Fancy Foods Show

I received some complimentary samples for this post, but was not compensated for it. All opinions are my own.

This Sunday kicks off the 2019 Fancy Food Show New York  and I’m so excited.  This trade event showcases new food concepts, emerging food trends, established brands and their latest offerings and brings together wholesalers, retailers, restaurant suppliers and food crafters with their amazing innovations. This is my second year attending the Summer Fancy Foods Show but before I step off the plane at LaGuardia, I wanted to give you a sneak peak at just a few of the more than 200,000 food products we’ll be seeing (and tasting) at the show. 

What Are “Specialty Foods”?

Specialty Foods are considered “unique and high-value food items made in small quantities from high-quality ingredients”. By the numbers…specialty food sales outpaces regular retail food sales 10.3% vs. 3.1% and with the creative, thoughtful, and focused foodstuffs being introduced, it’s no wonder why.

Top Five Categories – Retail Sales

  • Cheese and Plant-Based Cheese
  • Frozen, Refrigerated Meat, Poultry, Seafood
  • Chips, Pretzels, Snacks
  • Non-Ready-To-Drink Coffee and Hot Cocoa
  • Bread and Baked Goods

Top Five Food Trend Categories with Highest Growth

  • Refrigerated Plant-Based Meat Alternatives – it’s not just tofu anymore…
  • Rice Cakes — who’d a thought???
  • Frozen Plant-Based Meat Alternatives
  • Water – yes… water!
  • Refrigerated Ready-To-Drink Tea and Coffee
  • Plant-based is going strong.
  • Specialty beverages are increasingly a force in the market.
  • Reduced packaging and food waste are hot points.

This article highlights only a sliver of the hundreds of thousands of foodstuffs offered at the show, however, I was able to get advance samples of a few of them, and I’m excited to share my tasters reviews with you. Most of these products are available either in local markets or via their websites (links included are not affiliate links).

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Fancy Food Show New York – Products

Package of California Cherries and Summer Blend dried fruits from Traina.

In my correspondences with various exhibitors over the past few weeks, it’s obvious that the “healthy snacking” category is huge. With everything from protein bars, shakes and powders to organic dried fruit and vegetable based crackers, pretzels, puffs and more. It’s obvious, we’re craving healthier options to munch.

dried cherries and diced stone fruit in a bowl -- from Fruit-ons appearing at the Fancy Foods Show New York.

Dried Fruits

This year, from Traina, we received Sun-Dried California Cherries as well as their Summer Blend of peaches, plums and nectarines. With no added sugar, these fruit bites are a simultaneously tart and sweet. Our tasters enjoyed both, but for different reasons. The dried cherries were big, soft and plump. They would be good in a hot cereal breakfast or served with pork, beef  or lamb. Obviously they make a great snack as well.

The Summer Blend is a fine dice of chewy sweet stone fruit and was really delicious in this combination. This blend is great for cooking, and could easily be stirred into oatmeal, muffins or quick breads, added to granola for an instant trail mix.

Dried Mango Cheeks and Strips from Natierra.

Dried Mangoes

Natierra, SuperFoods with Soul, shipped us a host of organic dried and freeze dried fruit.

In the dried fruit category, tasters sampled Mango Cheeks and Mango Strips. The cheeks (from either side of the pit) were large, moist and chewy leathers that were simultaneously tart and sweet. Wonderful for snacking the cheeks were the favorite among my tasters. The mango strips were thinner, chewier and less moist, but equally tasty. These would make an excellent healthy lunchbox treat or afternoon snack.

Freeze Dried Fruit from Natierra in their packages.

Freeze Dried Fruits

Also from Natierra , their freeze dried fruits were a surprising twist in the healthy snacking category. Light, airy and crisp each of the represented fruits tasted like their whole food counterpart, but the texture was so different that it elicited surprised looks from our tasters. I was reminded of the novelty of “astronaut ice cream” from when I was a kid with almost a dried-foam-like mouthfeel.

photo collage of freeze dried fruit from Natierra, displaying at the Summer Fancy Foods Show

The granny smith apple and banana were the overwhelming favorites among tasters, as they really engendered the flavor of the fruit. Strawberry-Banana rounded out the top 3 faves. Also included were Blueberry, Strawberry and Mango.

