Winter Fancy Food
Working Wellness Trends for the Winter Fancy Food Show
Las Vegas — The Winter Fancy Food Show is the largest trade show dedicated exclusively to specialty food products, providing specialty food manufacturers an opportunity to showcase their latest offerings while giving buyers access to what may become bestsellers in this field. According to the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT), this exhibition draws in attendees from both sellers and buyers in this sector.
SFA’s Trendspotter Panel was on hand at Winter Show in search of emerging trends, and here is what they found.
Globally Inspired Pantry Staples
The Winter Fancy Food Show is one of the world’s premier specialty-food trade shows, attracting manufacturers, distributors, retailers and others from around the globe to showcase products driving this $175 billion industry. Held this year from January 15-17 in Las Vegas due to safety concerns related to COVID-19 pandemic concerns, exhibitors featured a range of trends designed to help consumers prepare more sophisticated meals at home.
Although some brands exhibiting at the show offer indulgent culinary offerings, many others are responding to consumer demand for foods that are better for the planet and healthful options. Ingredient innovations that aim to enhance existing pantry staples may include using different ingredients from their source countries or adding superfood components and lower-glycemic options.
Sorghum can do more than enhance biscuits and pancakes; it can also be used to craft satisfying soups and stews. Tahini shouldn’t just be limited to use in hummus; it can add depth of flavor in salad dressings, soups, sauces and store-bought pasta and noodles – not forgetting canned preserved olives and capers that add zesty bites of tanginess!
Other pantry essentials like oils, vinegars and premade sauces provide an instant way to add an elevated taste to any dish – while shelf-stable items such as Sriracha and Tabasco add kick to everything from breakfast eggs to noodles bowls!
And finally, beans and lentils–long considered an economical source of protein–are receiving an upgrade. Brands are offering new flavors and formats such as BeanVIVO organic seasoned bean pouches with dips as well as Sanchi’s new chili garlic and Tikka Masala snack packs and bowls; all make adding more vegetables and legumes into your diet easier while providing some global inspiration.
Fancy Food Show experiences revolve around tasting. From new condiments, sauces or oils to non-wine cocktails and alcohol-free beers, there’s always something exciting to discover at this annual show. And with buyers, distributors, retailers all in attendance, it provides the ideal opportunity for discovering all that speciality food has to offer! Don’t miss the 2023 Winter Fancy Food Show for your chance at discovering and sampling all kinds of exciting specialty products while making connections!
At this upscale trade fair, over 1,000 exhibitors showcase products driving the $175 billion specialty food industry. Winter and summer shows provide an opportunity for all who count in North American speciality food to come together to honor the skill, care, and joy behind its creation – this year’s Winter Fancy Food Show featured several emerging trends such as globally inspired pantry staples and alcohol-free cocktails; The Specialty Food Association Trendspotter Panel tasted through sold out event to identify them and more!
Non-alcoholic cocktails made with adaptogens and nootropics have become an increasingly popular trend, with more sophisticated, well-crafted options emerging. Brooklyn-based St. Agrestis has long offered its signature boozy negronis; now, with the Phony Negroni, they have also created an alcohol-free option designed to deliver similar flavors but without alcohol content.
Wooden Spoon Herbs offers an assortment of tinctures and elixirs designed to aid cognitive function, stress relief, mental clarity and more through plants. Their Rose Colored Glasses Tincture provides a refreshing nonalcoholic beverage to unwind with or add some drops into any nonalcoholic cocktail recipe.
Hemp-based drinks are becoming more and more popular. Hemp is packed with plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, protein and fiber that make for healthier versions of many popular beverages – Three Spirit Brew and Curious Elixirs offered these drinks at the Winter Fancy Food Show for example – perfect for cocktails or as non-alcoholic bedtime rituals with ingredients like valerian root and guayusa for sleep aiding benefits.
Non-Alcoholic Cocktail Culture
At first, it appeared that Seltzer would remain popular, with Truly and White Claw drinks becoming widespread trends. But in reality, something much more sophisticated was lurking behind the scene – an emerging wellness movement pushing cocktail culture further forward.
As America increasingly prioritizes wellness, non-alcoholic cocktails are becoming a trend and decreasing the stigma attached to not drinking alcohol. Be it for health-related or stress relief reasons, consumers are seeking non-alcoholic alternatives that provide similar buzzes and sensory experiences as alcoholic drinks do.
This shift has been propelled by celebrity endorsement. Gen Z supermodel Bella Hadid recently co-launched a range of alcohol-free spirits and aperitifs with Kin Euphorics; joining other celebs such as Blake Lively and Dwayne Johnson who promote sobriety among their large followings.
The explosion of alcohol-free drinks is being driven by many factors, but most notably by an emphasis on wellness. This trend can be seen through an explosion in popularity for kombucha production as well as probiotic foods and beverages like kefir water, kimchi shots, and fermented nut milks.
Another contributing factor is the increasing interest in living sober lifestyles, evidenced by events like Dry January and other detoxes or abstaining trends such as Sober October or MOVEN.
No matter their motivation to avoid alcohol – whether that be health concerns, managing stress levels, social detoxing or simply not feeling like getting wasted – consumers want their alcohol alternatives to taste great and look appealing. Thus the popularity of craft mocktails at upscale restaurants such as Esme in Chicago or Alice in NYC. Expect to pay an average price tag of about $16 for hand-crafted beverages with ingredients like butterfly pea flower, lion’s mane mushroom and ceremonial cacao; nevertheless these cocktails remain as popular or more than their boozy counterparts!
Health & Wellness Trends
The Winter Fancy Food Show — West Coast’s premier specialty food and beverage event — offers more than salsa, ham and cheese; it is also an opportunity for consumers to discover innovative functional products designed to promote healthier lives. The 2023 edition kicked off on January 15 and the Specialty Food Association Trendspotter Panel managed to categorize thousands of products into 10 overall trends for 2019.
No matter if it’s a high-protein, low-carb snack or cold-fighting tea, food companies have made a concentrated effort to help consumers feel and perform at their best. Product offerings feature health benefits, natural ingredients and transparent labeling in an attempt to give people what they need for optimal wellbeing. This trend continues across many emerging and established brands alike.
As part of their strategy, many products are taking advantage of probiotics and other nutritional ingredients – known as nutraceuticals – to give consumers more for their money in an easy package. Many brands showcased this at the show including various kombuchas, yogurt-based drinks and supplements.
An unexpected wellness trend that stood out was the push towards more convenient and quick at-home cooking, including condiments, meal starters, freezer dinners and other shortcuts that make cooking simpler for consumers. Furthermore, this trend extended to healthier snacks that still deliver satisfying snacking experiences; from high-protein protein balls to kale chips and low carb breads; these products aim to deliver nutritious options that can be consumed on the go.
Finally, the trend toward healthy indulgences continues to evolve as more companies incorporate flavorful ingredients that appeal to consumers willing to pay a premium for the experience. At the show there were various bourbon-inspired popcorn and ice cream flavors on display – while this may not be considered a new trend, its popularity is certainly on the rise as more people seek bolder-tasting spirits-infused foods.
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