By Ian Thurston, Symrise Senior Marketing Communication Manager

The 2018 Winter Fancy Food Show recently took place in San Francisco. With 80,000+ specialty food and beverage products showcased this year by over 1,400 exhibitors, there were discoveries and new experiences around every corner of the Moscone Convention Center. The Symrise marketing team always looks forward to this time of year where we get a glimpse of where the future of food and beverage is going and what new and exciting products and flavors are being launched.

Check out our Top Trends from the 2018 Winter Fancy Food Show HERE

Each year, as we embark on our Fancy Food Show excursion, our mission remains the same, uncover and discover what is new and exciting and what trends will shape the food and beverage landscape in the year to come. The consumer food trends of 2018 embrace Mother Earth, the Middle East and reimagined dairy to name a few.

Consumer trends continue to evolve. However, this year’s standout observation is women owned and operated businesses. This is a moment in time long overdue and is all about honoring the hard work, creativity, leadership, business acumen and contributions women around the world make in all aspects of life. It was exciting to see innovative products brought to market by these innovative women like flavor forward ice cream brand Coolhaus Ice Cream by Natasha Case , Izza Pops made from plant based whole ingredients created by Alexia Burke and Lisa and All Natural Splash Mixers by Hilary Pereira where “Your Spirit has met its Match”.

Plant-based products continue to boom from the world’s first algae and plant-based shrimp by New Wave Foods to Baobab inspired beverages from Teranga Juice positioned as drinking from the tree of life to yuca chips from Cassava Crunch by Plant Snacks. Many factors play into the ascent of plant-based consumption by consumers today. Whether it be for health and wellness concerns, allergy considerations or eating sustainably sourced foods, plant-based food and beverages will continue to surge in the foreseeable future.

Cardamom was a standout flavor we saw in sweet, savory and beverage products. Cardamom is the third most expensive spice in the world behind Vanilla and Saffron. It is a spice that adds complexity and elevates the flavor profile of any product that uses it in their recipe. Originally from Sri Lanka, cardamom is widely used in Indian, Middle Eastern, Asian and even Scandinavian cuisine. Today, Guatemala is the largest producer of Cardamom in the global market. We tasted a variety of delicious creations with cardamom like vegan cardamom ice cream sandwiches from Green Girl Bake Shop to Runamok cardamom maple syrup where they recommend it to be used to create bespoke cocktails, on your favorite breakfast foods, in frosting to elevate the taste experience and even in your favorite curry dish to add a sophisticated flavor twist.

We saw a butter bonanza at the Winter Fancy Food Show. Peanut butter may be a staple in most US homes and an integral part of Americana but the world of “butter” is expanding at a brisk pace. We saw butters of all kinds made from cashews, almonds, chocolate, pistachios, walnuts and even chickpeas. One butter in particular that caught our attention was by Brooklyn, NY based Faba Butter which is made from aquafaba. What is aquafaba? It’s the viscous water byproduct left after cooking the beans, and coconut oil. They showcased their product on popcorn. Yes, this is another example of plant-based eating.

A final highlight worth mentioning was innovation happening in the dairy space by companies like Japanese yogurt manufacturer Morinaga who created Alove Yogurt mixing silky Japanese style yogurt with aloe vera cubes as well as Wunder Creamery who launched a quark product aiming directly at the Greek yogurt market positioning themselves as “no tart yogurt taste that’s crazy creamy and satisfyingly simple with a thicker denser texture than Greek yogurt but with a milder flavor” all while providing up to 17 grams of protein per serving to boot.

Top 2017 Summer Fancy Food Show Trends

Our team left the show excited and motivated by the innovation happening in the US market not to mention extremely full from tasting our way through the show. We look forward to visiting the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City happening June 30th – July 2nd. Keep posted for our top 2018 Summer Fancy Food Show trends reporting to come…

We would like to continue the discussion with you on the latest trends in food and beverage from the Fancy Food Show. Please contact your Symrise account manager or Ian Thurston, Senior Marketing Communication Manager (, if you are interested in setting up a discussion around how you can leverage these insights for your brands.

Click Here to Subscribe to the weekly in-sight newsletter

Join your peers today!

Get the latest articles, news and trends in the Food & Beverage industry delivered directly to your inbox. Don't miss out! Enter your email address below to receive the weekly in-sight newsletter.


Key Takeaways from NJ FoodTech 2024 Panel Discussion

One of the most engaging sessions at NJ FoodTech 2024 was a panel discussion on…

StarChefs Los Angeles 2024 Panel Discussion

When it’s time for another StarChefs panel discussion, where else but Los…