If the aisles of the Specialty Food Association’s 2018 Winter Fancy Food Show are an indicator of what we’ll be eating and drinking in the coming years, our taste buds are in for a fantastic experience.
Taste has pretty much always been the primary purchase driver; this just doesn’t ever seem to change. Health and Price tend to toggle for second place, depending on the economy. But if it doesn’t taste good, why eat it?
For the past ten-plus years, a laser-beam focus (obsession?) with health and nutrition has transformed the consumer food mindset, creating a transformative cascade of change in the food and beverage industry. Ingredients labels? They’ve cleaned up. “Free from” claims? They’re plastered on everything.
Health—however you choose to define it—is now a given. Consumers simply expect manufacturers to do the right thing and create products that won’t harm them. At Wild Hive, we’ve been watching this closely, noting a shift afoot—health (and for that matter, sustainability, quality, and purpose) is increasingly inherent to the marketplace, and flavor is the new frontier.
This tracks perfectly with what we’re learning about the next hot thing, Gen Z. In fact, the latest NPD report, “Make it Happen for Gen Zs,” dubbed them as “unintentional foodies.” Given that this generation was born to nutrition police parents who also exposed their offspring to a wide variety of foods and flavors from an early age, “unintentional foodie” seems appropriate.
Here’s a sample of some of the brands we saw at the Fancy Food Show who are on the forefront of flavor and have kept the nutritional integrity of their products in tact as well.
Le Bon Magot: Inspired by her family’s journey through the Spice Route, Naomi Moad has created a line of artisan crafted products which will no doubt blow you mind and get you looking for your passport. White Pumpkin and Almond Murabba Preseves with Cardamom and Vanilla anyone?
Joy Loop: Vibrant, fresh flavors-veggies on the go. We’ll take it.
Corine’s Cuisine: Simply fantastic sauces that raise the bar on flavor and heat.
Little Red Dot Kitchen: Singapore and Malaysian Street-Style roasted meat snack. Take us now!
Krave: Known for its culinary roots, Krave it not new to the flavor scene. We love that they are bringing their culinary edge to the meat bar set.
Frontera Foods: Rick Bayless, you’ve done it again. You’ve made traditional Mexican cuisine accessible and convenient…this time, with MEAT! Coming to a freezer near you.