Top Takeaways From Summer Fancy Food

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Photo Source: Specialty Food Association

We walk Summer Fancy Food, a show put on by the Specialty Food Association (SFA), annually to discover the best edibles to try. We look for what’s new, what’s gaining in popularity, what’s good for you, and what tastes good.

As expected, avocado continues to trend as does any food labeled “Keto,” while dozens of new marshmallow companies pop up.

It happens to be that the drinkables were one of the most exciting categories of the exhibit which ran from June 30 – July 2 in New York.

Here is a rundown of our sippable recommendations:

Fresh squeezed from Japan – More craft soft drink than health drink, this one-of-a-kind sparkling citrus pop isn’t bad for you either. Kimino is made of YUZU juice, an aromatic Japanese fruit.

Liquid Oxygen – The more oxygen you can get the better, even if you have to drink it instead of breathe it. Natural water contains oxygen. Oxigen’s bottled water contains more.

Reducing acidity – It’s not just sugar in cola that makes it bad for you. It’s also the acid. Health conscious consumers are always trying to reduce acid by eating alkaline. Evamor remains one of the best naturally alkaline waters we’ve tasted. This one has a ph level of 8.8 to 9.1.

Living waterGoLive cracked the code on keeping pre- and probiotics strains thriving by keeping them in the cap until you are ready to pop them into your drink.

The taste of ethics – How do you know your coffee is ethical? You can taste it in Ethical Bean coffee but you can also trace your beans on an app to know for sure.

Vinegar mocktails – If you don’t like drinking vinegar you might like drinking sparkling drinking vinegars, a new product from Crafted Brand Company, originally known for its mixers and shrubs. This one’s got all the benefits of vinegar with a very pleasant taste.

Here are some other winners to whet your appetite:

Shrooming – Mushrooms in all forms are trending but jerky is the form of choice. Pan’s Mushroom Jerky is making it mainstream. Giorgio’s BLENDABELLA Portabella Mushroom Blends make it easy and tasty to toss diced portabellas into and onto any recipe.

Low carb carbs get more impressive – We’re always up for shirataki, the no carb noodles made from the Japanese Konjac plant composed of soluble fiber. Zero Noodles, a newer entrant in the US market dressed them up in a way that had us back for more.

You really can’t talk low carb without talking about Freekeh, an ancient grain high in fiber. Freekehlicious in particular is made from durum wheat, domestically grown using 1/3 less water. It’s harvested while still young and green, then parched, roasted and dried. Capturing the grain’s peak state gives it a great taste as well as even more protein, fiber and minerals.

More cauliflower crusts are cluttering the aisles. Outer Aisle Gourmet is claiming to be the first cauliflower base featuring less calories than the rest — for now. The sandwich thins are just the right portion size. The egg-white thins from the ready-to-wrap crepe company, Crepini are also worth a try.

Ingredient-focused condiments – We tried some powerful sauces and dips that really let their ingredients shine.  Sinai Gourmet’s all-natural purees put the pepper first in its vinegar-free hot sauce that really enhances flavor without masking dishes. We also got a wonderful zest of thyme in Zesty Z’s Za’ater, a thyme-based, time-tested Mediterranean herbal flavor that also happens to be nutrient-packed.

Flex your flax – There are new and innovative ways to mill flax that people will want to eat. Manitoba Milling is made by an innovative flax farming family, 5th generation flax farmers and is all traceable to the Canadian prairies where land is cooler and wetter for better flax. Manitoba Milling slices the seeds to keep it in a soft powder form so it’s not oily, making it the most nutritious form of flax because it has the fiber and lignans found in whole seeds that don’t get digested and aren’t found in flax oil. It’s also higher in ALA’s than other milled flaxseed by 2-3%. The seeds are selected by color and density so it stays fresh and stable longer, more than two years and has a mellow, mild, roasted, nutty taste with a fresh aroma.

Granola’s evolution – From hippie breakfast to hipster treat, granola has gone through an evolution over the last few decades but if you want to know what “real” granola tastes like, try GrandyOats. This company is keeping granola real with always organic, small-batch recipes including a new grain-free coconut mix called Coconloa.

Appetizing appetizers – We saw some new ways to entertain with lovely spreads. Savannah Bee’s pure honeycomb is Instagram-picture ready and a great accompaniment to cheese, but also a replacement you can smear on bread directly. It’s crafted from the nectar of the acacia flower in the highlights of Hungary.

Pâté, a retro starter is showing up on cocktail tables and buffets again as a topper, spread and on its own. Alexian Pâté has been known for its gourmet pates for years and also offers a vegetarian version so everyone can dip in.  From small bites to breakfast, the ways to serve pate are endless.

You haven’t had the best burrata until you’ve tried Colombian burrata. It’s surprisingly delicious and we hear from BUF Creamery that it’s because of the grass-fed water buffalo. They have their own farm where their buffalo roam.

Pure Salt – We’re learning more about Himalayan salt which is what HimalaSalt has known for years, the grade of the crystal impacts the taste of the salt. All their products consist of clear crystalline halite and together with hues of orange, pink, and rose create the perfect balance of flavor and minerals. It looks just as good as it tastes. 

The next Fancy Food show will take place January 13 -15, 2019 at The Mascarpone Center, San Francisco, CA.


Nancy Trent is a writer and speaker, a lifelong health advocate, a globe-trotting Nancy Trenttrend watcher and the founder and president of Trent & Company, a New York-based marketing communications firm with an office in Los Angeles. Trent & Company 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 nancy@trentandcompany.com. You may also visit http://www.trentandcompany.com.

NOTE: WholeFoods Magazine does not endorse any specific brand or product. Always seek the advice of a medical professional before adding a dietary supplement to (or removing one from) your daily regimen. The opinions expressed in bylined articles are not necessarily those of the publisher.

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