If the annual Specialty Food Association’s Winter Fancy Food Show is any indication, the new year is off to a delicious start. Taking place in San Francisco at the Moscone Center, all things specialty food were on display to spark the interest of buyers from across the world. We saw trends that have continuously thrived throughout 2019 (and looks like they will continue in 2020) like CBD beverages, allergy-friendly snacks, and mushroom-based snacks and beverages, to name a few. (As a reminder, some of the  2019 Summer Fancy Food trends were seeded snacks, non-alcoholic wines and beers, and gourmet quality baby food.) 

We saw new trends emerge that not only surprised us but also looked like they will dominate retail shelves this year. RangeMe had the chance to be a gold sponsor of the Incubator Village at this year’s show, where we found the majority of the newest trends. “For buyers, it’s an opportunity to get in at the ground floor of a burgeoning trend for their customers, for attendees and other exhibitors it is a source of inspiration, and for the presenters themselves, the exposure to top press and buyers from around the world is unparalleled,” says Phil Kafarakis, president of the Specialty Food Association.1 https://www.foodbusinessnews.net/articles/15155-inside-the-incubator-village These are the brands that start trends and take risky chances when it comes to food. 

The brands and products here are newer to the industry but hold the most excitement and keep consumer taste buds guessing. Here are some of the top trends from Winter Fancy Food:

1. In a pickle. While pickles have been a favorite add on to sandwiches and other meals for years, more and more brands are infusing pickles with refined flavored and making them into hearty snacks of their own. The craze could definitely be felt on the floor as everywhere you turned around there was a new pickle delicacy to try, from savory to spicy. Some brands, like Good Pickle Juice, are cutting out the pickle all together and using pickle juice for its amazing health benefits such as workout recovery, and stopping cramps. 

2. Sweet like honey. A delicious snack but with a twist. Winter Fancy Foods showcased innovative products that showed us not all honey tastes the same. Brands showed us honey derived from different plants to create a unique taste, like avocado honey. While other brands showed us how the infusion of flavors can create a sensational taste, like habanero infused honey

3. Hide and seek. Healthy snacks are nothing new to the CPG industry. However, when it comes to the palette of the youth, getting them to enjoy a healthy snack can be difficult. More brands have been trying to implement vegetables and healthier for you options into their ingredients but also keeping the same tasty flavors. Brands like Undercover Quinoa were on display to show retailers how important it is to have these types of snacks on their shelves. If the kids are happy, parents are happy. 

4. Hold the…everything. Brands have been doing a great job over the years of making products that are more inclusive of the needs and dietary restrictions of their audiences. Having allergy-free products in 2020 is not a want, it is solidly a need. Across the show floor, you could see the majority of brands had at least one option for the gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, and any other free of person might be interested in. 

Make it saucy. Everyone can appreciate a good sauce. The wonderful thing about this condiment is that it can go on just about anything. From dipping sauces to marinades, dressings or one that does it all, new sauces were on display to compliment any dish you can imagine. Asian sauces were popular as a lot of brands gained inspiration from Asian flavors that give the perfect combination of savory, sweet and everything in between. 

If you attended Winter Fancy Food, or plan to attend any trade shows in the future, be sure that you are leveraging your RangeMe profile for your follow-ups. Did you know that you can share your profile via email and know if the person you sent it to actually opened the email and looked at your products? Find out more here!

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