Archive for the 'Fancy Food Show' Category

DM Blog: 2014 Summer Fancy Food® Show – Final Thoughts

Friday, August 1st, 2014

For our last glimpse into this summer’s Fancy Food Show, here’s a handful of products that really stood out to me either because they are riding a high trend or because they are incredibly unique…

Sheeps Milk Yogurt

Well it’s no secret that yogurt is among the hottest categories out there right now, and we know that a lot of the activity has been in the Greek sector. But lately, I’ve been noticing an increase in launches of yogurts made with other sources of milk besides cow – mostly goat and sheep. This Pure Sheep’s Milk Yogurt by Only Ewe (hah! Get it?) is super smooth and creamy. The Blueberry Rosemary and Cranberry Peach Ginger are especially well-crafted, thoughtful flavors.

Sir Kensington Condiments

Sir Kensington’s lineup of natural, gourmet condiments are as delicious as they are impressive. I have a soft spot for the Chipotle Mayo.

VitaEgg

Aimed at the consumer wanting to make better-for-you food trade-offs, the VitaEgg flatbread sandwich offers all of the nutrients of the egg yolk without the affiliated cholesterol, fat and calories. VitaPizza and VitaCakes are also in the lineup of Vitalicious products.

Wine Ice Cream

Okay…ice cream and wine? At the same time? Where do I sign up?! Mercer’s Wine Ice Cream is a 15% butterfat wine infused ice cream that contains up to 5% alcohol by volume! Some of the flavors include Cherry Merlot, Chocolate Cabernet and Peach White Zinfandel. I’ll “cheers” to that!

Grow Herbs

These Grow kits are genius! Green, convenient, easy, fun and rewarding! You can grow your own flowers, cooking herbs or cocktail-specific herbs just about anywhere in your home or even office thanks to the eco and space-friendly egg-carton type containers. So clever, innovative and on-trend. One of my favorite stand-out products this year, for sure!

Like every year before it, this was another Fancy Food Show to remember and I’m already looking forward to the tasty innovations that next year will bring!

2014 Summer Fancy Food® Show: Drink Up

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

So we’ve covered savory and sweet products, now here are some of the beverages that caught my eye at this summer’s Fancy Food Show.

Herbal Water

Flavored waters were easy to come by at the show. Most were fruit flavored and carbonated, although there were some still versions. These herb-infused waters stood out against the crowd, with a mild and pleasant flavor. The Lemongrass Mint Vanilla was especially refreshing and leaves you with a nice, lingering mint taste.

Matcha

Another noticeable trend was the prevalence of Matcha Green Tea. Both hot and cold or as an ingredient in other drinks, Matcha tea was woven throughout the show. This product by Aiya delivers the Matcha via sachet packet and is intended to be served as a latte or smoothie. By adding cold milk to the sachet mix and then steaming, you’ll have a Matcha Green Tea latte. For the smoothie version, add ice and milk to the sachet packet and blend.

Numi

Last year Numi rocked the tea world with its lineup of savory teas. This year they’re shining the spotlight on their indulgent teas that feature chocolate flavor with a complementary pairing. Flavors include Chocolate Earl Grey, Chocolate Rooibos, Chocolate Spice and my personal favorite, Chocolate Mint.

Oat Works

These Oat Works “oat-powered fruit smoothies” were incredible! The flavors were true-to-fruit and surprisingly sweet for having no added sugar. If you don’t have time to eat your oats in the morning, now you can drink them!

Cocktail Mixer

Cocktails and the art of mixology have been heating up bar tops nationwide. Earth & Vine Provisions are helping the at-home bartender in all of us with their line of premium cocktail mixers. The mixers boast on-trend flavors including Blood Orange, Cranberry Tangerine, Key Lime Mango and Meyer Lemon Mandarin.

Stay tuned for our last installment from this summer’s Fancy Food show…

2014 Summer Fancy Food® Show: For Your Sweet Tooth

Friday, July 18th, 2014

As promised, here’s some of the sweet side of innovation that we experienced at this summer’s Fancy Food Show.

Tcho Chocolate

There is never a shortage of chocolate at the Fancy Food Show, and this year was no exception. I could not get enough of the Strawberry Rhubarb Pie bar. Yum.

Vosges 2

If you’re a premium chocolate lover, then you’re undoubtedly well-versed in all the innovative flavor goodness that Vosges has to offer. Blood Orange Caramel? Yes, please! But the Smoke & Stout Caramel bar was my hands-down favorite!

