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2014 Fancy Food Show reveals new food trends for the coming year

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The 2014 Golden Globes featured so many exciting, talked-around-the-water-cooler fashion trends last week that it makes you wonder if it’s just coincidence or is it all pre-ordained and some people just didn’t get the memo? The leading trend was striking blood-red gowns, followed by dramatic emerald green stunners, pale but bejeweled dresses and austere monochromatic numbers.

You could say the same thing about the 39th Winter Fancy Food Show held at San Francisco’s Moscone Center that just finished its three-day run. Featuring over 80,000 specialty foods and beverage products from the U.S. and 35+ countries, I’m always mystified that, like the Golden Globes, there is always some clear cut trends leading the way.

This year’s trend setters included sweet and savory Sriracha products, lightly sugared sodas in a myriad of grown-up flavors, seasoned seaweed or kale chips, a flurry of everything coconut-from toasted chips to pulpy waters, everything is still coming up bacon, hummus is now being made from fava, edamame or lentils instead of garbanzo beans, salty caramel ice cream and pop-corn, lots of jerky, a renaissance of old-fashioned shrubs (flavored vinegar drinks) and gluten-free products ad nauseam.

Some products that made my taste buds sit up and take notice included:

  • Spindrift spritely 10-calorie raspberry and lime seltzer
  • Dang Toasted Coconut Chips, a light and crispy snack that provides loads of energy.
  • Cornaby’s Low Sugar Jam in a Jiffy- let’s you add your own fresh fruit to make jam your way in under five minutes.
  • Polska Foods organic Spinach & Feta whole wheat pierogi
  • Truffled Tiger-Eye Whitefish Caviar by Tsar Nicoulai Caviar- a perfect pairing
  • An exotic cucumber and mint soda by Silk Road Soda that I would love to introduce to a shot of Stoli
  • “Skinny, Noisy, Crispy, Crunchy Crackers” brought to you by Mill Valley’s own, Beth’s Community Kitchen
  • I‘m a long-time fan of Savory Choice all natural, broth concentrates, but they knocked it out of the ball park with their authentic, traditionally-spiced, Pho flavor
  • As far as I’m concerned, Skillet Bacon Jam single-handedly started the bacon trend, when they launched their tin of spreadable, sweet & smoky bacon spread. But their new fennel and black pepper flavor show it is possible to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.
  • Move over potato chips, Fruit N’Nut crisps are dying to kick your butt, and I think that the Apricot Ginger flavor just might be able to pull it off.
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