Back to Specialty Food News

Heightened Heat, Upscaling at Home, Fruit Forward Among Trends

On Trend Products SFFS24

As the Specialty Food Association opens its Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City today, several trends have emerged among exhibitors who are showcasing new products at this year’s event, which runs through Tuesday, June 25 at the Javits Center.

Throughout the Show, members of SFA's Trendspotter Panel, which is made up of retail and foodservice buyers, market researchers, food writers, educators, and other industry professionals, will report on the strengthening and emerging trends that they discover on the Show floor. On Tuesday at 1:15 p.m., Trendspotter representatives will sit on a panel and discuss these findings on the Big Idea stage.

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

Heightened Heat. Specialty makers are raising the temperature across a range of categories with sour-spicy, sweet-spicy, and herbal-spicy flavors. SFA’s 2024 sofi Award judges noted that Calabrian chili peppers from Southern Italy and fefferoni peppers from the Balkans were among the interesting ingredients tasted during the judging.

  • Auria’s Malaysian Kitchen Vegan Hot Chili Sambal made with shiitake mushroom powder. Booth: Debut District, IV61
  • Gold sofi Award-winning Blake Hill Preserves Mango Pineapple Habanero Spicy Chili Jam made with habañero chili peppers and pineapple and mango. Booth 5940
  • Cuatro Mama’s Spicy Chola red chili crisp oil. Booth: Debut District, IV24 
  • Natural Blonde’s Spicy Blonde Bloody Mary Mix made with golden yellow tomatoes and fresh habañero peppers (pictured above). Booth 5521

Satisfying Snacks. Specialty snacks that offer satiety through ingredients like protein as well as snacks that leave consumers feeling satisfied since they’re comforting and often indulgent, are trending. Findings of SFA’s soon-to-be released State of the Specialty Food Industry report, 2024-25 Edition, show that Chips, Chocolate, and Ice Cream are three of the fastest growing specialty categories.

  • Gold sofi Award-winning Bella Cucina Artful Dark Chocolate Salted Caramels. Booth 5464
  • Freekeh Harvest Protein Pita Chips. Booth Debut District, IV 30
  • Legend of Master Kani Red Fish-Based Protein Snacks with the mouthfeel of string cheese but made with Alaskan pollock. Booth 4827
  • MMMJerky, Thin and crispy beef jerky in Regular, Cracked Black Pepper, Spicy, and Habanero. Booth: Debut District, 4213
  • Gold sofi Award-winning Peak Protein Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Grass-Fed Whey Protein Bars, made with whey from Southern Ireland where cows graze on pastures for more than 300 days. Booth 6043
  • Quillo Gourmet Potato Chips in Foie Gras, Black Garlic & Vinegar, and Aged Manchego Cheese flavors. Booth 2309
  • Smearcase Frozen Cottage Cheese Ice Cream. Booth 4218
  • Gold sofi Award-winning Sunday Night Foods Sea Salt Chocolate Premium Sauce. Booth 1446

Upscaling at Home. There has been a surge in elevated home cooking with global flavors. SFA’s State of the Specialty Food Industry report finds that while some Americans are preparing meals at home to combat higher prices amidst inflation others are doing it for reasons that don’t involve cost avoidance.

  • Gold sofi Award-winning Blis Spruce Infused Ponzu Sauce, a Japanese citrus-based sauce steeped with kombu and spruce tips. Booth 4520A
  • Gold sofi Award-winning Clark and Hopkins District Saucea hot sauce made with Ethiopian curry, ginger, and honey. Booth 6210
  • Gold sofi-Award winning Flour & Olive’s Almond Scratch Olive Oil Cake MixIts website features a world map with over 70 recipes from 45 countries. Booth 4522

Fast and Fancy. Convenience is key for specialty food consumers with grab-and-go among the fastest growing product attributes, according to SFA’s Today’s Specialty Food Consumer research. Ease of preparation is also enabling busy consumers to serve up specialty meals.  

