By Robin Mather
Here are some of the trendiest products hitting the market right now.
The specialty waters segment grew 75 percent from 2014 to 2016, according to the Specialty Food Association, which also noted a growing interest in fictional beverages. Among exhibitors at this year’s Summer Fancy Food Show with specialty waters were HFactor Hydrogen Infused Water, which has been supercharged with molecular hydrogen to act as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant; Formula Four Beverage Oxigen water and shots, enhanced with O4 molecules; Pervida Immune Health Waters, enhanced with pomegranate seed oil, said to provide immunity support and improve digestive health; and the Rogers Collections’ Halen Mon Oak Smoked Water, meant to use in recipes to add a robust flavor to soups, risotto and casseroles.
Snack sticks are definitely hot, hitting snacking, portability and wellness with ingredients such as seeds, nuts, super fruits and additional protein. Vivify Snacks Energy Sticks blend quinoa, flax, sesame, pumpkin and sunflower seeds with nuts for protein sticks, and Grayson Natural Farms offers grassfed smoked beef sticks.
Plant-based foods, vegetarian- or vegan-friendly foods are also hot, as producers touch on cheese and dairy, frozen dessert, water and meat alternative segments. Beyond Better cashew sauce is a just-add-water alternative to cheese sauces; Little Red Dot Kitchen’s Eggplant Baconness BakWa is a vegan version of the company’s Singapore- and Malasian-style meat snacks.
Coffee and tea remain white-hot as well, the Specialty Food Association said. A number of companies have capitalized on innovations in both refrigerated and shelf-stable varieties as well as RTD categories. Sunup Green Coffee offers a RTD brewed coffee made from unroasted green coffee beans, while Afineur Cultured Coffee is using natural fermentation to provide premium coffee with low bitterness.
Savory and spicy sweets are drawing customer interest, with place-of-origin labeling key, the Specialty Food Association said. Rumi Spice Saffron Gems, founded by a military veteran, is helping Afghan farmers bring saffron to the U.S. market in the form of saffron threads suspended in gummy candies. Milky Finest White Chocolate now offers a bar that incorporates chips made from blue potatoes grown in the Swiss Alps, white chocolate and sea salt.