With 180,000 foods and beverages from around the world in one place for three days, the Fancy Food Show is the perfect place to discover what trends and products will be the next big thing. At the recent Summer Show, July 10–12, in Washington, D.C., a group of food writers, myself included, assembled for a trendspotting panel and hit the aisles. Here are the top five food trends we found, plus some related products, that you can expect to see in stores soon.—Denise Purcell
1. Booze-Infused Foods
Wine-, beer- and alcohol-laced foods were everywhere at the show, in crackers, chocolates, snacks and even olives.
2. Cherries Blossom
Cherry is the “it” flavor of the moment, thanks in part to its antioxidant value. Nearly every food type, from teas to jams, was touting the fruit; in Bada Bing Cherries we found a natural makeover to replace that less-than-healthy childhood classic: the maraschino cherry.
3. DIY Kits
Assembly kits for baked foods and the like are forever popular with time-pressed home cooks. But there's a new batch of DIY kits that allow the adventurous a chance to make their own cheese, or even grow their own mushrooms.
4. Popcorn Popping Up
Among endless aisles of snacks at the Fancy Food Show, popcorn was a standout—whether mixed with chocolate as a sweet treat or in savory flavors such as wasabi, ginger or truffle.
5. Japanese-Inspired Eats
The exotic flavors of Japan are touching teas, cooking sauces and candy.
Bonnie Benwick, The Washington Post; Rachel Mount, O, The Oprah Magazine; Joan Nathan, author and contributor to The New York Times; Nycci Nellis, The List Are You On It, Foodie and the Beast Radio; Kara Nielsen, The Center for Culinary Development; Denise Purcell, Specialty Food Media/foodspring.com; Miri Rotkovitz, About.com; Nancy Wall Hopkins, Better Homes & Gardens; Diane Welland, food and nutrition writer, Relish, Clean Eating and other publications; Joe Yonan, The Washington Post