This year's Fancy Food Show was massive, with more than 2550 exhibitors filling the Javits Center. It can be overwhelming, but we put in the legwork and surfaced some emerging trends and cool products that we thought deserve special attention.
Year of the Legume?
With their high levels of protein, gluten-free pedigree, and remarkable versatility, legumes were everywhere this year. Lentils and beans appeared in unexpected foods, from RW Garcia's lentil tortilla chips to Pure Genius' vegan brownies made with beans. Brami touted the benefits of the lupini bean, which they say offers the most protein per calorie of any plant on Earth. And The Chaat Co. even included dried lentil puffs with their savory yogurts for an added crunch.
The star here, though, was unquestionably the chickpea. Dried chickpeas are big for snacking, with The Good Bean offering flavors like Chili Lime. Delighted By Hummus showed off dessert hummuses in flavors like snickerdoodle and brownie batter. Maya Kaimal brought salted chickpea chips. And Sir Kensington showed Fabanaise, a vegan mayo made with aquafaba - a whipped egg substitute made with chickpea water.
Beyond Wheat Flour
This year, we saw a variety of products made with flours milled from unorthodox ingredients, like Siete's almond flour tortillas, quinoa crisps from Kiddylicious, and baked lentil chips from Saffron Road. Smart Flour Foods even makes pizzas with crusts made from ancient grains - in this case, amaranth, teff and sorghum. As gluten-free continues to permeate the mainstream, expect to see brands getting creative with their baking.
The Sea Vegetable Trend Deepens
Nori strips have hit the mainstream, and brands are exploring new ways to incorporate seaweed into snacking - like GimMe's tortilla-style seaweed chips in flavors like Sriracha and Wasabi, and Seasnax' chip-like seaweed Chompers.
Some of our favorite finds: