Spring is a fun time for foodies. Major food shows are held such as the Sweets & Snacks Expo, National Restaurant Association Conference, and the Fancy Food Show. After all these shows, there are always new food trends that emerge, and this year’s food buzz has not disappointed us!
Here are some of the reported trends in the Food Industry:
Artisan Donuts are hot in the influential California food culture, and heating up in Chicago and New York City. These are not your basic glazed versus powered or jelly filled, these donuts include Apricot and Sour Cream, Country Ham and Eggs, Vegan Pistachio with Raspberry Hibiscus, and Cointreau Crème Brulee.
The hottest new flavors to hit the foodie scene include those that draw inspiration from breakfast staples, exotic fruits and nostalgic treats. Some of the top flavors to inspire new confections are maple syrup, bacon, blueberry muffins, Meyer lemon, blood orange, S’mores and birthday cake.
Tea is timely! Especially artisanal loose teas and flavored ice teas. In addition to new flavors (cinnamon toast, for example) there are new innovations in caffeine levels, such as tea with higher caffeine levels than coffee.
Snacks are hot, and leading the pack are customized, or some assembly required. Lots of new offerings where you have to make a portion of it yourself, whether this is dipping it, spreading it, or decorating it.
Olive oil has been in the limelight at food shows for quite some time. What is changing is how sophisticated it is becoming. Olive oil has slight varieties in flavors, how it is pressed and processed, and regional variations. Bay Area Biztalk says, “Olive oil is almost as complex as wine.”
Chocolate is as popular as ever. The demand is up and the recent crop of cocoa was excellent. Some new flavors reported include Kaitaia Fire Chili Pepper Spice, Strawberry Waffle, and Butter Toasted.
While we celebrate all things food, we recognize that there are some basic requirements of a successful business food gift. Trends come and go but the basic tenets of a good business food gift remain the same.
Quality, familiarity, and great reputation trumps the newest food trend every time!
Familiarity. If a company or individual is giving a gift to a large group of people, they want to give something with which they are familiar. There is the fear of not knowing how a particular taste or product is received. They want to make sure that the gift they are giving is a familiar food, something that they can be sure people will like. You can’t survey in advance what your recipients like, so it is best to go with something tried and true.
Reputation. English toffee, pecan turtles, and chocolate truffles all have a great reputation and everyone knows what they are. A business can be confident in how well these foods will be received.
Quality. Of course, we, at Maple Ridge Farms make sure our food gifts are of the highest quality, whether it’s the richness of our handmade chocolates, the crunchy freshness of our roasted nuts, or the exceptional flavor of our smoked meats. We’ve built our reputation on high standards of excellence. All our gifts are packaged fresh to order!
A trend might be just that a trend not, necessarily a best seller. Take the bacon craze. It was a big media hype, but has not become mainline, something the average person has tried. Quality, familiarity, and great reputation trumps the newest craze every time!
What are your favorite new food trends?