The Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City was abuzz this week as retailers, manufacturers and others in the retail industry gathered for the 2019 Summer Fancy Food Show. The show provided a glimpse into the near future of the food industry, and grocers were on the show floor taking notes. Here are some of the hottest trends and most innovative products that WGB spotted at the show.
The plant-based category is still going strong. Jennifer Faber, VP of sales for BetterBody Foods, said oat milk is a welcome alternative to almond and other nut varieties because it requires significantly less water to produce. And baristas love it because it froths the same way that dairy milk does, she added.
In addition to plant-based, free-from foods in general permeated the show floor and dietary restrictions such as gluten intolerance were still heavily represented. Primzie, for example, recently launched a line of grain-free snack flats in trendy flavors such as smoked cheddar and Texas BBQ.
While some brands focused on taking ingredients out, others prided themselves in adding unexpected, healthy and delicious attributes to their products. One of the most unexpected items on the show floor may have been Peekaboo Ice Cream, which is designed to trick children into eating vegetables, sneaking ingredients such as spinach, carrots, beets and cauliflower into their frozen treats.
Mocktails and mixers were hot on the show floor as more and more people, especially in the millennial crowd, choose to abstain from or take breaks from alcohol. These Mingle sparkling mocktails are delicious on their own or those who wish to drink can add spirits or prosecco to them so that everyone can enjoy their beverages how they want without the pressure to drink.
Fun and seasonal flavors were popular among the sweets category. Zoe Bisquay, marketing and customer service coordinator for Jacquet, pointed out that the company has waffle shapes to go with each season and occasion, such as hearts for Valentine's Day, stars for Independence Day, trees for the Christmas season and pumpkins for the autumn.
While Michel et Augustin started by selling in locations such as museum cafeterias, the brand has evolved to a new format that will show up in grocery in the very near future. The shortbread square sweets will be individually wrapped in fun new packaging that aims to be an eye-catching addition to a supermarket shelf.
Black truffles were another prominent flavor on the show floor, showing up in a variety of products such as chips, cheese and honey.