This year’s Fancy Food Show, a veritable Mecca for foodies,took place in San Francisco. More than 80,000 specialty food products were on show at the annual convention, which is sponsored by the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade and open only to people in the industry. Here are some of the trends noted at this year’s event:
Chocolate’s Cocoa Content. With the emphasis on the health benefits of cocoa (see related item on page 79), many chocolate manufacturers are now touting the total percentage of ingredients derived from the cocoa bean. Some companies are making health claims for their products, saying that they have “energizing,” “harmonizing” or “rejuvenating” properties for consumers.
Tea Transporters. The Republic of Tea now offers a Tea Square, a cardboard box with an airtight bag that holds 3 quarts of cold tea. The tea stays fresh and can be easily stored in the refrigerator or transported in the car. Also new on the scene are square tea bags that have paper handles to hang conveniently over your favorite mug.
Salty Selections. Rose-colored salt from Bolivia, black lava salt from Hawaii, truffle-flavored salt from Washington state and pink salt from the Dead Sea: With all of today’s selections—hitting store shelves this year—you will never again say simply, “Pass the salt.”
Can You Say “Açai” (AH-sigh-EE)? First reported on in our Appetizers column last year, this health berry from the Amazon is now showing up in a sorbet called Belizza Açai, manufactured by Caffè Classico of Concord, California.
The Final Rub. Barbeque rubs and other exotic spice mixes are all the rage now: New flavors introduced at the show included Australian Outback Mint, Lemon Brown Sugar, Dessert Rub and Iced Tea Rub.