Cauliflower and Chia seed tortilla chips via From The Ground Up.

From The Ground Upfamiliar snacks with a plant-based twist, sent a wide variety of vegetable based snacking items. Made from things like cauliflower and butternut squash, their line of chips, pretzels and star-shaped crackers kept our tasters happily munching trying to discern their favorites and what they liked best about each one. These tortilla chips, made with cassava, cauliflower and chia seeds were a hit for their light, uber-crispy crunch and mild vegetable back notes.

Nacho Cheese flavored tortilla chips in a bowl.

However, tasters were split on which they preferred.  The Sea Salt variety seemed to be the favorite among the lady testers, but Nacho cheese flavored reminded the male testers of  another nacho flavored tortilla chipwhich they clearly enjoyed.

Butternut squash pretzels in a bowl.

From The Ground Up also sent a few varieties of pretzels, made from cassava and butternut squash.  The vegetable was more noticeable in these snacks, but in a good way.

Stick pretzels made from butternut squash are another food product at the Fancy Foods Show New York.

Tasters commented on how crunchy they were — like REALLY crunchy.  They go great with a cold beverage, but our crew wanted something to dip them in… perhaps this Tuscan white bean dip or smoked salmon dip would be good.

Cauliflower Stars in cheddar cheese flavor in a wooden bowl.

Another light, crispy snacking item from From The Ground Up, is made from cauliflower, were their trio of  Stars crackers. Tiny little nibbles that you can eat by the handful. Cheddar and Pizza flavored were the overwhelming favorites, but the Sea Salt variety was good as well.

Cauliflower Stalks by From The Ground Up are displayed in a wooden bowl.

There is just something about these Cauliflower Stalks, though, that had everyone coming back for. Light and crunchy, these straws had a texture like cheese puffs, but with a hollow interior. These didn’t last long. Several tasters were commenting that they’d be looking for these snacks at their local markets soon. You should too.

Plant-Based Milks

Milkadamia is the only plant-based milk brand that uses pure raw macadamia nut oil to produce a creamy, Omega-7 infused line of milks and creamers. Milkadamia is owned by Jindilli Farms, the largest producer of raw macadamia nut oil in the world. The farm is ground zero for employing (and espousing) regenerative farming practices. Their creamy macadamia butter will be introduced into the market this fall.

This is a big category at the Summer Fancy Foods Show, including everything from spices and rubs to sauces, syrups and spreads.

From Natierra, Himalayan Pink Sea Salt will be showcased at the Summer Fancy Food Show.

Also from Natierra, Himalayan Pink Salt Flakes. These beautiful flakes are crunchy, light and salty (obviously). Tasters noted that their irregular flakes and bits added texture and  clean salt flavor to the foods it seasoned. A great finishing salt for many dishes, this one will take a grilled steak to the next level.

Three varieties of New Leaf Tree Syrups.

New Leaf Tree Syrups offer certified organic syrups from the widest array of tree species.  These unique elixirs would add new dimensions to cocktails, desserts and a variety of savory dishes, not to mention your morning flapjacks. Though we haven’t gotten a chance to sample these yet, we’re looking forward to trying them at the show.

Nancy Wekselbaum founded The Gracious Gourmet in late 2006 using her own recipes crafted from a love of exceptional food and inspired by many personal and professional travels around the globe. Hand-crafted pestos, chutneys, tapenade and spreads are unique and innovative and Nancy’s new Empresa line of artisanal jams is truly exceptional.

artisanal jams from summer fancy foods show

Gracious Gourmet’s Empresa Jams

  • Blueberry Lemon Thyme Jam
  • Apple Sweet Cherry Jam
  • Balsamic Fig Jam
  • Chile Mango Lime Jam
  • Spicy Red Pepper Jelly

These jams and jellies are simply phenomenal. Our tasters loved the Chile Mango Lime Jam and the Blueberry Lemon Thyme, which was very blueberry forward with a nice tart finish.  The Balsamic Fig would be delicious with goat cheese on a crostini with a cocktail and the spicy red pepper straddles the line between sweet and heat. Make sure you have a jar handy for your next cheese board.

