Regional African Flavors, Functional Foods Among Fancy Food Show Trends

Several global flavors, cuisines, and functional ingredients are prevalent heading into the Winter Fancy Food Show, which opens today at Moscone Center in San Francisco. Throughout the show, which runs until Tuesday, January 15, the SFA Trendspotter panel of buyers, chefs, food writers, and industry watchers will report daily on their official selections for Winter Show trends.

Here are some initial trends that are on the radar, with a few examples of each. More examples can be found throughout the exhibit halls.

Regional Cuisines of Africa, South Asia, and Latin America

Named by the SFA Trendspotter Panel as one of the top trends of 2019, the authentic regional ingredients and flavors of Africa, Latin America, and South Asia are on the radar at the Winter Fancy Food Show. Younger consumers like Millennials and Gen Z, particularly, drive this trend thanks to their adventurous palates and exposure to and interest in global cuisine from an early age.

Some related products on exhibit include Mama Kicks Berbere Sauce, a traditional Ethiopian spice blend; Woodland Foods Fonio Pilaf and Porridge, made with fonio, a type of millet seed cultivated in West Africa; Loisa Comida Real’s Organic ready-to-eat rice with Latin American Sazon; My Mom’s Mole, responsibly sourced refrigerated mole powder; Tanuk Inc.’s Meal Mantra Indian curry sauces made from heirloom recipes.

Functional Foods with Pre- and Probiotics

Gut health continues as a trend gaining awareness with consumers and producers are bringing more fermented beverages to market, led by probiotic-friendly kombucha. But probiotic and prebiotic interest isn’t limited to beverages—they are showing up as functional ingredients in several categories. Products at the show include: Alive and Well probiotic-rich olives with live active cultures; Clio Snacks probiotic-rich Greek yogurt bar; Hakouya probiotic miso dressing; Rowdy Bars prebiotic snack bars made with yacon root; and Slingshot Foods portable breakfast shot with chia, protein, and probiotics; and ZenBasil hydrated organic basil seed prebiotic drinks.

Diet-Specific Foods

The Ketogenetic approach of a high-fat, moderate-protein, low-carb diet has been growing in popularity, as has the Paleo diet. More products touting their Keto and Paleo diet friendliness—or actual certification—are expected to be prevalent at the Winter Show. Examples include: 4505 Meats Keto certified Chicharrones and Cracklins; Choffy Keto and Paleo friendly brewed chocolate drink made with roasted, ground cocoa beans; Keto Pint ketogenetic-approved ice cream with no sugar and fewer than 3g of carbs per serving; Miracle Noodle Keto, plant-based, grain-free, shirataki noodles; and Nutradried Food Moon Cheese high-protein snacks for carb-restricted diet like Keto.


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