US food trends

What’s trending?

February 28, 2017

Heather Findori and Allison Hardesty, DFMi key account managers, share their insights from the Winter Fancy Food Show as they spot trends hitting the US market.

Our airline customers always ask us about the latest trends and understand the importance of listening to the trends and having more options available for their savvy passengers.

The Winter Fancy Food Show is the largest specialty food trade event on the west coast with over 80,000 products on display from 1,400 companies. While we were there we quickly recognised the trends that are here to stay are: transparency, clean labels, short ingredient lists and healthy fats to name a few.

Consumers want food with cleaner ingredients, minimally processed, but still packing a punch with flavour! Here are a few other trends we spotted:

Japanese Cuisine

Make way for miso, mochi and matcha as Americans dig deeper into Japanese culture and cuisine. The show featured a range of gluten-free ramen noodles and shirataki, a Japanese noodle substitute made from an Asian yam.

Cauli Power

Cauliflower cropped up as a low-carb stand-in for grains in a handful of new products showcased at the show. The cruciferous vegetables were featured in products such as cauliflower rice, gluten-free pizza crust and cauliflower sandwich thins.

Clean baking 

New baking products from specialty food manufacturers touted the use of clean and allergen-free ingredients. The items included food colourings and sprinkles made with simple plant-based ingredients, organic frostings made with clean ingredients, gluten-free baking mixes made with real food and even packaging made with environmentally-friendly vegetable inks.

Wellness beverages 

Apple cider vinegar, the tart tonic associated with a host of health benefits, was featured in several new beverages on display at the show. Another trending ingredient, turmeric, continued to take over the tea category.

Mango Mania

Mango was represented in new product development across all categories.The tropical fruit appeared in sweet and savoury foods and beverages such as chocolate bars, frozen entrees, hummus, dairy-free almond milks and kefirs.

Peppercorn popping up

Peppercorn is rising in popularity as a flavour in new snacks and condiments such as beef jerky, potato crisps and barbeque sauces.

Frozen and functional

The frozen dessert category was filled with healthy treats packing nutritional benefits. A few highlights were ice cream containing probiotics and antioxidants and superfood ice treats providing plant-based protein from hemp seed power.