More healthy options and more access to specialty foods spikes sales

    The $150 billion specialty food industry got together for the Specialty Food Association (SFA)’s annual Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City, Sunday, June 23 – Tuesday, June 25. It’s obvious shoppers are seeking an elevated food experience as premium produce, small-batch and high quality ingredients outpace all other food categories.  

    Product innovation and broader availability continue to spur the industry further, making specialty foods more mainstream.  

    We got a taste of it all on the show floor spotting and trying the assortment of specialty products.  

    Here is a rundown of what delighted our palates without compromising our health. 

    Unexpected spice – Spicy foods are still hot and showing up in expected places like ice cream. Hot Scream, the first spicy ice cream on the market, chases the heat of its spicy swirls with a nice cold creamy chill.  

    A new category of salt Farmed from the sea, using the fresh geothermal hot springs of northwest Iceland, Saltverk’s 17th century salt making method has a zero carbon footprint thanks to the engineers and foodies who create it.  

    Sweet protein – The extra protein packed into these German slices from Cakees is a fit dream come true. The treats taste great and are better for you too.   

    Surprising keto companions – The sugar-free Belgian chocolates from Skinny Me have become a keto fan favorite.   

    Crepe Culture  Crepini’s high protein, carb-free egg crepes feature cauliflower, sweet potato or gluten-free grains are a great alternative to bread, pizza, tacos and typical desserts and breakfast dishes. 

    Herbal cocktails & mocktails – There were a number of new natural alcohol-free beverages and mixers that make you feel like you’re imbibing without the extra sugar and in some cases, you can skip the booze entirely. TÖST offers a sophisticated, festive sip without any alcohol content with a sparkling tea blend while Muddle and Wilde uses fresh fruit and real herbs and spices to create healthier craft cocktails or botanical sodas with aromatic flavors.

    Cooking up more ways to eat cauliflower – Full Green is the first shelf-stable cooked cauliflower in a pouch. It tastes as fresh as if you were to steam it yourself. It happens to be a handy alternative to oatmeal as well.   

    The root of the flour – If you haven’t tried Cassava flour, made from the Yuca root vegetable you are missing out on a game-changing food trick. Otto’s Flour makes it possible to bake Paleo, gluten-free, nut-free and grain-free with the same taste and texture of wheat. 

    We’re full from this show but still looking forward to what’s new at the next Fancy Food Show in Winter at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, January 19-21, 2020. 


    Note: The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author(s) and contributor(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher and editors of WholeFoods Magazine.

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    Nancy Trent is a writer and speaker, a lifelong health advocate, a globe-trotting trend watcher and the founder and president of Trent & Company, a New York-based marketing communications firm with an office in Los Angeles. Trent & Company, which launched many fitness brands, grew out of Nancy’s personal commitment to helping people live longer and healthier lives. A former journalist for New York magazine, Nancy has written seven books on healthy lifestyles, serves on the editorial boards of several magazines and travels around the world speaking at conferences and trade shows on trends in the marketplace. She is a recognized expert in PR with more than 30 years of experience creating and managing highly successful campaigns. Nancy can be reached at (212) 966-0024 or through e-mail at You may also visit