These could be the next hot food and drink trends

Pasta is coming back in different shapes and flavors, drinking vinegar is cool, and comfort food favorites like pancakes are made with new ingredients.

That’s according to the hundreds of items on display at the Summer Fancy Food Show, a show that has earned a reputation as a place to spot the next big flavors and foods that will dominate restaurant menus and grocery store shelves. The show returned for the first time since the pandemic this week, Sunday through Tuesday at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.

More than 1,800 exhibitors showcased specialty foods and beverages for restaurateurs, foodservice operators and other industry players. The show, hosted by the Specialty Food Association, has in the past showcased emerging trends including fermented foods, floral flavors and cauliflower-based packaged snacks.

Here are some highlights from this year’s show as spotted by the trade group and CNBC:

Revisited pasta

Carbone’s booth at the Summer Fancy Food Show 2022 highlighted its new range of pasta sauces

Amelie Lucas | CNBC

Pasta is back – but in flavors and shapes people have probably never tried before.

SFA trend watchers said new noodle shapes are coming to the US market, such as cascatelli, a J-shaped pasta with ridges. Pasta makers are also experimenting with different flavors and ingredients. Greenomic Deli, for example, introduced cocoa-infused pasta as part of its Good Hair Day line.

After years of lagging sales growth, noodles in general are making a comeback, according to the SFA’s preliminary trend report for the show. People who had cut back on carbs went back to eating pasta during the pandemic as they cooked more at home and sought out comfort foods.

Plant-Based Comfort Foods

Rind’s Vegan Cheese Tasting Display at the Summer Fancy Food Show

Amelie Lucas | CNBC

The latest plant-based foods are not milk or meat substitutes. Instead, it’s about giving people another way to indulge in comfort food, according to the SFA.

The rising category is intended to appeal to people who want plant-based versions of their favorite snacks and treats. Whoa Dough brought vegan cookie dough bars with four grams of protein to her table, while Rind introduced plant-based cheeses that mimic the richness of blue cheese and camembert. Bean Bops introduced its crispy beans, with packaging that touted its protein content.


Happy Grub’s Squeezable Instant Pancake Mix on Display at the 2022 Summer Fancy Food Show

Amelie Lucas | CNBC

One comfort food seemed to catch the attention of exhibitors: pancakes.

The companies showcased their versions of the breakfast favourite, playing with both packaging and ingredients. Happy Grub introduced its squeezable instant pancake mix, designed to be used together by parents and children. Juice Chill International pancake mix replaces traditional all-purpose flour with flour made from breadfruit, a starchy tropical fruit from Jamaica.

Vinegar drinks with shrubs

Tait Farm Foods Award Winning Sofi Shrub

Amelie Lucas | CNBC

Wellness culture has introduced apple cider vinegar shots into the daily routines of many Americans. Now, some companies are trying to balance the health benefits of vinegar with its pungent flavor.

One way is to revive shrubs, a once popular drink that mixes vinegar syrup with fruit and sparkling water or spirits. Its popularity in the United States peaked during colonial times and then declined as refrigerators became more common in homes. Shrubs have started popping up again in cocktail bars over the past decade, and now drink makers are taking notice.

Tait Farm Foods said its shrubs can be used as a cocktail or non-alcoholic mixer. Newcomer Shrubbly Superdrink unveiled its shrubs which add fruits, herbs, spices and apple cider vinegar to its sparkling water base.

Flavors inspired by spirits

A presentation of Santa Sofia agave vinegar at the fair

Amelie Lucas | CNBC

Cocktails and food culture have always gone hand in hand, but now the relationship might become even more intertwined.

Santa Sofia, for example, introduced its agave vinegar, designed to be used in salad dressings or sprinkled on potato chips. It does not contain alcohol, but the vinegar is made from fermented agave, which gives it a flavor reminiscent of tequila. Agave-based spirits have grown in popularity in recent years, and tequila is expected to overtake vodka as the most popular alcohol category in the United States this year.

Andres Confiserie Suisse, a chocolatier based in Kansas City, Missouri, has kept the more classic whiskey flavor for its Whiskey Caramel Chocolate Drops, which are made in collaboration with a local distiller and can be eaten alone or dropped into chocolate. hot or coffee.

Food with extra benefits

The Beyond Resilience table showed off their chocolate spreads

Amelie Lucas | CNBC

The association said foods with added benefits are another trend to watch. The pandemic has heightened people’s desire to boost their immune systems, and snack makers are adding ingredients they claim have benefits like anti-aging.

Austrian company Beyond Resilience, for example, introduced a range of “nutricosmetics”, which are functional foods containing ingredients believed to help improve hair, skin and nails. Its products included chocolate-flavored protein spreads containing biotin and amino acids.

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