Featuring more than 1,100 companies and thousands of products from around the world, the Specialty Food Association (SFA) Winter Fancy Food Show ran from January 15-17 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The Chex Category Management Team spent 3 days looking for exciting new products and just as importantly- new supplier relationships. So what did they find? Let’s take a look at their top 5 trends to watch:
1. Crunchy Snacks: Satisfying the Craving for Texture Crunchy snacks are dominating the specialty foods market, satisfying consumers' desire for texture and flavor. While this is certainly not a new category, innovation is coming in the form of new grains, seeds, and shapes. Think Buckwheat, Rolled up Tortilla Chips, and unique flavors like Wine Chips; offering consumers a spectrum of options that go beyond traditional snack fare.
2. Non-Alcoholic Beverages: Quenching Thirst without Spirits The rise of non-alcoholic beverages reflects a broader cultural shift towards mindful drinking. Crafted with botanicals, exotic fruits, and unique flavor profiles, non-alcoholic beverages are carving out their own niche in the specialty foods market. From sophisticated alcohol-free spirits to inventive infused waters, consumers are embracing alternatives that offer a satisfying drinking experience without the buzz.
3. Alcohol Flavors in Food: A Cross-Over we Didn’t see Coming While Non-Alcoholic beverages are on the rise, alcohol flavors are popping up in unexpected places. Our team spotted Bourbon Barrel Worcestershire, Beer flavored dry rubs, Port and Cheese Chips, and Whiskey Flavored coffee to name a few! Another way to enjoy the flavors of alcohol guilt-free.
4. Environmental Impact: Conscious Choices for a Sustainable Future Consumers are increasingly considering the environmental impact of their food choices, driving the specialty foods industry farther towards sustainability. Brands are focusing on eco-friendly packaging, responsibly sourced ingredients, and ethical production practices. From farm-to-table initiatives to zero-waste packaging, consumers are aligning their values with their culinary choices, fostering a more sustainable and environmentally conscious market.
5. Global Flavors: A Culinary Journey on Every Plate Embracing the richness of global flavors, we are seeing products that introduce consumers to a world of culinary delights. Brands are incorporating international influences, offering products that reflect the global melting pot and allowing consumers to embark on a gastronomic adventure from the comfort of their homes. Favorites of our team were Peri Peri nuts, chips with traditional English flavors, and Indian Spiced Tuna.
The specialty food industry continues to be on at the forefront of emerging trends across so many categories. Our Category Management Team follows these trends closely to help bring new and innovative products to our retailers; helping them stay ahead of the curve- and the competition! Curious what other exciting products Chex carries? Register for CHEXPO today- February 13th 2024 at the Rhode Island Convention Center. See you there!