5 New Trends You’re About to Start Seeing at Your Local Grocery Store
Going to the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco is one of the events I look forward to most in cold, gray January. Because I want to see the latest and greatest in the world of food, I always walk down every single aisle of the immense convention center, scouting out what’s new and interesting among the more than 80,000 food and beverage items being showcased. This year, I put on a comfortable pair of walking shoes, stowed a water bottle in my bag (needed to stay hydrated!), tasted countless samples, and found five trends that you’ll probably see in grocery stores near you very soon.
1. Oat milk in everything
I’ve fully embraced the deliciousness of oat milk in my morning coffee, but not surprisingly, there’s been a rush to incorporate this non-dairy alternative in other ways. Companies are now using oat milk in their “ice cream” offerings (there’s Planet Oat’s Cookies and Cream flavor and Double Rainbow’s PB&J). I also liked Endangered Species’ Oat Milk Dark Chocolate Bars, which come in plain, sea salt and almonds, and my favorite, rice crisp, which tastes like a grown-up Nestlé Crunch bar.
Buy: OATzarella Organic Original Mini Cheese Wheels, $24 for two 6-ounce boxes
2. Butternut squash instead of cauliflower
While cauliflower still had a strong presence at this year’s show, I noticed another vegetable starting to creep in: butternut squash. I saw Pizzeria Fasce’s orange-hued pizza crust, butternut squash crackers and pretzels (a snack by From The Ground Up), and more. Keep an eye out for this hard squash where you’ve been normally seeing cauliflower.
Buy: From the Ground Up Butternut Squash Crackers, $23 for six four-ounce boxes
3. Single-serve pour-over coffee pouches
Pour-over coffee is getting quite the attention. Copper Cow Coffee hit the market a few years ago with single-serving pour-over pouches (complete with condensed milk packets!) and now the brand has a decaf latte. And Kuju Coffee offers single origin coffees and a variety of roasts — and you don’t need anything besides a mug and hot water to brew a cup. I expect to see lots more brands jump on this pour-over pouch trend.
4. Flavored cheeses
I’m not sure if I was wise or foolish to start the show in the cheese section (where I tasted way too many samples), but one trend was abundantly clear: flavored cheeses are everywhere and here to stay. In just the cheddar category alone, there were sweet-spicy versions like cherry chipotle and mango fire, as well as more traditional pairings like bacon-cheddar. Cello had a rainbow-hued selection of cheeses spiked with harissa, bergamot and hibiscus, and more.
5. A new take on chips
Snacks are usually one of the biggest categories at Fancy Food, and I loved the unexpected foods being turned into chips this year. Thinly sliced lotus roots in chip form from Good Roots were extra crunchy and earthy in contrast to the artichoke chips from Cynara, which were were small and delicate.
Buy: Tia Lupita Cactus and Cassava Totopos, $6 for five ounces
Have you started noticing these trends around already? Which one are you most excited about?