Top 10 Trends from the 2023 Summer Fancy Food Show

The recent 2023 Summer Fancy Food Show, along with its winter cousin renowned as North America’s premier events for food innovation, was an epicurean wonderland brimming with fresh flavours and forward-thinking trends, report Symrise’s innovation seekers.

Bringing together industry professionals, food connoisseurs, and culinary pioneers, it showcased the food and beverage landscape’s creative pulse, giving a glimpse into what’s next for US and global supermarkets and dining tables.

The Symrise scouts report, “We saw a fantastic mix of tradition and innovation. In addition to the usual fanfare of exotic cheeses, opulent olive oils, and craft chocolates, there were also exciting new products and trends that reflected the changing landscape of our food consumption habits.

“Think eco-friendly packaging, plant-based alternatives, global flavour fusions, functional foods, and so much more.”

Here are their top 10 trends that made waves at the 2023 show

Mocktails and mixers evolve:: Mocktail trends have continued to grow as younger generations opt to drink less alcohol. Vendors at the show responded to this trend by increasing their mocktail offerings. You can now find more variety of mocktails beyond the basics, with more interesting cocktail blends, flavours, and botanicals.

There are plenty of reasons not to drink, but if you still want to blend in at the party and enjoy a refreshing beverage then check out some of the following venders. Savyl is one that offered mocktails like Moscow mule or mojitos in can. Noroi created non-alcoholic version of most common hard liquors which allows you to create your own cocktails.

Nuts for seeds: Healthy snacking is always a huge focus of the show. This year we saw plenty of bars or snacks, which had seeds or nuts to fortify their nutrition. For example, Blakes Seed Based chewy granola bars were packed with seeds and had unique flavours like birthday cake or apple cinnamon. We also saw vendors trying to spice things up with new flavours for nuts for snacking.

Improved oils and upgraded butters: Avoiding inflammatory oils has been a growing trend. At the show, we saw new options for cooking with convenient, sprayable anti-inflammatory oils and animal fats like duck fat and avocado oil. We also saw more seed butters and nut butters as an alternative to peanut butter. 

Luxury noshes: While healthy snacking was a big trend, so were the not-so-healthy chips. Many companies were experimenting with unique flavours and extra crispy textures that had a more premium mouth feel. One highlight was the luxury Wine Chips with flavours like Dry Aged Ribeye, and Manchego. Keoghs’ also brought their own slew of unique Irish potato chips with Irish-inspired flavours like Shamrock and Sour Cream.

Seasoning on the spectrum from Unitasker to Multitasker: At the show, we saw a lot of different ways companies are creating convenience in the kitchen. For example, various single-purpose sauces, seasonings and spice blends. While some chefs might shudder at the concept, these products offered the perfect flavour for only one application.

At the other end of the spectrum, we saw many one-size-fits-all seasoning and sauce solutions. Many sauces and seasonings on display boasted how their product works in almost any situation.

Not hot sauce? At the last Fancy Food Show we saw soy sauce in various powdered, clear and spray forms. Now hot sauces are getting a similar treatment with hot sauce makers creating powdered and stick versions of their most popular hot sauces, which can be used for cooking or snacking.

Pates for all: Traditionally, pates contain meat and gelatine, which exclude vegans and vegetarians. A few companies from the show exhibited innovative pescatarian, vegan and vegetarian-friendly pates. We are starting to see more and more luxury foods become accessible to changing diets and these pates are following this trend.

The new wave of chili crisp and chili lime: Lao Go Ma and other popular Schezuan chili oils are now staple condiments in most supermarkets. Companies at the show are now expanding these offerings with new flavours, ingredients and origin country. Homiah’s chili crisp is an Indonesian-style chili oil with sambal and seaweed. Cantina Royal brought their own Mexican version known as salsa matcha.

Tajin or chili lime is a popular spice powder in Mexico. Commonly, it is found in snacking and sweets. This popular powder is starting to pick up steam in the North American market with several offerings on show, in puff snacks and as dry rubs, for instance.

Seaweed not salt: Low salt alternatives have become a stable at the show especially in sauces and spice blends. Some companies took it a step further and are using kelp or seaweed to boost umami flavour while remaining low sodium. Atlantic Sea Farms, for instance, showed off kelp cubes that are like bullion cubes but with only 10mg of sodium.  Oceans Balance had a variety of seasonings that were low sodium but fortified with seaweed to enhance the flavor.

Seacuterie: While cured meats, aged cheeses and luxury crackers have always been staples at the Fancy Food Show, seacuterie is a new seasonal summer trend that we are starting to see more. We saw a variety of products that would be perfect for a seafood board from Jinka’s plant-based calamari to Matiz’s smoked trout pate.

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