Fruit & Choc

There were a noticeable amount of snacks that were fruit and/or veggie based. This line-up from Nature Addicts boasts 100% fruit. While the Passion Mango Fruit Sticks were good, I couldn’t stay away from the Dark Chocolate Covered Orange Fruit & Chocolate.

Super Butter

Super Butter, indeed! This seed butter is peanut free, nut-free, gluten free and soy free. Roasted sunflower, sesame and flax seeds blend nicely for a low-fat (compared to peanut and other nut butters) seed butter. The Original Crunchy and Chocolate Creamy versions were spectacular!

Coffee and Tea Candy

If you’re a big tea or coffee fan, these treats are for you! Made with real coffee and tea ingredients, these all-natural sweet confections capture their namesake flavors so well. Perfect for when you’re craving the taste but don’t have the time for a cup.

Chocolate Cheese Fudge

Yep – that’s Chocolate Cheese Fudge you’re looking at! Sweet and savory meet up yet again for an incredibly indulgent hybrid snack. It was sampled with vanilla wafer cookies, but would also be a great pairing for graham crackers or fresh fruit.

More to come in the next post…we’ll quench your thirst for beverage trends.

 

2014 Summer Fancy Food® Show: The Savory Side

Friday, July 11th, 2014

While it’s hard to believe that it’s already July, another fabulous Summer Fancy Food Show has come and gone. This summer’s NASFT (National Association for the Specialty Food Trade) Summer Fancy Food Show was hosted in NYC June 29th through July 1st and was attended by foodies from around the world.

As always, walking the Fancy Food Show floor means an eyeful (and many mouthfuls) of innovation and adventure. Check out some of the savory products that stood out to me this year.

NASFT - Snikiddy Vegetable Chips
It was hard to ignore all the many ways in which veggies are being incorporated into snacking these days. These veggie chips, made with kale, were delicious – the Jalapeno Ranch were my fave!

Whole Earth Purple Pop Grains Snack Crisps

Purple corn is getting more attention – and was the base for these PopGrains snacks. We showcased purple corn at this year’s Innovation Roadshow® in our Peruvian-inspired Chicha Morada beverage. By the way, these were crisp, flavorful and incredibly satisfying.

NASFT - Quinn Flavored Popcorn

Way back during our 2012 Innovation Roadshow®, we mentioned Quinn popcorn during the opening presentation, the Roadmap to the Roadshow. The flavors of their microwaveable popcorn stood out to us then and now they’ve extended their lineup with some unique ready-to-eat options, like kale, coconut oil and olive oil flavored farm-to-bag popcorn.

NASFT - Seaweed Snax

Seaweed-based snacks were ALL OVER! I would say it’s the top new standout trend for me at this year’s show. Keep an eye out for sea-borne foods and beverages, because they’re riding the trend wave in. And you grimaced when we innovated with blue-green algae at this year’s Roadshow…

NASFT - Truffle Cheese and Lavendar Honey

Truffle cheese drizzled with lavender honey is insanely incredible. Truly exemplary of what the sensory indulgence trend is all about…the aromas, the textures and the complexity of opposing but complementary flavors draw you in with every addictive bite.

Blue Isle Mediterranean Yogurt Spread

The expanding world of yogurt has come to a fork in the road. And one of the prongs leads down a long, savory road. We can expect to see a lot more products like this hitting shelves soon.  The spicy vegetable yogurt spread was a great combination of savory, creamy and smooth.

Stay tuned for the next post, where I’ll share with you some of my favorite sweets from the show!

 

2013 Summer Fancy Food® Show: Part 2

Friday, July 19th, 2013

As promised, here are some of the savory products that caught my eye at the NASFT (National Association for the Specialty Food Trade) Fancy Foods Show this year in NYC.

These fabulous cheese crisps were super savory and delicious. They’re crisps that are made entirely of parmesan cheese, not just cheese-flavored, and were shown in some really cool flavors like Jalapeno Parmesan, Caraway Seed Parmesan and my personal favorite, Chia Seed Parmesan. These would pair perfectly with wine!

With condiments getting all sorts of flavor attention as of late, these whipped mustards were right on trend – in flavors like Artichoke Garlic, Maple Bacon and Bacon Blue Cheese.

If you subscribe to our Fast Track Fast Trends newsletter then you may have seen this product highlighted before. Krave Beef Jerky is capitalizing on the protein trend by introducing some really innovative jerky flavors to the market (and on another trend note, the product is all-natural). Included in the lineup are Chili Lime, Sweet Chipotle and Basil Citrus flavors.

