Exotic and omnipresent ingredients, on-the-go convenience, and alcohol infusions are on the up and up. The 61st annual Summer Fancy Food Show drew to a close yesterday, but before the final day wrapped, the show's Trendspotter Panel identified five emerging trends of note.

The big five were revealed Tuesday afternoon at the News & Solution Center in a presentation by the Specialty Food Association's Denise Purcell, head of content, and Louise Kramer, communications director. Here's what to look out for in the specialty food world:

Gazpacho to Go. Soups in a bottle were all over the show, but virtually all had a gazpacho recipe among the options. Products spotted: Bodega & Co. Mucho Gazpacho; Gina Cucina Watermelon Habanero Gazpacho; The Splendid Spoon Market Gazpacho; Tio Gazpacho's Gazpacho del Sol.

Can't Beat Beets. New products are transforming the once marginal canned veg to an all-star specialty ingredient. Products spotted: Eat Well Embrace Life Beet Hummus; Gringo Jack's Beet, Orange & Quinoa Salsa; Health-Ade Beet Kombucha; Love Beets Beet-Blueberry Bar.

Flower Power. Herbs and botanicals have had their moment in the spotlight; next up: florals. Products spotted: Belvoir Fruit Farms Elderflower & Rose Lemonade; Masala Pop Saffron Rose Popcorn; Rogue Creamery La-Di-Da Lavender Cheese; Vosges Haut-Chocolat Blood Orange Hibiscus Caramel Marshmallows.

Cocktail Culture. Spirits, wine, and beer are inspiring flavors and ingredient pairings across a variety of categories. Products spotted: Bissell Maple Farm's Pappy & Company Bourbon Barrel-Aged Syrup; Brooklyn Brine Co. Hop-Pickles; Colonel Pabst All Malt Amber-Lager Worcestershire Sauce; LA Creamery The Manhattan.

Maize Craze. Corn is ever-present in the industry, but specialty producers are getting creative with the commodity. Products spotted: Kiddylicious Sweetcorn Rice Rounds; Off the Cob Sweet Corn Tortilla Chips; Pipsnacks Pipcorn; Pop Art Snacks Tandoori Yogurt Popcorn.

View slideshow of some products representing each trend.


Other emerging and ongoing trends to watch:

  • Jerky and other meat snacks
  • Compound butters
  • Vegetables as ingredients
  • Intensely flavored ice creams and frozen desserts
  • Ginger treats and beverages

The trend seekers scouring the floor included food trend experts and researchers as well as food journalists from the likes of Every Day with Rachael Ray, Better Homes & Gardens, The Kitchn, MarketWatch/The Wall Street Journal, and Specialty Food Magazine.

Catch up on full show coverage on Specialty Food News' live blog from the three-day event.

Slideshow photos by Meryl Skyler