Sterling Street Team Report: SF Fancy Food Show
The SF Fancy Food Show is an annual Fancy Food extravaganza (this year it was an oatstravaganza)—three days, 1,400+ vendors, and samples galore. After tasting countless natural energy bars, talking to vendors from around the globe, and discussing the merits of various non-dairy cheese bases, we were happily full and overwhelmed by the number of exciting products hitting the shelves.
Top 5 Trends:
- 1. Natural is becoming tablestakes. Brands are stepping it up with compelling social good messaging. Check out This Saves Lives, Snacktavist Foods, and BobbySue’s Nuts (Taste to the Rescue) to see how this plays out across naming, packaging, and messaging.
- 2. The new natural is flavor-forward and playful. Gone are the days of stark beige packaging. The new natural is bold, proud, and delicious. Check out Pitaya’s proud pink, R.E.D.D.’s bold color blocking, Ziba’s gorgeous patterns, and Savorly’s playful packaging.
- 3. It’s all about Southern Flavor. From Pimento Cheese flavored kettle chips from Lillie Q’s to AR’s Hot Southern Honey, Southern flavors are hot.
- 4. Upcycling is setting a new bar for sustainable food. Check out Renewal Mill, which upcycles soybean pulp, a byproduct of soymilk production, into a gluten-free flour, and Avocado Leaf Tea, which uses the leaves that would normally be mulched to create avocado-flavored tea.
5. Oat products are here to stay. With Califia Farms and Blue Bottle jumping on board, oat cheeses coming to market, and an oat-based ice cream from Van Leewen, it seems that non-dairy oat products are sticking around.
Planning on attending the Fancy Food Show in the future? Here are our pro tips:
- Have a healthy, light breakfast before you go and be prepared to try lots of samples.
- Space out your exploration over several days—it can be overwhelming to try to get to everything in one go.
- Pack a water bottle and battery pack to keep you hydrated and powered throughout the day.
- Be prepared to have fun! From beautiful packaging to interesting ingredient trends, inspiration abounds.