Old Arthur's Barabecue Sauces and Rubs, are hot food trends showcased at the Summer Fancy Foods Show

With a fascinating history over 100 years in the making, Old Arthur’s Barbecue Sauces and Rubs have been passed down through five generations of the Watts family and have only recently been made commercially available.  Want to see what all the fuss is about? Watch the video.

Barbecue Sauces

  • Kewanee Red BBQ Sauce, Original – Rich and tangy, for meats, poultry and fish.
  • Kewanee Red BBQ Sauce, Hot & Spicy – Bold and tasty, with extra kick.

Barbecue Spice Rubs

  • Bootleg Rub – With bourbon, brown sugar and coffee, for steaks and chops.
  • Crossroads Rub – A complex, seasoned salt with heat, for meats and more.
  • Gold Dust Rub – Adds fire-roasted flavor to meats and grilled veggies. Sugar free.
  • Smokestack BBQ Rub – Lends sweet, smoky, K.C. BBQ flavor to meats and poultry.
  • Righteous Poultry Rub – With hickory, spices and classic poultry herbs.
  • Stockyard Steak – Brings out the best in steak, burger and brisket.

Mutti®, Italy’s #1 tomato brand, and one of the fastest growing brands in the U.S., recently launched its newest line, Mutti® Sauces for Pizza. Developed with high quality ingredients and distinct flavor profiles, the sauces pay tribute to three Italian cities famous for their distinct style of pizzaMutti® Sauces for Pizza – Positano (with Garlic & Oregano), Mutti® Sauces for Pizza – Napoli (with Fresh Basil & Extra Virgin Olive Oil) and Mutti® Sauces for Pizza – Parma (with Parmigiano Reggiano). The regionally inspired recipes allow anyone to easily create delicious and authentic pizzas in the comfort of their home using their creativity and sense for culinary adventure.

It’s not easy planning meals when you’re also trying to wrangle the kids, juggle the job and take care of the laundry. At the Summer Fancy Foods Show, food brands are coming to the aid of harried Moms and Dads everywhere, including these offerings from Zen of Slow Cooking.

three different spice packets from Zen of Slow Cooking.

For The Semi Home-Cook

Taking advantage of popular slow cookers and pressure cookers, Zen of Slow Cooking’s  myriad line of  sauces and spice blends use fresh proteins and veg to get a flavorful meal on the table with less than 10 minutes of hands on prep.  (If this keeps up, I won’t need this website).


Indian Dal spice packet from Zen of Slow Cooking.

Zen of Slow Cooking sent 4  multi-cooker spice packets (from a larger selection) for my tasters to sample.  The promise of these spice blends is to help home cooks get a wholesome, one pot dinner on the table with a minimum of hands-on prep (7-9 minutes in most cases).  Utilizing the pressure cookers, that are so popular now, a complete meal can be on the table in about half an hour. Conversely,  use a slow cooker and have your dinner ready as soon as you walk in the door.

Southwest Fiesta Multi Cooker spice packet standing in front of a dutch oven.

The packets give clear instructions for both pressure cooker (Instant Pot) and slow cooker methods, but any competent home cook could also make these dishes in a traditional dutch oven on the stove using the Zen spice blends.

More new food trends: Southwestern chicken soup made from Zen Of Slow Cooking Spice Packet.

I was only able to make one of the spice packet meals prior to the show, but it was a good one –the Southwest Fiesta Multi Cooker spice packet called for:

  • Fresh Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts,
  • Canned Black Beans
  • Canned Tomatoes,
  • Fresh Onion
  • Fresh Red Bell Pepper
  • Chipotle Pepper in Adobo Sauce
  • I also added a can of corn (because I had it on hand and thought it would be a good addition.)
  • Squeeze of Lime

After the soup had cooked for 6 minutes in the pressure cooker, I shredded the chicken breasts and added them back to the pot. Optional but worth-it toppings included crispy fried tortilla strips, fresh cilantro and sliced green onion.

Homemade Instant Pot Southwestern Chicken Soup with crispy tortilla strips. Zen of Slow cooking will be at the Fancy Foods Show New York.

This was a flavorful soup, chock full of delicious ingredients and a nice spice. Busy Moms will appreciate the convenience of a quick and easy dinner on a stressful Monday night. Tasters enjoyed the flavors in the Southwestern-style chicken soup, but commented that they’d like a thicker broth. My solution to that would be to stir in a tablespoon or so of cornmeal prior to cooking to add a bit more body. My tasters are looking forward to the next Zen meal.

