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FUTURE OF FOOD

Trends from the Fancy Food Show

The Fancy Food Show, an annual trade show hosted by the Specialty Food Association, returned last week for the first time since 2019. More than 1,800 exhibitors convened at the Javits Center in New York City to showcase their newest goods. Ahead, three trends that grabbed our attention (and our appetite).

HEALTHY NOSTALGIA

In our Young and Hungry food and beverage report, we wrote about an emerging “healthy nostalgia” trend among young consumers – and that trend was all over the Fancy Food Show, too. Grownas*Foods was there to showcase its new boxed vegan macaroni and cheese, an entirely plant-based recipe made with potato, nutritional yeast, and turmeric; Nutcase Vegan Meats, meanwhile, was there with their Nutty Loaf, a meatloaf-inspired mix of brown rice, quinoa, hemp seeds, and nuts. For the sweet tooths among us, Whipnotic offered a healthified version of canned whipped topping – think Reddi-Wip, minus the gums or artificial flavorings.

UPCYCLED EVERYTHING

Sustainability, which also came up a lot in our F&B report, was a recurring theme at the food show as well. One of the sustainability-minded vendors was TBJ Gourmet, an upcycled food brand with a focus on ending food waste by taking surplus farm products, such as onions and tomatoes, and upcycling them. Also in attendance was Fabalish, a New York-based food company that uses chickpeas and its upcycled byproduct, aquafaba, to create plant-based foods, and Big Picture Foods, a brand that makes fermented pantry staples, exclusively uses ingredients grown using regenerative farming techniques.

PLANT-BASED SEAFOOD

Although plant-based meat is having an undeniable moment (surely you’ve seen the Kravis Daring chicken ads by now), plant-based fish is an emerging category in the alt-protein space. Current Foods was sampling its marinated plant-based, sushi-grade tuna. They also debuted their sliced smoked salmon. Good Catch, makers of the first U.S.-made plant-based salmon burger, was there with a selection of crunchy vegan fish sticks, fried shrimp, and crab cakes. It’s a hot space that’s only going to continue to grow; sales of plant-based alternative protein in specialty foods reached $7 billion in 2021 in the United States alone.