  • Gold sofi Award-winning Brooklyn Cured Bresaola and Gouda Snack Pack. Booth 544
  • Brooklyn Delhi’s ready in 90 seconds Sweet Potato Coconut Dal, Red Bean Rajma Masala, Black Bean Butter Masala, and Chickpea Tikka Masala. Booth 6138
  • Gold sofi Award-winning Jane Foodie’s Flash Frozen Guinness Beef Stew, made with filet mignon, yukon potatoes, carrots, onions, and Guinness stout. Booth 5764
  • Gold sofi Award-winning Jasberry Organic Superfood Rice - 9 Grains. Booth 1736
  • Three Little Pigs Sous-Vide Gourmet Meals. Booth 765

Wordly Fare. This trend includes high quality foods produced around the globe that feature trustworthy markers of authenticity or traceability.

  • A Dutch Masterpiece Rembrandt New 12-Month PDO (Product Designation of Origin), ensuring the cheese is crafted with the traditional quality and characteristics of its geographical region. Booth 658
  • Jamones Blazquez Pigs, jamones under this PDO are raised and fattened in the rich woodlands of Los Blázquez, which are populated by holm oaks, cork oaks, and gall oaks. The jamones are then cured in Blazquez's drying cellars, employing traditional artisan methods that have been passed down through generations. Booth 2211
  • Taylor Pass Honey Co. Mānuka Honey Pops & Drops, leveraging fully traceable Mānuka honey from New Zealand, guaranteed to have a UMF (Unique Mānuka Factor) of 5+ or higher. UMF measures the unique signature markers of Manuka honey. Booth 5149
  • Gold sofi Award-winning Testa Conserve-Bluefin Tuna Fillets preserved in organic Sicilian IGP extra virgin olive oil. IGP is a protected geographical indication. Booth 3150

Fruit Forward. Specialty varieties of nature’s candy and the bright flavors of cherry, lemon, and strawberry, in particular, continue to flourish across the specialty food space.

  • Lakrids by Bülow Limited-Edition Summer Collection including Sour Strawberry and Lemon Licorice made with freshly picked green strawberries and fresh lemons. Booth 2670
  • Laura Chenel Cranberry Chevre en Croute and Pear, Wine & Rosemary log. Booth 861
  • Gold sofi Award-winning Jamie’s Farm Vanilla Bean Granola With Sour Cherries. Booth 6139A
  • Gold sofi Award-winning Cypress Grove Meyer Lemon and Honey Goat Cheese. Booth 369
  • Gold sofi Award-winning Brands of Britain Frujava Cherry Vanilla Energy Drink. Booth 5542
  • Gold sofi Award-winning De Medici Imports, Ltd. Villa Manodori Dark Cherry Balsamic. Booth 2836

Eco-Conscious Efforts. Specialty makers are softening the tread of their carbon footprint in myriad ways.

  • Grain de Sail uses cargo sailboats to transport premium chocolate bars from France to the U.S. with the lowest possible carbon footprint. Booth 5557
  • Simple Times Mixers are using new curbside recyclable packaging, part of the brand’s zero waste initiative.  Booth 5726 
  • Saltverk, a sea salt brand from Iceland, has become Climate Neutral Certified by the Change Climate Project. Booth 5057

Honey.  Specialty food and beverage makers are sweet on the health benefits of honey.

  • Honey B’s Sparkling Honey Drink made with 100 percent Natural Australian honey. Booth 5615
  • Manukora Manuka Honey. Booth 4219
  • Natharvest Sweet and Sour Stingless Bee Honey sourced from the tropical rainforests of Borneo Island in Malaysia. Booth 150
  • Select Organic Italian Honey Line in Eucalyptus, Lime, and Chestnut. Booth 751.
  • Klepper & Klepper The Best Licorice Ever in Honey. Booth 5756

Still trending: Mushrooms, beverage innovations including non-alcoholic, black garlic.