SAN FRANCISCO — Drawing 33,000 industry professionals, the Winter Fancy Food Show was held Jan. 22-24 in San Francisco and featured the latest specialty food and beverage innovations from 1,400 exhibiting companies.

“Specialty food sales are exploding right now,” said Phil Kafarakis, president of the Specialty Food Association, which owns and produces the Winter Fancy Food Show. “We’re seeing millennials and men emerging as key consumer groups, food service sales are experiencing impressive increases, while on-line shopping and retail serve as key consumer sales channels. People are very interested in high quality, great tasting food and specialty foods offer both.”

Chips, pretzels and snacks represent one of the largest categories in the specialty food industry, according to the association.

“The better-for-you snacking trend is still really going strong,” Denise Purcell, head of content for the Specialty Food Association, told Food Business News. “We are seeing a lot of chips with added protein and potato alternatives.”

An example comes from Saffron Road, which is launching ChickBean Crisps in sea salt, white cheddar and zesty ranch varieties. Made with milled chickpeas and lentil, pea and sweet potato bits, the baked crisps contain 4 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber per serving.

Another exhibitor, Plocky’s Fine Snacks, is introducing baked potato crisps with 7 grams of protein per serving. Other brands at the show are adding a healthier twist on tortilla chips; Siete Family Foods is launching grain-free varieties, and Way Better Snacks is releasing thin and crispy tortilla chips made with organic corn and sprouted chia, quinoa and flax seeds.

Click for a slideshow of products debuting at the Winter Fancy Food Show.