The Specialty Food Association has recognized the top innovations from the 2017 Winter Fancy Food Show, which was held Jan. 22-24, at Moscone Center in San Francisco.
With over 80,000 products on display from 1,400 companies, creativity and new tastes were everywhere and it wasn't easy to select a top 10, say show organizers. The Association is calling out the following products for pushing the envelope of innovation the farthest:
ReGrained's Sustainable Supergrain Bars: Two college students started home brewing and realized that throwing out all of the spent grain was a waste. They started baking bread with it, but it was too time consuming and they wanted something more practical. They came up with a recipe for small-batch granola bars. The granola bars are high in protein and fiber, low in sugar. There are currently two flavors: Honey Almond IPA and Chocolate Coffee Stout.
Bee Free Honee's Bee Free Honee: Owner Katie Sanchez grew up on an apple orchard with a father who was a beekeeper. She came up with the recipe for this vegan honey made from apples by accident while trying to make apple jelly. Years later when learning about the decline of the bee population she revisited the recipe as a business idea. There are currently four flavors: Original, Mint, Ancho Chile and Slippery Elm.
Blue Planet Chocolate's Superfoods Chocolate Squares: An Ohio-based chocolatier started a new line of 70 percent-plus dark chocolates with superfood ingredients like baobab and chia that are also enhanced with probiotics. There are currently four flavors: Blueberry & Chia, Espresso, Cocoa Nib and Cinnamon & Chia.
Dang's Sticky-Rick Chips: Inspired by a popular Asian snack, Dang Foods takes steamed organic Thai sticky rice, soaks it in watermelon juice, and vacuum fries to create a crisped snack. They are made from whole rice rather than rice power and are gluten-free and non-GMO verified.
Copper Cow Coffee's Vietnamese Coffee Single Pour-Over Kit, New Brands on the Shelf: Consumers can create Vietnamese coffee on the go without all of the equipment. This convenient, all-in-one kit contains ground Vietnamese coffee served in a single-use pour over bag, along with a sleeve of condensed California milk. The product has a shelf life of over one year.
Baruvi Fresh's Hummustir, New Brands on the Shelf: A deconstructed hummus kit packaged in a paper cup that also serves as a mixing bowl. Inside are packets of organic chickpea puree, organic tahini, spices, an instruction card, and a sealed wooden spoon. Consumers can add water to create hummus on the go, while controlling the portion size. Currently available in three varieties: Classic, Mediterranean with a twist of lime and garlic, and Village with a touch of garlic and cumin.
Primal Nutrition's Primal Kitchen Macadamia Sea Salt Bar with Collagen: Collagen is the protein that holds everything together in your body and production declines with age. The collagen protein used in these bars is collagen hydrolysate from grass-fed cows, which is broken down into individual amino acids and easier to absorb and digest. Eating collagen sourced from grass-fed bovines pastures-raised in Brazil, can help make up for the decreased production. The bars are high in protein, low in sugar and non-GMO.
Plocky's Fine Snacks' PrOTATO Crisps: PrOTATO Crisps provide consumers with a powerful, nutritional snack that blends potatoes and organic plant protein and packs 7-grams of protein per serving. They are currently available in three varieties: Original with Himalayan Pink Salt, Spicy Honey BBQ and Peppercorn Ranch.
Tea Drops: Tea Drops are organic teas that dissolve in your cup. Made from finely ground organic tea, raw super and spices. Tea on the go with 100 percent recyclable packaging. Non-sweetened variety coming this spring. Currently available in four varieties: Rose Earl Gray, Citrus Ginger, Vanilla White Tea and Sweet Peppermint.
Lotito Foods' Cheese Folios: Folios are lightly baked sheets of cheese made from Parmesan, Cheddar or Jarlsberg. They can be used as a bowl or cup.
"It was great to walk the aisles of this show and experience the sheer number of clever and tasty innovations the specialty food industry is launching. From the latest in proteins, sweets, snacks, sustainability and sheer inventiveness, this event proved once again that specialty foods are leading the way in expanding the food business," says Phil Kafarakis, president of the Specialty Food Association. "We're excited about the future as we prepare to highlight even more food innovations at our Summer Fancy Food Show in June."
Innovations were chosen by staff of the Specialty Food Association using the following criteria: new idea on market, twists on original, on-trend, new packaging formats, new applications/uses, new flavor used unexpectedly and new to show.
The Specialty Food Association hosts the Fancy Food Show twice a year. The next show will take place in New York June 25-27.