It’s that time again–the Summer Fancy Food Show has started in New York City, sponsored by the Specialty Food Association. This is THE show for an industry that, for the first time, has topped $100 billion in sales. It’s a world fueled by small businesses and entrepreneurs, all sure they have the most delicious, most innovative, most amazing food product you’ve ever seen!
The Food Channel has a crew at the show, working hard to bring you the trends and some of the best stories we can find. We’re tasting our way through the 1500 exhibits and special events to bring you the latest ideas. While we can’t yet say what we think all of the trends will be, we can call out a few things we’re finding interesting:
- Women-owned businesses are getting attention and a specific call out. While female entrepreneurs aren’t new–especially in food–there appears to be a new emphasis on patronizing those businesses and making sure they have a chance in a crowded marketplace.
- Water. You may think water is water, but we’ve tasted sparkling rainwater and volcanic water, and we are seeing innovation in water that leads us to believe there is more to come.
- Salt. Have we decided that there is more to come in salt after table salt, uniodized salt, and sea salt? Apparently salt is a thing right now.
- Ice cream. Maybe it’s nostalgia with a twist, but ice cream seems to have come full circle. Expect to see more on that subject.
- Global influence. We’ve been calling this out for years, for a reason: it keeps getting stronger. After tasting up and down the aisles in Turkey, we have decided to put it on our travel list so we can get a little more. Mexico, too, seems to have come into its own when it comes to claiming flavors no other country can claim quite as well.
We have lots more to bring you, and you can follow along with us on Periscope or most of our other social media. If you haven’t found us on Periscope, it’s a great way to follow along live as we walk the show floor, stopping and talking to exhibitors along the way! Take Fabiana, for example, who is part of the Italia Partner Country sponsorship this year. She is exhibiting a wonderful (like, one-of-the-best-things-we-tasted-wonderful) panettoni, and tells us, “I’m Italian! I just like to feed people!”
And, just like that, you get a flavor for one of the more interesting food shows. It’s about people who have a passion for food. And, with that kind of passion, it’s no wonder they really are creating the most delicious, most innovation, and most amazing food products you’ve ever seen!
If you have any doubt, the Fancy Food Show claims to have helped launch such brands as Popchips, Honest Tea, Ben & Jerry’s, Stonewall Kitchen, and more . . . so stay tuned for what’s next!
Photos by Paul K. Logsdon