A shortlist of 2020 food trends was observed at the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco – the event of the season to see what’s hot and trending in specialty foods from around the world.
Over the last few years, plant-based food and beverages have been one of the most notable trends in the industry. The show dedicated an entire room to plant-based foods, and many more could be found across the rest of the booths. Products featuring meat alternatives were on display. Innovation also came in the form of whole vegetables.
Specialty snacks showcased at Winter Fancy Food included lotus root chips, popped water lily seeds, avocado puffs, and tomato jerky. There were a variety of cauliflower snacks: puffs, sticks, crackers, dips and even noodles, whole-vegetable cauliflower snacks, a twist on veggie chips made from powdered vegetables.
Oatmilk has recently surged in new products presentation and was visible on its own and added into coffee drinks and even chocolate. This alternative milk is taking center stage, finding its way into everything from coffee creamer and cheese to yogurt and ice cream. We also noticed sesame milk and even hazelnut and walnut milk.
As with last year, the show featured probiotic beverages, kombuchas, drinking kinds of vinegar, and tonics of all kinds.
Probiotic products like kimchi – even a vegan version minus the fish sauce, fermented tea drinks, pickles made from ugly produce, and even fermented tea leaves for a Burmese take-home kit to make a specialty tea salad.
Brands are going beyond borders and introducing products with globally-inspired flavors and ingredients. The trend of global cuisines with a regional focus definitely continues.
At Show were presented products inspired by or made from traditional foods in the Caribbean and southwestern Asia.
An Irish tomato relish and a Korean kimchi aioli were among globally inspired condiments launched at the show. Also featured were elevated ramen and instant noodles in the style of Indonesian and Singaporean cuisines: сhocolate with rose and cardamom, popcorn with za’atar, mushroom jerky with Thai spices, etc.
Companies are being challenged to demonstrate how they are doing their part in protecting the planet. At the show, this could be seen in a variety of ways.
Environmentally friendly packaging, as well as edible cutlery, were highlighted by brands at the show. Several companies demonstrated regenerative agriculture and sustainable sourcing and manufacturing practices.
Increased focus on environmentally-friendly practices has makers turning to upcycled ingredients.
Upcycled foods are grabbing lots of attention, as they underscore sustainable, earth-friendly fare.