4 Trends from the 2019 Summer Fancy Food Show

The annual Summer Fancy Food Show just concluded on Tuesday, and brands from every corner of the globe have packed up their leftovers and made their way back home. After three days of sampling (what seemed like) every kind of grocery product imaginable, we recorded some significant trends that we spotted brewing on the show floor.


Creamy Alternatives for Sauces and Dressings

We found a number of dressing brands at the show that were replacing fattening, high-calorie ingredients like buttermilk and cheese with healthier alternatives, such as hummus and avocado oil. Many of these brands also happened to be vegan, which opens them up to opportunities in that fast-growing consumer niche as well.


Grown-Up Energy Drinks, Sports Drinks, and Soda

When consumers think about energy drinks and sports drinks, they often imagine sugary, neon-colored beverages that are more appropriate for their children’s soccer practice than a boardroom. This year, award-winning brands like Rooster and Recover 180 came to prove that the category can grow up and offer more sophisticated products for adult consumers.


Nonalcoholic Wine Products

We spotted significant buyer interest at the O. Vine booth, as attendees were intrigued by the non-alcoholic water infused with wine “essence”. As rates of alcohol consumption have dropped – particularly among younger demographics – brands are looking for new and interesting ways to include non-drinkers in ritualistic consumption. Notably, Le Petit Beret – which came to the event with whimsical, nonalcoholic wine spritzers – has referred to their product as a “lunch break” drink, suggesting that the trend could allow consumers to enjoy a wine-like cocktail during occasions when real alcohol would be inappropriate, such as during work hours.

While some distillers are battling declining rates of consumption by experimenting with marijuana derivatives, it’s currently a risky proposition from a legal standpoint. Until laws around CBD and THC shift to become friendlier towards brands, alcohol-free options may be booze brands’ best bet.


Pickled Innovation

A surprising snacking trend to emerge over the past few years has been pickles. As a relatively healthy and flavorful way to add vegetables into one’s daily diet, pickles have struck a cord with consumers looking for savory treats. This year, the trend has evolved to include new flavors and interesting ingredients. One of the category’s standouts was Randy’s Pickles, with their chargrilled “Sideburns” pickles packing a complex and lightly smoky flavor that is perfect for summer BBQs.

Each year, the Fancy Food Show reveals where the industry is willing to experiment and how brands are responding to changing consumer tastes. This year showed that consumers are increasingly looking for something a little more special than what they’re used to – a boutique sports drink over a Gatorade, a bottle of wine essence-infused water over a simple flavored water – and that brands are taking necessary risks to meet this demand.

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