The Specialty Food Association’s Fancy Food Shows always seem packed with new “hot” food trends. This winter’s session, held in San Francisco in January, was no exception. As reported in the hartbeat Scribe, from research firm The Hartman Group, there were five key food trends out of the thousands of food and beverage products at the show they think “will resonate with consumers.”
- Hummus: Hummus is touted for being rich in fiber, protein and healthy carbs. In addition to the well-known brands (hummus has been trending for a while now), there were some “promising brands” exhibiting. hartbeat Scribe predicts “dairy-free hummus is poised to capture Millennials concerned with animal welfare and Boomers seeking nutrient-dense foods in lieu of supplements and bars.”
- Seeds: These have also been hot for a few years, though the “seed-of-the-moment” shifts every so often. Chia (yes, the Chia Pet chia) is still popular, as are muesli and pumpkin seeds. Hemp, though not mentioned by hartbeat Scribe, and only legal to grow in a few states, is also in demand (it’s legal to grow hemp in Canada).
- Matcha: I doubt coffee will ever be replaced as America’s hot beverage of choice, but green tea is making inroads. Matcha is finely milled (powdered) green tea, and it’s working its way into a variety of beverages, including latte mix and a milk chocolate mint bar. hartbeat Scribe says matcha is “sought after for its inclusion in indulgent products and as an energizing brain-boosting beverage.”
- Broth: On my blog I recently wrote about the sudden popularity of broth. According to hart Scribe, “super-progressive consumers” are quickly taking to bone broth, which is rich in minerals and collagen.
- Vanilla: Over the past few years a variety of “regular” foods, such as coffee, chocolate and cheese have been “upscaled.” (Think Starbucks.) Apparently, hartbeat Scribe predicts this is now happening to vanilla, which it says “is becoming recognized as a health-supportive ingredient...rich in antioxidants.” While we’ve long been familiar with vanilla extract, the vanilla bean is now showing up in pastes, powders and even as vanilla Fleur de sel, which is hand-harvested sea salt.
Whether you sell food products or own a restaurant, keeping up with the latest food trends is a sure way to attract foodies and trend-seeking diners.
Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/Rieva, and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.