Food shows are the place to spot trends, and that’s just what we did last week. We traveled to San Francisco and undoubtedly ate our way through the Winter Fancy Foods, surrounded by innovators that are plowing the future of our industry.
Here’s what captured our attention:
1. Hot Sauce… Elevated
While hot sauce has been a staple condiment for years, now it’s taking a step in the premium direction to elevate your palette. Gourmet hot sauce is spicing up the shelves (pun intended) with brands like Mama O’s and Truff to take your scrambled eggs to the next level. According to The Latest Trends in Flavors and Spices (Forbes, 2019), consumers are looking for more ways to experiment with spice and heat, and dipping sauces are a simple way to do just that. If you can’t get enough of sriracha, you’re going to want to check out Mama O’s Kimchi, Kimchi Paste, and DIY Kimchi Kits. Mama O’s is offered in a variety of SKUs, including vegan, for those with different heat preferences. On Oprah’s favorite things of 2019, and ours of 2020, Truff is a major brand to look out for with their elegant packaging and bold flavors.
2. Oat Milk on Top
Step aside almonds, oat milk is taking over the game. Ever since consumers have moved away from dairy and more towards milk alternatives, almond milk was one of the top dogs. However, within the past year or so, consumers have become much more conscious of sustainability and we now know that almond milk production may not be the best for the environment. Many new players have entered the dairy-free space, but oak milk has been around for quite some time. The Swedish brand Oatly is the first in the world to do oat milk, developed by their founder Rickard Öste in 1990. Today they boast a very solid brand image with an even better product to back it. Other brands, like Califia Farms, have started to move into the space and have developed their own product lines, including coffee creamers.
3. Guilt-Free Frozen Desserts
We’re familiar with better-for-you ice cream, but this year we can anticipate more brands moving towards dairy-free. Van Leeuwen began in 2008 out of an ice cream truck in NYC, and they’ve since expanded to a full product line of their vegan pints. They offer delicious, oat milk-based pints in dozens of flavors that can all be enjoyed totally guilt-free. Dream Pops is another game-changing brand, with products that are dairy, gluten, and soy free. With delicious and unique flavors like Vanilla Matcha and Coconut Latte, these plant-based frozen desserts are packed with superfoods and are all under 100 calories.
4. A Sweet Date
While these 2020 favorites may not seem like a shock to some, our final favorite may come as a bit of a surprise. With several nutritional benefits such as fiber and antioxidants, dates are not only good but good for you. This sweet fruit is readily available for snacking, with brands like Joolies offering organic dates right from their California family farm. Dates are also being used in formats such as pastes and syrup. Positioned as a sugar alternative, Just Date Syrup is another California brand to watch out for.