NEW YORK — Sophisticated spins on snacking, from black sesame popcorn to truffle mushroom crisps, is a prominent theme at the Summer Fancy Food Show, held June 25-27 in New York, where more than 2,000 exhibiting companies were slated to showcase the latest specialty food and beverage innovation.

Alcohol-free wines and aperitifs also are trending among new products highlighted at the annual event.

The specialty food market encompasses items with limited distribution, premium ingredients and elevated preparations and neared $194 billion in total sales in 2022, up 9.3% over the prior year, and are forecast to reach $207 billion by the end of the year, according to new research from the Specialty Food Association, which produces the Fancy Food Shows.

“The resilient specialty food industry continues to thrive despite weathering challenges since 2020,” said Denise Purcell, vice president of resource development for the Specialty Food Association. “While food inflation has impacted the market in the past couple of years, that is stabilizing, and the industry is poised for the future with several positives in place. Consumers have more retail channels in which to purchase specialty foods, foodservice is rebounding, and makers are innovating with sourcing, ingredients and promotion.”

The highest selling specialty food category last year was chips, pretzels and snacks, exceeding $6 billion in sales.

“There’s a lot going on with chips, pretzels and snacks,” Ms. Purcell told Food Business News. “One of our theories is people are getting back to entertaining and social events, and that might be driving sales in part, but also indulgence is inflation-proof and pandemic-proof. People are always going to want some kind of a treat.”

Concepts debuting at the Summer Fancy Food Show include organic plantain chips, olive and za’atar buckwheat crisps and kettle-cooked potato chips seasoned with rose petal flakes. A new line of baked pita chips is made with freekeh, a Mediterranean ancient grain with a nutty flavor.

OMG! Pretzels is expanding its line of gourmet pretzel nuggets, which includes flavors such as garlic, salty butterscotch, sweet chili, lemon pepper and the newest addition, Buffalo.

Mamame Whole Foods’ tempeh chips are formulated with fermented black-eyed beans, lentils and chia seeds and cooked in coconut oil. Flavors include original, hot chili, rosemary, sea salt, cheese and barbecue.

Tochi Snacks’ new popcorn line showcases Asian-inspired flavors such as salted egg, black sesame, black milk tea and ube.

“We love popcorn for its versatility and as a timeless snack,” said Dina Shi, founder of Tochi Snacks. “It’s the perfect blank canvas to deliver these amazing flavors we grew up eating.”

Beverage brands continue to capture consumer interest in low- or no-alcohol options with chic packaging and complex flavors. Abstinence Spirits’ newest zero-proof products are sparkling blood orange aperitivo spritz and sparkling lemon aperitivo spritz, each featuring distilled botanicals and flavors from South Africa’s Cape Floral Kingdom.

For Bitter For Worse, which uses a proprietary “reverse bootlegging” process incorporating organic botanicals, planned to showcase its new Rose City Fizz, which has ginger, rosemary and foraged Douglas fir tips.

A replacement for red wine, Seraphim Social Beverage is a brewed blend of botanicals, herbs and wild berries.

Fauxmo, Inc. is the maker of Fauxmosa, a line of alcohol-free bubbly beverages incorporating a blend of California grapes, fruit juice and botanical flavors with apple cider vinegar. Offerings include orange with turmeric, cranberry with hibiscus and ginger, pineapple with lemon and mint, and grapefruit with raspberry and holy basil.

“Whether it’s responsibility that’s restraining you, you’re sober curious and opting out more often or completely teetotal, Fauxmosa is the perfect sparkling cocktail for when you want to skip the booze this summer,” said Amanda Moore, founder and chief executive officer of Fauxmo.

Uncle Waithley’s Vincy Brew is a ginger beer infused with Scotch Bonnet pepper and contains no alcohol.

“It’s an elevated sip on its own, but a versatile mixer for both professionals and DIY cocktailers,” said Karl Franz Williams, founder of Uncle Waithley’s. “And the flavorful heat of our prized Scotch Bonnet truly captures the spirit of the Caribbean. We are immensely proud of our product and look forward to introducing it to industry tastemakers from around the world.”

Mixers — for cocktails or mocktails — are a mainstay in the specialty segment. Bluestem Botanicals has created a range of “farm-to-glass” cocktail and mocktail kits highlighting seasonal herbal mixers.

From Runamok comes a new maple grenadine mixer with pomegranate, lime and Vermont maple syrup. The company also planned to highlight its sparkle tonic and maple bitters, featuring aromatic florals, as well as a rye whiskey barrel-aged maple syrup.

“At Runamok, we are passionate about introducing customers to more delicious ways to incorporate high-quality, natural sweeteners into their food and drinks,” said Laura Sorkin, co-founder of Runamok. “Which is why we are so excited about the addition of our new Maple Grenadine Mixer to our growing cocktail and non-alcoholic cocktail lineup. We saw an opportunity to bring a fresh take to this classic mixer.”

Sayso is a creator of craft cocktail tea bags containing dehydrated fruits and herbs that are steeped in cold water and may be mixed with tequila, vodka or whiskey. The product line includes spicy margarita, rosemary honey mule, cardamom paloma, old fashioned, hibiscus cosmopolitan and espresso martini.

Among the fastest growing specialty food and beverage categories are refrigerated coffee and tea drinks, fueled by consumer habits formed during the pandemic, Ms. Purcell said.

At Summer Fancy Food, Bandida was set to sample its dairy-free horchata cold-brew coffee at the show. The bottled beverage is sweetened with dates and made with a blend of rice, coconut and cashew milk.

Italian brand Niron’s Coffee is introducing organic sparkling iced espresso produced by wood-toasting coffee beans to enhance flavor.

Bahari Teas, London, offers a lineup of Kenyan loose-leaf and canned iced teas, including a Bloody Mary-inspired beverage infused with tomato and basil flavors.

“Ready-to-drink tea and coffee are poised to be one of the top growers over the next couple years,” Ms. Purcell said.

She also noted growth in refrigerated and frozen meals and soups, as specialty food shoppers seek convenience and quality. Products developed for the morning meal occasion tap into consumer interest in health and sustainability.

“I’m calling it ‘breakfast with benefits,’” Ms. Purcell said, offering examples such as “hidden nutrients, upcycled products or cleaner ingredients.”

Hidden Foods Co. offers a homestyle pancake mix formulated with flaxseed, oats, fruits and vegetables.

Seven Sundays partnered with Renewal Mill to debut ready-to-eat cereal formulated with a byproduct of the cornmeal milling process. The product also features Renewal Mill’s upcycled oat protein flour.

Witzi’s Raw Granola produces grain-free mixes made with sprouted nuts. Flavors include lemon raspberry, chocolate honeyberry and banana berry.

Buckwheat is the primary ingredient in For Good Granola, a line of chef-created, no-oat granolas featuring flavors such as smoky pineapple, cranberry spice and the recently added sweet curry.