Whole Earth - Rice Crisps, Popcorn, Tortilla Chips

This year’s Fancy Foods Show was home to a lot of savory snack products like chips, pretzels and popcorn. The Whole Earth showed off their deliciously innovative flavored snacks including Popped Sesame Seaweed Rice Crisps, Garden Herb Olive Oil Popcorn and, my favorite in the lineup, Really Seedy Multigrain Tortilla Chips.

NASFT - Numi Organics Tea

It’s no secret that tea formats and flavors are super trendy right now, as are savory flavors, so why not combine the two? Well, Numi Organics did just that with their line of savory teas. These teas combine organic vegetables, herbs and tea for a satiating cup of tea that drinks a bit like a broth – in fact among the tea’s suggested uses is as a base for boiling rice or noodles. The garden-inspired flavors include Beet Cabbage, Broccoli Cilantro and Tomato Mint.

NASFT - Kokos Coconut Cheese

The Fancy Foods Show is typically populated by an insane amount of cheese products, which is such welcome news for a cheese-lover like me. While I sampled a lot of delicious and interesting cheeses, this one was my absolute favorite and overall one of the highlights of the show for me: Kokos Coconut Cheese is to die for!! It’s sure to be the star of any cheese board spread and would pair deliciously with grapes or chocolate.

Although this blog installment has been dedicated to the savory side of this year’s Fancy Foods Show, I thought I’d end on a sweet (and stylish) note – what does a girl like better than shoes or chocolate? How about shoes made out of chocolate?!

Sweet Shop USA - Chocolate Shoes

Once again, Fancy Foods proved to be a delicious trend-spotting journey and I already can’t wait to see what next year brings!

A Glimpse of the Sweet Side of the 2013 Summer Fancy Food® Show

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

It’s that time of year again…the sun is shining, birds are chirping and the sweet smell of innovation is in the air. It can only mean one thing: another Summer Fancy Food Show is upon us! Last week’s NASFT (National Association for the Specialty Food Trade) Summer Fancy Food Show was held in NYC and was attended by foodies from around the globe. Check out some highlights below of show sweets that really stood out.

NASFT - Swiss Colony Jelly Belly Cake Bites

These Swiss Colony/Jelly Belly co-brand Cake Bites were absolutely delicious and super indulgent. The Blueberry & Pomegranate were my personal favorite. There were a lot of products throughout the show that were seemingly inspired by petits fours…keep an eye out for this glimmer of a trend.

NASFT - Sucre Floral Chocolate Bars

My absolute favorite use of florals that I saw at the show. The candied rose and candied violet pieces were so amazing and flavorful on their own, but completely well-balanced in the gourmet chocolate bars by Sucré. They really are as delicious as they are beautiful.

Hannamax Baking - Crunchy Cookie Chips

Was able to snag a bag of these to bring back to the office and share (although the sharing part is hard with these addictive treats). This is exemplary of the trend of formats merging. Here, the cookie meets the chip and the result is a crunchy, chocolatey, satisfying snack that truly does taste like a cookie but eat like a chip.

NASFT - Zoë’s Chocolate

When chocolate meets art you get the unparalleled beauty of Zoë’s Chocolate. The packaging is extremely minimal because it just obstructs the aesthetic genius of these bars. From coffee-shop inspirations to floral flair and holiday themes, these candy concoctions are a work of art.

Lesley Elizabeth Inc Flavored Sugar

Where there’s flavored salt, flavored sugar can’t be far behind. The black currant flavored sugar mixed in cool whip and served with a miniature Nilla wafer cookie really hit the spot.

NASFT - Beauties Sweeties Gummies

These functional gummies were almost too tasty to be functional, but they were! These Beauty Sweeties fruit jelly hearts contained 20% fruit juice, 6% fruit pieces, vitamins, aloe vera and collagen, all on a base of yogurt cream!

Carousel Vanilla Sea Salt Caramels

Since we showed Salted Vanilla at this year’s Innovation Roadshow® in May, I did a double-take when I saw these Vanilla Sea Salt Creamy Caramels. Just further proof that Innovation Starts Here® at David Michael & Co.!

Stay tuned for the next post, where I’ll share a couple of more sweets and my favorite savory products from the show with you!

 

Walking the Floor at the 2012 Summer Fancy Food® Show: Part II

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

For the second intallment of what caught my eye at last week’s Fancy Food show, I saved my favorites. Here’s a hint for future reference: my favorites tend to involve chocolate, beer or just about any kind of sweet. Now you know.