Meat Alternatives

Fry Family Foods is now selling its products in the U.S., and its product line includes global plant-based favorites like traditional burgers, chicken-style burgers, rice, gluten-free nuggets and stir-fry strips along with products that would be new plant-based offerings like schnitzel, sausage rolls and prawns. Fry’s products have won blind taste tests against popular U.S. brands like Gardein, Beyond Meat and Quorn. They can be found in select retailers and can be delivered right to your door through  Fry Family Foods

A variety of chocolates from Andre's will be featured at the Summer Fancy Foods Show.

They don’t call this the Summer Fancy Foods Show for nothing… because so many of the exhibitors are sharing their high end, gourmet delights. From exquisite cheeses, salumi and hams to luxe chocolates from all over the world. Many have impeccable organic pedigrees and others come from a long family heritage of luxurious confections.

Luxe salted caramels from Andre's.

Sweet Treats From Summer Fancy Foods Show

Chocolate covered almonds from Andre's Suisse represents current food trends at the Fancy Foods Show New York.

We received a sampling of artisanal chocolates from Andre’s Confiserie Suisse and tasters were “wowed” both for the impressive presentation and for the creamy, rich, decadent offerings. The Milk and Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels (above) were soft, creamy and enrobed in a thin layer of melt-in-your-mouth chocolate. The sea salt was a delightful contrast to the sweet confection and still maintained some texture and crunch, which the tasters loved.

Never Enough Chocolate…

Andre’s Milk and dark chocolate covered almonds dusted in cocoa powder (dark chocolate) or powdered sugar (milk chocolate) were another standout. The crunchy, whole almonds are generously coated in premium chocolate. The milk chocolate almonds were sweeter and melted quicker on the tongue than the dark chocolate (as you’d expect) but there was no standout winner between the two.  Both were appreciated (and enjoyed) equally.

close up images of chocolate mint leaves by Andre's Suisse, another example of food trends at the Fancy Food Show New York.

For the mint lovers… Andre’s Chocolate Mint Leaves are sublime. Tasters weren’t quite sure what to expect until they bit into the shiny, dark chocolate shell and revealed a creamy white, minty center which melts and melds beautifully with the chocolate.

Silicone hot dog molds from Mobi Creations.

NewMetro Design has gone one step further with popular silicone bakeware. Their line of whimsical frankfurter molds include Shark Bites, Pigs In A Blanket, Corn Dogs and these adorable Hot Dog Bites.

Process of making hot dog bites with the Mobi silicone molds.-one of the new food trends at the show.

Using mini hot dogs (I used ‘Lil Smokies) and simple pancake batter, the molds transform the simple ingredients into fun little bite-sized snacks. Tasters loved the look of these hot dog bites (which looked just like mini hot dogs) and they went FAST.

Baked hot dog bites in the mold and on a plate. Mobi creations will be exhibiting at the fancy food show New York.

If you have kids, I guarantee this will be a favorite item, but these savory bites also received “oohs” and “aahs” from our adult samplers. These bite sized snacks make great party food and I’m sure you could come up with lots of fun flavor combinations.

mouthwatering pigs in a blanket will be at the Fancy Foods Show.

Want More? Check out last year’s Fancy Foods Show and see more new products at the 2019 show along with many of our favorite Food Trends and Food Finds.

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  1. Hey Lisa. Thanks for sharing all the information and images! Missed it this time. I had attended the event last year and it was great too. Love everything from the dried fruit category as well as the sweet treats! The mini hot dog pics you’ve shared are simply mouthwatering.

    1. It was a phenomenal show this year Mischelle!

  2. Lisa, great Fancy Food show post, love the hidden veggies in snacks and those mini hot dogs!!! Have a great time!

  3. I love attending food shows! Lots of great finds!

  4. Sara Welch says:

    Wow! So much good food, such little time! I will have to give some of these a try!

  5. Wow, the show in NY sounds great. I often go to the SF show, it is amazing how many fun new products there are.

  6. I’ve always wanted to attend the fancy foods show! Looks like so many great new products!

    1. I had a great time last year — looking forward to another good show!

  7. owwoou! what a palette of great products! I am really hungry right now! I would love to visit that show.