By: Julie Pryor, Director, Emerging Brands and Margaret Core, Vice President, Marketing and Industry Relations, Food Marketing Institute
Walking the aisles at the Summer Fancy Food Show, where FMI had a booth showcasing the SQF Food Safety Program and FMI Emerge for companies growing their grocery shelf presence, we picked up on five key trends to share with food retailers and FMI Members. We were impressed with the new food and beverage experiences and ideas going to market.
1. Heritage Flavors
Bold flavors of Morocco, Libya, Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt are being reimagined for U.S. food markets. We found a whole host of companies offering new to the U.S. products to include Yolele Food offering chips made from fonio, a West African grain. Volta Foods makes and sells food products inspired by West Africa to include Sheto, a popular condiment/hot sauce. Hapi African Gourmet’s founder is from Cameroon and has products including a peanut sauce and sunbutter which can be prepared with grains, veggies, root veggies, meat, poultry, seafood and bread. Ginjan is based on a thousand-year-old African recipe, cold pressed from pure and organic ginger, pineapple, lemon, vanilla and anise. The Ginjan Bros’ are an early stage start up producing a line to be consumed cold, hot or mixed into cocktails. Another spice blend that captured our attention was Mom’s Magic Masala All-Purpose Indian Fusion.
2. Convenient Seafood
According to FMI’s Power of Seafood 2019 report, only 21% of consumers are classified as frequent seafood eaters. There is an opportunity to expand seafood products offerings to meet in the shoppers seeking healthier, more sustainable sources of protein. Could seafood be the next snacking trend? We found more evidence of convenient, ready-to-go seafood on the show floor such as products from Freshe, Wild Planet, Love the Wild, and Season Brand.
3. Plant-based Items including Oat Milk, Pickles, Biltong and more
“From dairy and meat alternatives to plant-based snacks, plants are not going anywhere, and I am excited to see what new forms they may take,” said Melanie Zanoza Bartelme, global food analyst from Mintel. We found lots of products with a health benefit focus to include:
- Dry Riced Cauliflower, Brownie Mix, Hot Breakfast (like oatmeal), Flat Bread Mix, and more from Keto and Company.
- Goldthread Plant Based Tonics.
- Mushroom jerky from companies such as It’s a Mushroom and Pan’s Mushroom Jerky.
- Avocado Leaf Tea, full of antioxidants and nutrients such as flavonoids and polyphenols.
- Coconut + Ginger snacks from Dulzura, Blake’s Seed Snacks using seed-based products instead of nuts, foxnuts from Roast Foods, and Second Brain Foods, snacks made from prebiotic grains like barley.
- Handy pickle snacks “personal pickle packs, picked, pecked and ready to party” from McClure’s Pickles, and hand-crafted, gourmet pickles from Randy’s Pickles.
- Biltong: the unofficial national snack of South Africa with peri-peri and chili spices.
Check out these brands and more at the Fancy Food Show product marketplace
4. Beverages and Waters
Functional and fruity beverages are in. We found Fentiman’s sparkling raspberry beverage, another sparkler named Weyla with a blend of fruit, herbs and botanicals from Render Foods, and an organic and artisanal sparkling grapefruit limonadier crafted by French supplier, Lorina. Several beverages that caught our eye included CBD Honey Drop Lemonade, a probiotic from Revive Kombucha with a refreshing fizz of sparkling water, Fizzy Fox’s Sparkling Shrubs made from apple cider, sparkling water and real, organic ingredients, and Fruit & Birch water from Treo.
5. Emerging Brands
We are proud of the community that has joined FMI Emerge and were excited to see so many of them at the show. These brands are stretching distribution and growing on retail shelves. We hope you will take a look at the brands and reach out for samples and conversations.