HummusMembers of our Hartman Retainer Services team trekked the show floor at the Specialty Food Association’s Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco held January 11-13. Out of the thousands of food and beverage products on display, here are the five key trends they believe will resonate with consumers.

 

 

 

  1. hope pestoAs we see an increasing number of consumers gravitate toward plant-based snacks and mini-meals, hummus is garnering significant attention for being rich in fiber, protein and good carbs, not to mention being deeply rooted in food cultures of the Middle East, where it’s prepared and used in a myriad of ways. The most promising brands at the Fancy Food Show included super-fresh HPP (high pressure processed) Hope Hummus in progressive flavors, such as Kale Pesto and Avocado, as well as the questionably named but innovative flavors of Eat Well Embrace Life’s Beet and Sriracha Carrot spreads. Conveniently packaged and adaptable to just about any bean, spice or herb, inherently dairy-free hummus is poised to capture Millennials concerned with animal welfare and Boomers seeking nutrient-dense foods in lieu of supplements and bars.
  2. Chia FoodMore in the plant-based realm, seeds are top of mind for many progressive consumers, and we spotted a number of nutrient-dense seed-based products at the show. SuperButter’s peanut-free seed butter goes beyond the traditional peanut butter, which progressive consumers are avoiding due to possible allergen and mold factors, using sunflower seeds as the base. Meanwhile, Chia Pod’s Oat and Bircher Muesli pots scored high on convenience and comfort food marks. Zinc-rich pumpkin seeds continue to gain a foothold with the health-conscious consumers, and SuperSeedz and Skout brands showcased on-the-go packaging and culinary-forward flavors such as Curious Curry.
  3. super dark teaWe still may be a nation obsessed with coffee, but green tea matcha is fast becoming part of our beverage repertoire. From matcha latte mix from Sencha and a super-convenient powder stick from Rishi to a decadent milk chocolate matcha mint bar from Vosges, the grassy vegetal notes of matcha are sought after for its inclusion in indulgent products and as an energizing brain-boosting beverage.
  4. Caldo NaturalA growing number of consumers are questioning not just CSD consumption but juice consumption as well, and with that our palates are increasingly shifting to savory. This year we see an increase in bone broth consumption among super-progressive consumers, and while Fancy Food showcased a few brands, we found Aneto broths from Spain to be the clear front-runner. Rich in minerals and collagen, broth is seen as a remedy for food intolerances and a blood sugar balancer. Aneto’s broths are not made from concentrate but from low-simmered, high-quality ingredients.
  5. LafazaConsumers are more keenly aware of distinctions in culturally mature foods, such as coffee, chocolate and cheese, and now real vanilla is becoming recognized as a health-supportive ingredient that can support sustainable farms and growing practices. Rich in antioxidants, vanilla beans from Tahiti, Papua New Guinea and Madagascar were showcased at the Fancy Food Show that went beyond traditional extracts, appearing as pastes, powders and even as vanilla fleur de sel, shedding light on the growing practices, nuanced flavors and varied applications of this widely used ingredient. We can expect to see the locale of vanilla become more prominent in modern food culture in the coming year.

To learn more about how Hartman Retainer Services can be an extension of your team, contact Melissa Abbott by email at: melissa@hartman-group.com