2012 Summer Fancy Food Show - Luna Frozen Pops

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Fancy Food show was no stranger to frozen treats, like these handcrafted Luna Pops – small batch frozen ice pops made with simple ingredients like fresh, ripe fruit, local milk and vanilla extract. Flavors include cookies & cream, hibiscus lemon and rhubarb lime among others. They were perfectly refreshing and simply delightful.

 

Chozen Ice Cream - Assorted Flavors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I tasted A LOT of ice cream products throughout the show and I have to say, Chozen had some unique flavors in the category. Their ice cream, inspired by traditional Jewish treats and desserts, is made with all-natural ingredients and dairy from a local farm. Their flavor line-up includes coconut macaroon, apples & honey, matzoh crunch and Ronne’s Rugelach.

 

Beer Flats Crackers - Porter and Pilsnet Varieties

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the revival of craft beer trending high, the market is ripe for beer-related products. These Beer Flats™ are artisanal flatbread crackers – in a Pilsner and a Porter variety – that are made with craft beer and whole grains. Serving recommendations include smoked salmon, prosciutto, pate, charcuterie, dips, spreads and hummus.  But if you ask me, I would prefer these served with the Chimay cheese that I sampled just a few booths away. It’s a brew-lover’s perfect party snack.

 

Chuao Potato Chip Chocolate Bar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So I’ve just professed my love for the beer flats above, but I’ve saved my absolute favorite for last. I was extremely impressed with Chuao’s lineup of specialty chocolate bars. New flavors on display included a Maya bar, a Maple Bacon bar and a Firecracker bar, which has sea salt, chipotle and – get this – popping candy! It was unlike any chocolate I’ve ever tried, the popping sensation was definitely a fun twist and the name, Firecracker, is just perfect. As delicious as that was, my favorite flavor in the line was the Potato Chip bar made with crisp kettle cooked chips and sea salt – truly a junk food lover’s dream.

The 2012 Summer Fancy Food Show® certainly didn’t disappoint! If I could sum up the show in one grammatically incorrect sentence, it would look like this: Coconut water, honey, maple, all natural, gluten free, salted caramel, cheese, floral flavors, functional beverages and kits.

Walking the Floor at the 2012 Summer Fancy Food® Show: Part I

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Close your eyes and picture paradise…now picture a foodie’s paradise…if you’re visualizing thousands of different, exotic and exciting foods and beverages, lined up tightly for aisles and aisles on end, just begging to be tasted, then you’re envisioning the foodie haven that is the Summer Fancy Food Show®.

This week’s NASFT (National Association for the Specialty Food Trade) Summer Fancy Food Show® marked the 58th year for this delicious annual event that is adored and attended by foodies from around the globe. Check out some highlights below.

NASFT - 2012 Summer Fancy Food Show Floor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A bird’s eye view of the first floor exhibit – or at least as much of it as I could fit in the frame.

 

Fire and Flavor - Swine Brine and Chicken Brine Varieties - Gluten Free

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Convenience kits were very prominent at the show, especially in sweets and desserts, so these savory brine kits by Fire & Flavor really stood out from the rest. The all-natural and gluten-free line of quick brines are intended to be used for everyday cooking with pork, chicken and beef. Fire & Flavor also makes a cool line of fry seasonings like sea salt & vinegar and sweet ancho chile. Oh and did I mention they also have pickling and canning seasonings, salmon and burger seasonings and a huge array of salts and rubs? Yep – well they do.  Behold the beauty and convenience of meal kits – Fire & Flavor certainly does.

 

Bob Pop Gluten Free Cereal Varieties - 2012 Summer Fancy Food Show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’ve been keeping up to date with our Fast Track Fast Trends newsletters, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that gluten-free was all over the place at the show including this line of gluten-free, organic, popped grain snacks from Kim’s by Delice Global™.

 

Tropical Blossom Honey Co Inc Display - 2012 Summer Food Fancy Show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A lot of the Fancy Food buzz this year was about honey – and I mean a lot! There were so many honey brands on display that I honestly lost count. Shown here is just one of the many brands; 72-year-old Tropical Blossom Honey company based out of Edgewater, Florida. Tropical Blossom’s signature honeys includeTupelo, Key Lime and Palmetto varietals just to name a few. There were honey companies on display from as far away asNew Zealand, like the 112-year-old brand Airbone Honey with line extensions that include lozenges, marinades and occasion-specific honeys that include baking honey, coffee honey and topping honey. I, personally, can’t get enough of Manuka honey (a monofloral honey fromNew Zealand and Australia), so if I had to pick a favorite of those I sampled, Manuka hit my sweet spot.

Stay tuned for the next post, where I’ll share my favorite products from the show with you!

