The 2013 Winter Fancy Food show was the biggest and boldest to date. Food entrepreneurs served up tremendous variety and some really cool new options. I wanted to share a few of the more interesting treats ‘n trends presented at the Winter Fancy Food Show this year.
Gluten-Free. Old news, I know. But gluten-free foodies will be pleased to hear about new products entering the market. In particular, Cup4Cup drew a big crowd, introducing their new pizza crust mix. Yes, celeb chef Thomas Keller was there! Very interested to test this new mix out.
Tropical. In the last year, coconut has [apparently] become one of the top 5 food trends in the industry. It’s even popular with the mixology crowd! Other tropical flavors are in, particularly from Hawaiian vendors. One vendor, Kona Bar, featured a terrific Passion Fruit “Lilikoi” chocolate bar. Chocolate + Passionfruit makes a great combination!
Crystallized Flowers. One vendor, Fresh Origins, is now offering a variety of fresh and crystallized flowers. Their crystallized flowers make stunning additions to cakes, cupcakes or other dishes. Pansies, whole roses, petals, snapdragons and violas are all available. Home cooks can get their own from Gourmet Sweet Botanicals online.
Beverage Bonanza. A few manufacturers are definitely pushing the envelope. The City Bakery has a line of shelf-stable gourmet hot chocolates (liquid included!) that are [unfortunately] available only in the northeast at present. Numi also had a bunch of oddly savory teas on offer.
Whole Grains. Remember chia pets? Well, now you can get chia seeds in your cereal. Hemp, dukkah, quinoa and chia seeds were all whole grains featured at this winter Fancy Food Show. Customers are demanding whole foods, and the market has responded with a variety of grains from all over the world. It’ll be interesting to see which catch on with consumers.
Grande Marnier Concentrate Gel – Because who doesn’t want their favorite liqueur in gelatinous form? [Actually, it's a cost effective option for professional chefs.]
SugarVeil Confectionery Icing – Make flexible, bendable icing that can be draped or contoured around cake layers. People have made dresses out of this stuff!
Did you attend the Winter Fancy Food Show? Tell us what you liked best! If not, what products are you looking forward to seeing on the market? As a semi-pro or professional chef, what trends are you noticing?