Last week I had the opportunity to attend the Summer Fancy Food Show here in New York City. The show can be overwhelming as it covers most of the Jacob Javitz Center with literally 1000’s of booths. With the right game plan, I was able to see what I wanted to in just a couple of very productive hours. One of my strategies is to visit the show on Tuesday, which is the final day. The number of visitors is far fewer making it easier to breeze up and down the aisles. On the flip side, the vendors have been talking and talking for two days already and some are just plain tired! At the end of the day, the Fancy Food Show is a great opportunity to connect with some of our current artisans and also to look for new products for our marketplace. On top of all of that I also enjoy poking around to see what the current trends are in the gourmet food world.
Here are the trends I found most prominent at this year’s Summer Fancy Food Show:
Plant Based Everything: From oat milk to almond milk to cauliflower pizza crust and even some ‘meat’ products, there was a BIG emphasis on eating from foods we can grow. While we know this type of diet has many health benefits including reduced risk of some cancers, I am a purist is most areas. I want my milk to come from a cow and my beef too for that matter. I do try to keep a low-carb diet so am on board with things like cauliflower pizza crust and pasta made from chickpeas. It is good to know these products are available for those who choose this lifestyle and also opens a lot of options for people with allergies to certain foods.
Allergy-Free Items: To my last point, there is an increased awareness to allergies and more products are available to benefit allergy sufferers. It doesn’t surprise me that these products are often created by parents who are looking for something delicious to feed their child who has a gluten/nut/dairy/soy allergy. While my children, luckily, don’t have any food allergies I find these products have a place in our home because schools are super sensitive to allergies and a lot of packaged items are not allowed due to the allergens they contain.
Cold Brew Coffee: I remember it like it was yesterday… making batches of cold brew coffee at Bouchon Bakery almost 10 years ago. We had to let the coffee sit in the water overnight to brew to the proper strength. It was not an easy feat. Clearly times have changed as cold brew is becoming very main stream and in a good way. A great bottle of cold brew in your refrigerator means fewer trips to the local coffee shop and for those who don’t live near a coffee shop, you can still have your gourmet coffee.
While most of these trends don’t align with the philosophy around the products selected for our marketplace, it was great to see how the food scene is changing. I did find some wonderful products from smaller producers t that I hope to bring to our marketplace in the fall. I look forward to telling you more about the products and the stories behind them soon!