A panel of food trend experts nibbled their way through the largest Winter Fancy Food Show in its 40-year history to identify the top five trends bound for store shelves in the coming year.
The West Coast's largest trade show devoted exclusively to specialty food ended this week at Moscone Center in San Francisco. The exhibit halls are brimming over with 80,000 examples of the latest chocolate, cheese, olive oil, granolas, salsas and charcuterie from across the U.S. and 30 countries, enough to fill four football fields.
Is a new kale about to be born? Here are the trend experts' top five picks:
Yancey's Fancy – Grilled Bacon Cheeseburger Artisan Cheese
Sonoma Creamery – Mr. Cheese O's
Silva Regal Spanish Food – Manchego-Style Cheese Flavored Olive Oil
Angie's Boomchickapop – Caramel & Cheddar Mix
Breakfast Served all Day
Chuao Chocolatier – Strawberry Waffle Wild Milk Chocolate
Uncle Andy's Jerky – Bandito Loco Spicy Coffee Beef Jerky
The Republic of Tea – Cinnamon Toast HiCaf Tea
Dang Foods – Savory Bacon Coconut Chips
Creative Snacks – Broccoli Chips
Alive & Radiant – Arugula Cabbage Veggie Krunch
Wonderfully Raw Gourmet - Tamarind Almond Crunch Brussel Bytes
Genuine Grub – Spicy Pickled Cabbage
Heber Valley Artisan Cheese – Vanilla Bean Cheddar Cheese
Choctal – Single-Origin Vanilla Ice Creams
Dancing Deer Baking Co. – Pure Vanilla Bean Shortbread
Milkboy Swiss Chocolate – White Chocolate with Bourbon Vanilla
Drink Daily Greens Enlighten Hemp Milk with Blue-Green Algae and Vanilla
Read more and see photos or go to specialtyfood.com/trendswffs15.
"Consumers are craving food with taste appeal, a sense of adventure, and a decided healthy glow. These new products at the show play right into that appetite," says panelist Denise Purcell, Editor, Specialty Food Media.
Last year's trends are still going strong. The show had plenty of gluten free foods, ancient grains, coconut, and sriracha. And yes, kale is still going strong.
The Specialty Food Association trendspotters are Emma Christensen, Recipe Editor, The Kitchn, Sarah Fritsche, Staff Writer, San Francisco Chronicle; Christine Gallary, Food and Cooking Editor, The Kitchn; Kara Nielsen, Culinary Director, Sterling-Rice Group; Denise Purcell Editor, Specialty Food Media; David Sax, Freelance food journalist/author; Nancy Hopkins, Senior Deputy Editor, Food & Entertainment, Better Homes & Gardens; and Ashley Koff, RD, Editorial Director, The Ashley Koff Approved (AKA) List.