By Wilbert Jones
As the food and beverage industry puts its new products on the shelves of grocery stores for 2018, most are making sure customers will have the choice of “not buying the same old soup, reheated again.” Flavors that are familiar to consumers are being added to products that have been around for decades.
Eliot’s Adult Nut Butters recently launched a line of nut butters made with global-flavored ingredients. Their product line includes a Garam Masala Peanut Butter, Expresso Nib Peanut Butter, Honey Chipotle Peanut Butter and a Chocolate Chili Almond Butter.
Manufacturer, Stonewall Kitchen has new line of specialty jams containing the ingredient bacon – Bourbon Bacon Jam, Maple Bacon Onion Jam, and Maple Bacon Aioli.
Many food experts believe the word specialty has replaced the word gourmet, which is now used to describe and sell products containing unique ingredients.
ALDI has a specialty product called Hot & Sweet Chili Jam used to enhance flavor on appetizers and hor d’oeuvres. Suggested usage includes spreading some over brie, camembert, or crème cheese or with a sliced baguette.
Keeping it Simple
For the past few years, the popular trend of city hotels and restaurant chefs keeping bee hives on top of their establishments has created a large range of honeys with unique, tasty flavors produced by urban bees. Soaps and lotions are also made. These bees have a lower mortality rate and a higher honey yield than bees in rural areas.
Sweet Beginnings, a Chicago-based African-American owned company which is a producer of urban bees, uses raw natural honey to manufacture a line of lotions, lip balms, body creams, scrubs and shower gels. These products can be found in natural specialty retail stores such as Whole Foods Market. Sweet Beginnings employs men and women returning from incarcerations – an excellent way to help reduce high unemployment in underserved communities.
Less is More
Food and beverage products made with simple ingredients continue to become more popular due to the increase of plant-based diets by consumers.
Zupa Norma Superfood Soups created a line of flavorful ready-to-sip superfood soups blended from seeds, skin of the plants – all organic. Flavors include Tomato Gazpacho, Cucumber Avocado and Carrot Coconut Lime – sold in 2-packs bottles, in retails stores across the country.
Brooklyn Crafted Ginger Beers & Ales has a line of beverages made with 100% real, unfiltered pieces of ginger with flavors of Extra Spicy Ginger Beer, Sugar Free Ginger Beer, Sugar Free Ginger Ale Mango.
Last September, Bon Appetit presented Chicago Gourmet and hosted its annual food and beverage tasting event which drew nearly every celebrity chef with some type of media platform. Trending ingredients such as bourbon whiskey was used to make signature cocktails, appetizers, entrees and desserts. Raising the bar – Chicago-based Stan’s Donut created a donut made with ingredients from the popular Chicago Mix popcorn (carmen and cheese flavors). Rosemary herbs were used to infused vodka and gin for creating artisan cocktails.
Have a trend to share? Be sure to comment below as well as your thoughts on the trends shared.