New YorkA bustling Summer Fancy Food Show, hosted by the Specialty Food Association at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City for the second straight year, featured over 2,730 exhibitors from 49 countries. The show, held June 29–July 1, was expected to host 28,000 buyers.

Exhibitors set out to impress one and all with their specialty food offerings. “We always love doing the Fancy Food show, not just to connect with buyers, but because we consider everyone a consumer,” said Julie Gould, assistant brand manager for Classic Cooking, LLC, maker of Garden Lites.

Several trends either emerged or continued at the show. Non-GMO products stood out more than ever before, as the claim was always prominently featured and was often the first product quality identified by exhibitors. A movement was evident toward natural fruit ingredients in various formats, from dehydrated fruit packets to pureed fruits in re-sealable pouches for kids and adults. Ancient grains are also a trendy inclusion in many new products. Quinoa leads the pack, and was spotted in everything from chocolate to cereal.

“You come to the show to see the new and different, and there seems to be a lot more new this year,” said Nancy Zareczny of Middle Earth Olive Oil Co., a Florida retailer. Products they found interesting included truffle oil and an orange-based salsa, which they thought might intrigue their orange-crazed customers back home.

The show featured a keynote address by Dominique Ansel, the pastry chef who created the Cronut. Attendees also witnessed a 3-D food printer creating baked goods. The Specialty Food Association handed out its 42nd sofi Awards for outstanding specialty foods. East Hampton Gourmet Food’s Lentil Rice Crispbread was voted Outstanding New Product.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, August 2014 (online 7/3/14)