Specialty Food’s 44th Annual Winter Fancy Food Show featured the food and beverage industry’s hottest product innovations. After reporting on the Top 10 Winter Fancy Food Show Trends You Need To Know, we spoke with the industry professionals behind 2019’s food and beverage trends. Featuring interviews with ELLA’S FLATS LLC Owner, Ellen Macks, and Stash Tea’s R&D Specialist and Tea Program Educator, Jhanne Jasmine, we’re biting deeper into some of the show’s top trends:
1. Yuzu… Who Knew?
2. Sprouting Goodness
3. The ABCs of CBD
YUZU… WHO KNEW?
Yuzu (or citrus junos) is a Japanese fruit often described as a cross between grapefruit and lime or mandarin orange and kaffir lime. The Winter Fancy Food Show featured Yuzu’s tart flavor across product categories, highlighting the fruit in mainstream United States food & beverage market.
Stash Tea’s Elderflower Citrus White Tea blend introduced yuzu to the brand’s flavor portfolio. Drawing its inspiration from old tea folklore, this Portland based company gave us further insight on the ideation process behind the elderflower yuzu flavor.
R&D Specialist, Jhanne Jasmine shares, “The inspiration came during the development process. We were looking for fruit that was Japanese or Asian in nature and yuzu was one of the flavors that came up that we didn’t know a lot about. Once we started looking deeper into the yuzu flavor, it was very interesting because it’s something that's hard not to fall in love with. It possesses a very unique flavor that’s beautifully limey with softer, citrusy notes. When I first tasted it I thought it was absolutely delicious and I wanted to float up to the ceiling from yum.”
With the globalization of culture, Americans are increasingly eager to explore foreign cuisine and unfamiliar flavors. Jhanne shares, “The flavors that traditionally appealed to mass audiences were really bold and strong. Now, Americans’ palates are becoming much more refined, and there have been many new and emerging discoveries since it's become so easy to access products from other countries. As we become exposed to new products and different flavors from all over the world, there’s a growing appreciation for things that are new and different.”
Sesame, flax, chia, oh my! The Winter Fancy Food Show was sprouting with goodness, featuring sweet, savory and beverage products fully focused on the flavor, crunch and nutrition that seeds offer.
ELLA’S FLATS’ seed-based savory crisps honor simple and real ingredients. The tasty snacks, available in sesame, hemp and caraway, are free from sugar, gluten, grains and preservatives. Owner, Ellen Macks, shares her perspective on the seed phenomenon; “I think that the seed trend is driven by consumers’ desire for cleaner foods that are free from fillers. Seeds have the essential fatty acids that people are starting to realize are good for you.”
As the health and wellness movement continues to grow, education is an important part of changing consumers’ perceptions. Seeds are bursting with vitamins, protein and fiber, elevating them to the super food status that consumers are looking for. In Ellen’s words, “seeds are ultimately the source for all life.”
“The nutrition labels on our products compare so amazingly to any other product out there: protein, dietary fiber and balanced omegas—it’s what people are looking for today.” shares Ellen. Ellen highlights the texture and crunch the seeds add to the flats, making them a great add-on to yogurt, humus, and avocado—virtually anything!
Seeds of the future? “More and more seeds will become popular and made into edible formats. We don’t think of eating watermelon or basil seeds but things like that are going to become a lot more common” shares Ellen. As seeds like chia and flax are seeing more widespread use, we think basil, watermelon and lily seeds are next on the rise.
THE ABCs OF CBDs
CBD is emerging as one of the most sought out and intriguing trends in health and wellness. According to Forbes, the United States’ CBD industry grew 40% in 2017 and is predicted to grow 700% by 2020. While the industry is still defining the ABCs of CBD, we’re quickly moving past common misconceptions of the relatively new functional ingredient and brands are eagerly looking for ways to capitalize on its emerging market.
CBD or cannabinoid is derived from the natural, medicinal part of the cannabis plant making it a non-psychoactive compound that doesn’t produce the high you would expect from consuming marijuana. As concerns over stress and anxiety grow, consumers are turning to CBD as the answer.
Despite regulatory speed bumps, there’s no question that CBD in food and beverage is on the rise. The Winter Fancy Food Show featured CBD food and beverage products targeted at mental wellness and energy/stress relief.
Engage Hemp Health takes an educational approach to hemp and CBD, making well informed consumers. The brand’s Seasoning Blends line include baking, garlic and popcorn mixes—each made with 100% hemp whole plant powder. Agate Smart Honey takes a sweeter approach with its new CBD Honey product. The raw wildflower honey is an all-natural infusion with 100 milligrams of CBD per serving.
The Fancy Food Show built momentum behind the RTD coffee and functional claim space with two new CBD cold brew products. Cadence Cold Brew previewed their new CBD Cold Brew—incorporating CBD in a less caffeinated version of their cold brew product.
Inspired by Bob Marley, Marley, is a new line of CBD-infused cold brew and energizing teas called Mellow Mood. These beverages embody authenticity and living naturally, two themes we see consistently throughout food & beverage.
Should we expect to see cannabis-spiked food and beverages at the next Fancy Food Show? Stay tuned to find out!