New York, NY—What trends are going to drive the future of grocery? That was the question food investors from the Boulder Food Group (BFG), a Boulder- and Los Angeles-based venture capital firm, set out to answer as they walked the floor at the Speciality Food Association’s 65th Summer Fancy Food Show (SFFS) in New York City in June. Their goal: to identify innovative and socially conscious food, beverage, and supplement brands to partner with in the future.
The BFG team, lead by food entrepreneurs Tom Spier and Dayton Miller, works alongside its portfolio—companies such as OLIPOP, Barnana, and Birch Benders—providing the capital, advice, and network needed to help early-stage brands grow. Dayton Miller, Managing Partner at BFG, shared his insights from the show floor with WholeFoods. His 5 top takeaways:
- Keto mania shows no signs of slowing. The Love Good Fats booth was busy, Miller says, and offerings like Good to Go Keto bars from MadeGood, Kiss My Keto chocolates and 4th & Heart ghee and chocolate spreads showed that the good-for-you diet can be downright delicious.
- Cauliflower is in demand. Cauli-tenders from CAULIPOWER (cauliflower “breaded” chicken tenders) were a buzzy item, and the booth was consistently one of the busiest booths at the show, Miller says. Also showcasing the veggie with success: Kitchen & Love was offering up “quick meals” with a cauliflower as base; Rhythm Superfoods had crispy dehydrated cauliflower snacks; Sauces N’ Love showcased cauliflower gnocchi; Just About Foods had a range of goodness including caulirice and tortillas; and Nolita was serving “cauli-bites,” which Miller notes are basically kind of a hash brown (the WholeFoods team sampled these bites at the show, and they are delish.)
- Oats are everywhere… Elmhurst showcased milked oats; Bobo’s had oat bars—and a packed booth with people sampling and seeking more information on the line; Mylk Labs had oat milk ice cream that Miller says was delicious.
- …but new alternative dairy products are emerging. In addition to oats, Elmhurst featured hemp “milk” and hemp creamers, and Mooala featured banana based creamers.
- Craft mixers are on the horizon. Miller noted that there were more mixers than he’s noticed in the past. A few highlights: Navy Hill had “great looking” soda, tonic, and more; Fizzy Fox had mixers made with apple cider vinegar and shrubs; Hella Cocktails had bitters; and Element Shrub had a variety made with apple cider vinegar and shrubs.
For more from the show, check out 4 Takeaways from the Summer Fancy Food Show. For updates on the latest ingredient research and food technology advances, read Exploring 5 Top Trends in Food Science. And for even more in the world of natural and organic gourmet, read How Sweet It Is, where we look at what’s new in decadent gourmet indulgences, gotta-have-it sweets, and just-one-more-bite treats.