NEW YORK — Marking its largest event to date, Summer Fancy Food Show opened June 29 in New York with more than 2,730 exhibitors from 49 countries.
On display, 180,000 products spanning categories of confections, cheese, beverages and snacks showcase some of the next big flavor trends in the specialty food space and beyond.
Here are five flavor trends spotted among new products and award finalists at the show.
Where there’s smoke…
In sweets, snacks and sauces, smoke is on fire. Smokiness is adding flavor complexity to the usual suspects, such as Hot Smoky Barbecue Sauce from Lillie’s Q Barbecue Sauces and Rubs, as well as some surprising applications, such as Smoked Chocolate Chips from Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery. Cold-smoked over alder wood for more than 10 hours, the organic semi-sweet morsels may be used in desserts, including hot cocoa and ganache, as well as savory dishes, such as mole sauce or pork rub, according to the company.
Other items on display with a smoky profile included Millionaire Shortbread with Smoked Hickory Sauce from Sticky Toffee Pudding Co., smoky bacon and cheddar beer cheese from Floyd Eats, and Fermin Ibérico de Bellota Smoked Panceta from Wagshal’s Imports.
Down bourbon street
Barreling into the limelight is bourbon, adding a spirited twist to condiments and confections. Cloister Honey has introduced a bourbon-infused variety of honey made with Woodford Reserve, and Olive & Sinclair Chocolate Co. debuted a Bourbon Nib Brittle, created with cacao beans aged in bourbon barrels and featuring snots of apple, cherry and oak. The latest flavor from Batch Ice Cream is brown sugar bourbon and pecan flavor, made with six simple ingredients: milk, cream, eggs, brown sugar, bourbon and roasted pecans. Brooklyn Brine Co. showcased Spicy Maple Bourbon Pickles, featuring a kick of heat from red habanero peppers with sweet organic maple syrup and Finger Lakes Distilling McKenzie Bourbon.
Also on display, Bluegrass Soy Sauce from Bourbon Barrel Foods is micro-brewed using Kentucky-grown soybeans fermented and aged in repurposed bourbon barrels.
Food makers are seeing red, as beet takes root in a number of new specialty food products.
At the show, beet was featured in a variety of Blue Hill’s line of savory yogurts, in a new ginger beet flavor of sauerkraut from Farmhouse Culture, in sweet beet and horseradish mustard from Terrapin Ridge Farms, and as the star ingredient of spiced beet finishing vinegar from Wozz! Kitchen Creations. The latter is infused with roasted beets and a spice medley of bay leaf, cumin and orange peel.
A new product from La Pasta, Inc. pairs roasted and sautéed beets and butternut squash with goat cheese in ravioli.
Beets also flavor such beverages as Health-Ade kombucha and Tumeric Brooklyn Beet Elixr juice drink.
The next sriracha?
On the heels of sriracha comes new hot and spicy flavor profiles. Hatch chile heats up a new pesto variety from The Gracious Gourmet, adding a Southwestern kick to a Mediterranean mainstay. The new Hatch Chile Cookin’ Sauce from Stubb’s Legendary Kitchen combines the New Mexican peppers with garlic and a hint of lime.
Also gaining favor is ghost pepper, featured in Bissinger’s Handcrafter Chocolatier’s apple ghost chili salt caramels and J&D Foods’ ghost pepper nacho popcorn.
Nuts about coconuts
Versatile coconut is popping up across a number of categories.
In the flesh at Summer Fancy Food were such products as new coconut macaroons from Klara’s Gourmet Cookies, a coconut-flavored organic snack bar from Simple Squares, and coconut-flavored Almond Water from Victoria’s Kitchen.
Other products include Dang Toasted Coconut Chips, which are toasted with a touch of cane sugar and sea salt, and Hey Boo coconut jam, slow-cooked in small batches and made with coconut milk, cane sugar and egg yolks.Additionally, Los Chileros has launched Coyo, a vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free yogurt alternative made with coconut milk.