue as a trend since the Winter Fancy Food Show in January, giving consumers sophisticated craft alternatives to traditional cocktails. Examples:

• Bluestem Botanicals Cocktail and Mocktail Kits, containing seasonal farm-grown herbal mixers and recipes for craft drinks. Booth #4842

• Sayso craft cocktail tea bags, available in new pouches made from post-consumer recycled materials. Booth #5716

• Seraphim Social Beverage Cacao Calm + Clear, a wine alternative and wellness drink that contains botanical ingredients and cacao. Booth NEW NOW NEXT

Breakfast with Benefits. The most important meal of the day is getting even more of a healthful boost with added nutrients, upcycled products, and cleaner ingredients. Examples:

• Hidden Foods Co. Homestyle Pancake Mix, nutrient-packed and sweetened with the natural sugar in fruits and vegetables. Booth #4412

• Renewal Mill’s Seven Sundays Upcycled Corn Four Cereal, made with an Upcycled Certified ingredient, this cereal uses white corn flour, a byproduct of the cornmeal milling process. Booth #5125

• Witzi’s Raw Granola, grain- and gluten-free granola is available in new Lemon Raspberry and Chocolate Honeyberry flavors. Booth #4827

Related: Summer Fancy Food Show Edition of Specialty Food Now AvailableFancy New York Pitch Slam Finalists Named.