 

 

The 2010 Summer Fancy Foods Show Review – Part 3

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

So much food, so little time…

I was pleasantly surprised at the 479° Popcorn booth. How exciting can flavored popcorn be? That’s what you’re thinking, right? Me too. But their flavors –Vietnamese Cinnamon Sugar, Madras Curry Coconut & Cashews, and Black Truffle & White Cheddar – were both creative and delicious.

And speaking of creative, I just loved the breakfast pitas, with real fruit pieces, from Ozery Bakery. Available in apple cinnamon, cranberry orange, and breakfast muesli, they make a fabulous substitute for your usual morning bagel, toast, etc. (I’m thinking the cranberry orange wouldn’t be too shabby with a lunchtime turkey sandwich either!)

Granola Flats weren’t much more than an ultra-thin flattened granola bar (Nature Valley type), but they were darn tasty! Plus, they’re sold as a “chip” rather than a bar which means I have something to snack on now when hubby dives into the Fritos during a baseball game.

When it comes to food, I’ll try anything once. (Whether I’ll try it again is a different story.) But there is the occasional product that my brain just won’t allow past my lips. That’s been true in the past of vinegar drinks brought to me by my wonderful co-workers at David Michael Beijing. I love vinegar – so much, that I load it up on my salads to the point of mouth numbing. But the idea of drinking it, like juice – I just couldn’t get past that. So, when I spotted Hong Cho’s pomegranate vinegar drink, I decided to go for it. And you know what? It’s pretty good! The vinegar is noticeable, but not overwhelming. Since there are a number of health-benefits linked to vinegar drinks, I’m officially adding this to my radar. With the right marketing (a downplay of the word “vinegar” I’m thinking) this could be a future trend to watch.

Other fun finds at this year’s show? I was excited to spot macqui berry at Honest Tea’s booth in the new Macqui Berry Mate – keep your eyes peeled for more of this superfruit. There was lots of prickly pear and blood orange flavored goodies, mostly drinks. I found Parisian macarons at a number of booths, including the frozen macarons at Galaxy Desserts – perfect for foodservice. The Naan Pizza at Tandoor Chef was awesome – it’s about darn time we had something like this on the market. And, Chobani Greek Yogurt now offers Chobani Champions, said to be the only Greek yogurt made for kids.

And my favorite product of the show? Nothing too crazy here – my personal favorite were the falafels at Falafel Republic. Lightly fried balls of ground chick peas, falafels are typically served in a pita from your favorite street vendor. This version needs only seconds in the microwave to heat up, and the falafels are satisfyingly savory and filling. Served with tzatziki sauce, I could eat them every day, with or without the pita.

The 2010 Summer Fancy Foods Show Review – Part 2

Monday, July 19th, 2010

Probably the most innovative product I spotted at this year’s Fancy Foods Show was the Brazilian import, Bacon Krisps. Distributed by Acme Import Co., Bacon Krisps are very interesting little snacks. A minute in the microwave, and voila, these little wheat nuggets puff up into perfect little red, white and tan striped bacon-flavored snacks (you know, the kind of striped coloring you wish your at-home bacon actually looked like). And bonus: they’re vegetarian! (To view a pic of this product, check out the Frommer’s blog here.) And on a side note, this was just one of many air-popped snacks for kids and adults on display.

Danielle’s Crispy Veggie Chips sells a line of exotic dehydrated fruits and veggies, including jackfruit, roasted coconut, spicy carrot and okra. What I most surprised by was how popular the durian was at the show. If you’re not familiar with this tropical fruit, the durian is a highly prized fruit of Southeast Asia – even though it is actually banned in most public places due to its pungent odor. But, durian lovers (and there are many), are more than willing to withstand the smell to get to the custard-like filling of this spiny, football-shaped pod. Apparently, Fancy Food Show goers couldn’t wait to taste it either – by the time I made it to the booth, it was all gone…

And speaking of Fancy Food hits, I was lucky enough to sample from the last pint of Vosges’ Bacon Toffee Ice Cream. I’m a HUGE fan of their bacon chocolate bars, so I was pretty excited to sample this new, not-yet-available-in-stores treat. The verdict? Smoky, caramel, and a little meaty. Not sure I could eat a whole bowl, but I imagine a scoop melting atop the right dessert would be pure heaven.

And speaking of chocolate – my main source of sustenance at the show – an unexpected favorite was the Toasted Corn chocolate bar from Philly’s own Eclat Chocolate. And I don’t even like corn-flavored things! But this was excellent – crunchy, toasty and tasty.

Next up – granola chips, maqui berry, drinkable vinegar, and my personal show favorite!

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