More 2020 Food Trends Revealed at Fancy Food Show
It's (almost) all about CBD and keto.
Images: Kristan Lawson
Showcasing some 1,400 international brands and 80,000 products, the Specialty Food Association's winter Fancy Food Show — held last week in San Francisco — featured East Bay favorites such as Oakland's Blue Bottle, Peerless Coffee, Renewal Mill, Numi Organic Tea, Crunchy Foods, Manicaretti, KL Keller, Mister Espresso, and Wooden Table Baking; Berkeley's La Tourangelle, Eclipse Foods, and Belfiore Cheese; Kensington's Semifreddi's; Richmond's International Delicacies; Hayward's US Boba Company and Sugar Bowl Bakery; Livermore's DSD Merchandisers; and Alameda's deceptively named San Francisco Salt Co. Is this a food-crafting capital or what?!
But familiar faces were way outnumbered by such far-from-home outfits as Singapore's Star Chew, makers of Brainless Shrimp Cheek chips; Vienna's Liv'On Services, makers of soft savory foie gras, Greek-salad, and shrimp-carpaccio lollipops; Reykjavik's Omnom Chocolate, makers of coal-colored, brewer-fueled, bean-to-bar Black n' Burnt Barley; Amman's Al Nejmah, makers of fruity, nutty, honeyed, almost-too-pretty-to-eat sweets; and Oregon's TMK Creamery, makers of the world's only whey-based vodka, aka "Cowcohol."
The Fancy Food Show always predicts emerging trends — such as, in recent years, the stratospheric rise of habaneros, kombucha, and cold brew.
A big 2020 trend is CBD — as in Cannabissimo Coffee and Marley Mellow Mood tea.
Another is plant-basedness — as in Sproud Pea Milk and Tanaka Shoku tofu jerky.
Also huge are keto-diet desserts such as Kiss My Keto candy bars and Curly Girlz nut brittle, mainly sweetened with stevia, xylitol, or erythritol.
Cool backstories abounded.
Judy Tan grew up watching her grandmother infuse fresh fruit in rice vinegar; her Oakland company Purely now crafts artisanal drinking vinegars and sparkling probiotic tonics.
UC Berkeley alum Marghana Sharq helped Afghani opium farmers switch crops and grow saffron instead. A portion of her profits from Divine Healing Saffron benefit victims of abuse.
Another cool takeaway could be classified as Provocative Produce — such as Oregon hazelnuts; Amlu argan-nut butter; vine-dried Mojave Gold raisins; Trinity Fruit Company's dried pomegranate seeds (extracted not torturously by hand but painlessly by Israeli-made machines); unique California-grown Avocado-Leaf Tea; and tasty, toasty, teeny-tiny Canadian camelina seeds.
Random standouts include:
• Goji Spirit Organic Chutney: Greek-grown (who knew?) goji berries star in this silky, tangy, curcuma-powered spread.
• A-Sha Dry Noodles: chewy, authentically sauced, no-MSG instant ramen that's ready in mere minutes but results from a careful fifteen-hour crafting process.
• Spēka: Sweet/savory/satisfying chocolate- and caramel-coated cottage-cheese bars might be the next big Latvian-born thing.
• Sultan Drinks: Ancient ingredients such as figs, dates, black seed, royal jelly, ginger, and mint merge with modern technology to create canned carbonated sumptuosity.