If you own a restaurant, specialty food business or even a grocery store, you’ll want to know about some of the food trends spotted at the Fancy Food Show earlier this year. PizzaMarketplace recently reported on some trends that small business owners can make their own:
Gluten-free foods: Gluten-free product offerings were plentiful at the show, and today’s gluten-free products taste better than those of years past. One reason gluten-free is a growth industry is that people with Celiac disease (an allergy to wheat-based products) have a lifelong reason to commit to a gluten-free diet, so this is a trend with staying power. Of course, plenty of other consumers are going gluten-free either to show support for family members who need to, or because they believe it helps with weight loss, bloating or other health and beauty issues.
Coconut: Coconut is a hot ingredient in all types of food (including on pizza!). Think of how you can use coconut milk in alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages, in sauces and in desserts. Of course, traditional coconut also has a role in menu items.
Vegetable and fruit oils: Gourmet and flavored olive oils have shown their staying power and have even inspired olive-oil-only stores. Now, the passion for oils is expanding to include fruit and vegetable oils such as walnut oil, truffle oil, pumpkin seed, chili oil, cherry pit oil or tomato seed oil.
Beer as an ingredient: Craft beers are here to stay, and the latest iteration is using microbrews as ingredients in recipes. Beer Flats Crackers (in porter and pilsner flavors), beer candy and even beer jelly were spotted at the Fancy Food Show. In addition to prepared, packaged foods, restaurant owners can also feature meats cooked in beer, breads made with beer or beer-infused sauces. Of course, don’t forget to offer suggestions for pairing beers with foods on your menu or providing a beer tasting menu.
Salty and sweet combinations: Sea salt caramels, chocolate with bacon—salty-sweet combinations continue to be popular. Think about new ways you could mix salty and sweet flavors to break customers out of their familiar flavor combinations.
Image by Flickr user Sing Chan (Creative Commons)