The 61st annual show in New York City signaled upcoming food trends, including wine-spiked ice cream, maple water, and “sexy” snacks.
Chips made out of broccoli, chickpeas and kale, wine-spiked ice cream and popcorn that isn’t fully popped are just a few of the products discovered by Candice Choi of Associated Press at the 61st annual Fancy Food Show at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City . Many of these produts have limited distribution and aren’t easy to find, but could signal coming trends.
“It’s like a secret wonderland of food,” said Louise Kramer, a spokeswoman for the Specialty Food Association, the trade group that puts on the show. The expo, which featured more than 100,000 products, is not open to the public, the AP reported.
AP shared five potential foods of the future exhibitors show at the Fancy Food Show:
Wine Ice Cream: Mercer’s, a dairy in upstate New York, was offering tastes of its “wine ice cream,” which has up to 5 percent alcohol. The ice creams come in eight flavors including “Strawberry Sparkling” and “Chocolate Cabernet.”
Roxaina Hurlburt, a co-owner of Mercer’s, said the dairy has been making traditional ice cream for 60 years and started packaging the wine ice cream in 2008. She said it’s sold online and in a couple of hundred locations around the country, including places like casinos and wineries, the AP reported.
Maple Water: Drink Maple, based in Concord, Massachusetts, sells bottles of maple water it says is tapped from maple trees.
The clear liquid, that is usually boiled down into maple syrup, has the consistency of water and a lightly sweetened taste. A 12-ounce bottle is labeled as having 30 calories and 7 grams of sugar. The product also seems to hit on all the prevailing dietary trends: the company’s website notes maple water is “low calorie, gluten-free, dairy-free and non-GMO.”
The company says the maple water is sold in about 800 stores throughout the Northeast, including select Whole Foods and small health food stores, the AP reported.
“Sexy” Snacks: Holding a bag of chips with the word “Sexy” in big letters can cure shyness. At least that’s what Sexy snacks founder Robert Ehrlich told visitors to his booth.
“When you hold a bag, you are sort of empowering yourself,” he said.
The most notable aspects of the snacks may be the name and Ehrlich, whose claim to fame is his founding of Pirate’s Booty. Ehrlich says the snacks are a way for people to brand themselves, as they might with sneakers or handbags. The company, based in Sea Cliff, N.Y., said its products are sold in about 1,500 locations, the AP reported.
Half-Popped Kernels: HalfPops and Pop’d Kerns offer the snacks in different flavors, with a one-ounce serving containing between 130 and 160 calories, depending on the flavor.
HalfPops, based in Bellevue, Washington, says it uses a proprietary process to cook the kernels. Six-ounce bags of HalfPops are available online and at about 2,000 locations, including some Whole Foods and Wegman’s, said Mike Watts, the company’s vice president of marketing, the AP reported.
Broccoli Bites: A prevalent theme at the expo was snacks made from unusual ingredients: such as bags of roasted chickpeas, cheese puffs made out of beans, and chips made out of seaweed.
Another example of snacks from unusual ingredients was Broccoli Bites from Rhythm Foods. Before they’re dehydrated, the broccoli is tossed in a dressing made with seeds, herbs and spices to add flavor and prevent crumbling. Each 1.5-ounce bag has 150 calories, the AP reported.
Even though kale has surged in popularity in recent years, Rhythm Foods CEO Scott Jensen said he expects the broccoli snacks to be a lot easier to explain and sell to buyers.
And he’s already working the next vegetable snack: cauliflower.