Specialty Food Magazine

FALL 2017

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

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Page 18 of 107

trends & happenings New Product Standouts Tout Innovative Takes on Health, Convenience A trendspotter panel brought together diverse perspectives from retail, foodservice, and culinary edu- cation to explore the Summer Fancy Food Show floor and discover on- trend product innovations. Its mem- bers included Ken Blanchette of FreshDirect, Jonathan Deutsch of Drexel University, Perla Nieves and Alysis Vasquez of Midnight Market, Alison Tozzi Liu of the James Beard Foundation, and Elly Truesdell of Whole Foods Market. Here are some noteable innovations: Unique beverages. These includ- ed cultured coffee made by bio- technology company Afineur, using controlled, natural fermentations, and Sap! Birch Soda from Smith & Salmon, an organic, and non-GMO, sparkling birch sap beverage. "It's an excellent and innovative example of sparkling drinks or waters with low sugar and plant-based or health- focused ingredients," said Truesdell Strawberry Rhubarb Shrub from The Hudson Standard, Radler from The Owl's Brew, and Green Coffee from SunUp also made the trendspotters' list. Better-for-you snacks. Three bet- ter-for-you options made an impres- sion on the panel. Lebby Dark Chocolate Chickpeas are roasted for texture and flavor, and packed with protein, vitamins, and minerals. "These chocolate-covered chick- peas were really unexpectedly deli- cious," said Liu. Rooted Food Co.'s Popped Lotus Seeds come from the lotus flower and are roasted and flavored. Savory Bars from Sheffa Foods are made with whole-grain brown rice and quinoa, millet, amaranth, chickpeas, and sunflower seeds. "The savory bar has been the holy grail for bar makers and these guys nail it," said Deutsch. Plant-based foods. Noted by the trendspotters was Mt. Vesuvius Black Ash Cultured Nut Cheese from Miyoko's Kitchen, which is organic, non-GMO, free of choles- terol, lactose, egg, gluten, and soy. It is coated in black ash with a dense, smooth, creamy texture, and a mild- ly tangy, buttery sweetness. Cassava Leaves Jerky from Nanduto Home Cooking is crunchy and savory, with just the right amount of spice, according to Liu. "The use of cassava leaf is unex- pected and innovative." Healthy on-the-go meals. One example is Farro Meal from Cucina and Amore. It is a preservative-free, gluten-free, non-GMO, and vegan quinoa meal that comes with fully cooked quinoa, mix-in sauce, and a spoon. Drinkable soups. Broccoli and Cauliflower ready-to-drink soup from Fawen hit the mark, according to Liu. "Among the many drinkable soups I saw in cardboard pourable packaging and single-serving 'drink' bottles, this one stood out for the flavor, as well as the addition of turmeric, an ingredient that is also trending," she said.—Sara Kay Changing the Snacking Game Energy drinks and microwaveable snacks have traditionally won over video gamers, but times are changing. "Millennials and their kids are the primary gaming age groups and as they evolve in their food preferences, they are turning more often to less-processed items," says Robertson Allen, Ph.D., a consultant with The Hartman Group. "A diverse array of snacks that are convenient, have tons of global flavor options, and provide a more natural burn of energy are winners for this community." Quick, neat, and convenient to hold are musts, and for hydration, fruit juice is drunk during 19 percent of gaming, coconut water 7 percent of the time, and energy drinks only on 4 percent of gaming occasions. Allen adds, "Exploring ways to make the shopping experience more fun and game-like, whether it's through digital tech, in-store experiences, or online ordering experiences, is another possible way forward."—D.S. 16 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE specialtyfood.com

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