Trend-Spotting at the Fancy Foods Show

The Winter Fancy Foods Show was in town over the weekend, so I decided to take a tour of the offerings at the Moscone Center. This was my sixth year attending the expo that’s packed with everything from artisanal charcuterie to Jelly Belly’s newest flavors. As always there was tons of delicious cheese, salumi, non-potato chips, chocolate, salsa, olives, tea — basically any and every food product you can think of makes an appearance at the show. With so many items, it’s easy to spot trends. Here’s some of the things that I kept coming across.
Salts. Flavored salts are clearly having a moment. I was surprised to stumble upon so many different kinds of salt as this was a trend that never really caught on a couple of years ago. Perhaps more people will be into using flavored salt?

Spanish Ham. In the past, there was always one station slicing delicate, paper thin pieces of melt-in-your-mouth Spanish ham. But this year, I came across many producers promoting Spanish ham. The movement is going beyond your typical jamon: presa, a special Spanish pork shoulder cut that’s similar to beef steaks, is clearly the next big thing. Trust me: presa iberico is to die for!

High-End Canned Seafood. Sardines and anchovies are sustainable, good for you, and downright scrumptious. Europeans have always enjoyed the luxury of canned seafood and now it seems Americans are ready for the taste treat as well.

Asian Ingredients. Both Japan and China had major booth presence in the international section.

Cake Decorating Supplies. Cake decorating supplies aren’t just for the professional baker anymore. The home cake and cupcake maker needs beautiful edible decorations as well as fun packaging and pretty display ideas. Judging by all the products I saw at the show, this is one trend that’s coming soon to a Target or Michaels near you.

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