By Mollie Leal
To kick off 2023, Double Forte headed to Las Vegas for the 2023 Winter Fancy Food Show. The 3-day event welcomed over 1,000 exhibitors showcasing an array of new, innovative, and classic specialty food and beverage brands from around the world. Products spanned from confectionaries, to dry snacks, specialty beverages, deli provisions, and a diverse range of BIPOC, women, LGBTQ-led and founded companies.
Here are the top specialty food and beverage trends we saw at the show:
Upcycling is set to be the next sustainability buzzword
“Upcycled products” were an exciting category featured at the event. It’s also a product category that we anticipate will take the market by storm as brands take greater steps in the (right) direction of supporting sustainable food systems. According to Frontiers, food waste occurs throughout the food supply chain from agricultural production, postharvest, handling, storage, and processing to distribution and consumption. Upcycled products utilize the byproduct from these systems to create new food products. For example, Regrained is a company that transforms spent barley malt leftovers from beer brewing into products like pastas, cookie dough, and puffed snacks. At the Winter Fancy Food Show, the Upcycled Food Association discussed strides being taken to grow the upcycled food economy, its major impact on reducing food waste, and the consumer appeal of upcycled products.
High quality home cooking
Nuanced flavors and ingredients geared towards the home cook were a prevalent trend at the Fancy Food Show. To offset rising food costs, consumers are eating at home more and cutting back on restaurant visits, but still want home cooked meals to feel exciting. There were a multitude of products at the show geared toward elevating household stables like cool new olive oils and alternative oils for cooking like almond and avocado. Hot honey is also having a moment, bringing a little heat to charcuterie boards, cocktails and desserts. Even the at-home coffee setup can get a refresh with a variety of companies offering unique syrup flavors to add depth to lattes, like Torani’s new toasted black sesame syrup.
CPG products that boost your gut, brain, and immunity health
Health and wellness has been at the forefront of food and beverage trends for some time now, and the Fancy Food Show revealed a growth in the wellness market for products that offer holistic ingredients offering benefits from gut healing to brain health and immune-boosting properties. Consumers want to make decisions that are better for them, including with their snacks and functional drinks. We explored a number of products like Magic Mind and Zoom Out Mycology that harness the power of adaptogens, nootropics, and mushrooms to naturally support focus and relaxation. Additionally, gut health seems to be at the forefront of the consumer’s mind with snacks, like Britt’s Pickles, meeting demand for probiotic rich fermented, cured, and pickled foods.
Continued market growth for N/A beverages
Nielsen reported that between August 2021 and August 2022, total dollar sales of non-alcoholic drinks in the US stood at $395 million, showing a year-on-year growth of over 20 percent. The non-alcoholic beverage trend continues to pick up steam as consumers are trying to take better care of themselves and Gen Z consumers seem less interested in drinking alcohol compared to previous generations. The Fancy Food Show showed that brands are meeting consumer demand with a plethora of non-alcoholic beverage choices, with multiple major brands, like Jelly Belly, expanding into the sparkling water market and products like Three Spirit offering functional alcohol-free beverage options using botanical ingredients.