Top Trends ID’d at 2022 Summer Fancy Food Show

Hot items sought by Specialty Food Association panel
Bridget Goldschmidt
Managing Editor
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SFFS 2022 Main Image
The recent Summer Fancy Food Show featured more than 1,700 exhibitors offering specialty foods and beverages from around the world.

At the recent 66th Summer Fancy Food Show, held June 12-14 at New York City’s Javits Center, the Specialty Food Association (SFA) Trendspotter Panel sought products gaining prominence in the specialty food industry. 

The trade show featured more than 1,700 exhibitors offering specialty foods and beverages from around the world.

“The specialty food marketplace has grown into a $175 billion industry fueled by the creativity of the producers of these foods and beverages,” noted Denise Purcell, VP content and education at New York-based SFA. “That innovation was on display at the Summer Show, with our Trendspotters highlighting unexpected twists on classics, reconceived packaging options, better-for-you indulgences and comfort foods, global flavors, and growing interest in sustainability and ethical production.” 

The Summer Trendspotter Panel consisted of Melanie Zanoza Bartelme, Mintel; Mikel Cirkus, Firmenich; Jenn de la Vega, Put A Egg on It; Jonathan Deutsch, Drexel University; Victoria Ho, SherpaCPG; Lindsay Leopold, Martha Stewart (Marquee Brands); Patsy Ramirez-Arroyo, Homera Caribbean & LATAM; Stan Sagner, We Work for Food, LLC; and Kantha Shelke, Corvus Blue LLC.

The trends noted by the panel at the 2022 Summer Fancy Food Show were as follows:

  1. Surprising Sips: Beverages with unexpected flavors and ingredients, including spicy sodas, coffee made of figs, and drinks spiked with everything from alcohol to sparkles.
  2. Packaging Innovations: Single-serve, compostable, greater portability with less mess.
  3. Vegetable Chips: Vacuum- or flash-fried tomatoes, mushrooms, and vegetables bringing new options to the ever-evolving chip category.
  4. Sustainable and Ethical Choices: Foods and beverages with sustainable and ethical characteristics, from upcycled or regeneratively grown ingredients to products that support the livelihoods of underserved communities.
  5. Alternative Comfort Food: A Trendspotter Panel pick as a top trend of 2022, with bases like sunflower seeds, tigernut flour, chickpeas, bananas and peas now emerging.
  6. Peppers Are Hot: Another top trend for 2022, peppers and traditional pepper sauces and condiments from around the globe.
  7. Play With Your Food: Whimsical products such as edible candles and animal-shaped cheese delighting kids of all ages.

Other noteworthy products discovered by the panel included infused ice honey, a modern take on a traditional Indian frozen dessert, chocolates with South Asian-inspired flavors, umami powder, and freeze-dried candies and ice creams.

The leading trade association and source of information about the $175 billion specialty food industry for 70 years, the SFA represents manufacturers, importers, retailers, distributors, brokers, and others in the trade.

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