From non-alcoholic cocktails to low-carb snacks, this summer’s Fancy Food Show focused on health

By Rieva Lesonsky

Three main themes dominated the Summer Fancy Food Show held earlier this month in New York City, according to the Innovation Group from JWT Intelligence—health, novel ingredients and multifunctional products.

Last year we told you maple was the flavor of the fall, and this year its versatility is being highlighted. The newsletter cited one of the exhibitors, Runamok Maple, featuring the many applications of maple syrup from “enhancing cocktails to flavoring coffee and sauces.”

Speaking of alcohol, Healthonism—the concept of healthier alcoholic drinks and mixers, and events such as festivals and concerts that combine healthy activities with indulgence and alcohol—is on the rise. The Innovation Group reports that healthy mixers were a “key trend” at the show, as were alcohol-flavored non-alcoholic beverages, such as Peach Grigio Enriched Water. (They previously reported on this “Trendy Teetotalism” in their Future 100 report.)

Low carb diets are still popular, and this year’s “hot” carb substitute is cauliflower. Spotted at the show were cauliflower-based crackers, pretzels, and veggie tots. I’ve already seen restaurants touting their low-carb, gluten-free cauliflower-crusted pizza.

The Innovation Group reported there were several “breakout ingredients,” including:

  • Ghee, which is part of the comeback of healthy fats. Traditionally used in Indian cuisine, ghee is clarified butter and is being used as a “rich, low-lactose butter substitute.”
  • Chickpeas were positioned as a healthier substitute for salty snack food and were also being used as dessert toppings. One company was selling “protein-packed, gluten-free chickpea pasta,” while another touted its product as a peanut butter alternative.
  • Jalapeños, which have been hot (literally) for the last several years, are now being used to “add heat and a novel twist” to traditional beverages, such as this Jalapeño-Kiwi-Cucumber Kombucha.


Cauliflower Pizza stock photo by RoJo Images/Shutterstock