Photo credit: Specialty Food Association
Perhaps “Junk Food” is a bit unfair, as most of these products are made to healthier standards with natural ingredients, but the trend of adult-ifying kid’s favorites continued to grow this year. Popcorn with Sriracha or Rogue River Blue, ice cream flavors like Southern Banana Pudding, Cold Brewed Cinnamon Coffee or Scotch Chocolate, snack bars with flavors like “Noble Rot Rapture Plum Port,” Bourbon Caramels, and even a gourmet Nativity Calendar (from Vosges) are causing us to reconsider these items typically marketed to children.
Sure, fusion cuisine has been on trend for a while, but this year flavors were kicked up a notch and ranged from traditional fusion (hybrid of 2 cuisines) to straight infusion (flavors influenced by one region). Eastern Asian influences continued to dominate, with unique products like carbonated drinking vinegars flavored with yuzu, balsamic and soy sauce blends, and Sriracha on literally everything. However Middle Eastern flavors also made a bold appearance this year, particularly with spice blends like Za’atar and Dukkah.
This was somewhat predictable, as GMO transparency is now in high-demand. From popcorn and ice cream to soy sauce and balsamic, the phrase “Non-GMO” was plastered on labels and worked into sales pitches at nearly every stop.
Our Merchandising Team is in the process of combing through all of the new products we found and choosing the ones we can’t live without. Keep your eyes peeled – there’s plenty of greatness coming to a Di Bruno Bros. near you.
In the meantime, check out this photo montage of trends selected by the Specialty Food Association themselves.