Specialty Food Magazine

Summer 2018

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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T he annual sofi Awards competition concluded recently after 56 judges spent 12 days choosing this year's Gold, Silver, Bronze, and New Product winners in 39 categories. Over the course of the competition, more than 2,650 product entries lined shelves around the Specialty Food Association's New York City office, affording a front-row view of the most innovative specialty foods and beverages on the mar- ket. Based on input from members of the judging panel, here we highlight new and continuing trends revealed by the sofi Award New Product entries. (See gallery of winners starting opposite p. 136) Goth Food Identified by the SFA's Trendspotter Panel as a 2018 trend, black-hued food continues to hit the market. The trend originally referred to foods and beverages made with activated charcoal, but sofi unveiled products like goat cheese enrobed in vegetable ash; black rice noodles; and black sesame butter. Cauliflower Trend watchers' claims of the "next kale" have rotated in past years, but cauliflower has shown staying power. A beneficial source of vitamin C, folate, potassium, and magnesium, among other nutrients, cauliflower is also cheered as a carb substitute. Riced cauliflower, mashed cauliflower, and cauliflower pizza crust were all visible during the sofi competition, as were some new creative standouts, including cauliflower hummus spread; a new vegetable-based baking mix containing cauliflower; and a cauliflower collagen wrap that works in another emerging trend—collagen protein as an ingredient to replace diminishing levels as consumers age. BY DENISE PURCELL Trends from the sofi Awards trend watch SUMMER 2018 73

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