Specialty Food Association Trendspotter Panel Selects Top Trends for 2022 Summer Fancy Food Show

NEW YORK — The Specialty Food Association Trendspotter Panel tasted its way through the 66th Summer Fancy Food Show in search of products gaining prominence in the specialty food industry. The Show, which took place June 12-14 at the Javits Center in New York City, had over 1,700 exhibitors featuring specialty foods and beverages from around the world.

“The specialty food marketplace has grown into a $175 billion industry fueled by the creativity of the producers of these foods and beverages,” said Denise Purcell, SFA’s vice president, content & education. “That innovation was on display at the Summer Show with our Trendspotters highlighting unexpected twists on classics, reconceived packaging options, better-for-you indulgences and comfort foods, global flavors, and growing interest in sustainability and ethical production.”

The Summer Trendspotter Panel included Melanie Zanoza Bartelme, Mintel; Mikel Cirkus, Firmenich; Jenn de la Vega, Put A Egg on It; Jonathan Deutsch, PhD, CHE, CRC, Drexel University; Victoria Ho, SherpaCPG; Lindsay Leopold, Martha Stewart (Marquee Brands); Patsy Ramirez-Arroyo, Homera Caribbean & LATAM; Stan Sagner, Founder, We Work for Food, LLC – Consultancy; and Kantha Shelke, Ph.D., CFS, IFT Fellow, Corvus Blue LLCTop Trends from the 2022 Summer Fancy Food Show

  1. Surprising Sips
  2. Packaging Innovations
  3. Vegetable Chips
  4. Sustainable and Ethical Choices
  5. Alternative Comfort Food
  6. Peppers Are Hot
  7. Play with Your Food


Surprising Sips Beverages with unexpected flavors and ingredients from spicy sodas to coffee made of figs to drinks spiked with everything from alcohol to sparkles.

  • Don Pablo bourbon-infused coffee
  • FigBrew Figgee coffee alternative
  • Moshi Sparkling Uji Matcha
  • Ouli by Dona Chai Spice Soda in flavors like peppercorn
  • Reveal Avocado Seed Brew
  • Runamok Maple Sparkle Tonic
  • Shrubbly, shrub made with lightly sparkling water and aronia berries
  • Sunboy Spiked Coconut Drinks with 5 percent alcohol

Packaging Innovations Single serve, compostable, increased portability with decreased mess are just some of the trends in packaging seen at the Summer Show.

  • Happy Grub Squeezable Instant Pancake Mix in a self-contained bottle; add water, shake, and dispense into the pan
  • InPact Wenap & Clean scented towel hand cleaners in flavors like breadcrust, rosemary, basil and fennel, “Bridging personal care with flavors/food, ‘foodcare’ trend,” said Mikel Cirkus.
  • Occo spices in single use half-teaspoon aluminum pods
  • PCS Gourmet Foods Sauerfrau Squeezable Kraut
  • Rufus Teague Can-O-Que BBQ Sauce
  • SugarRoti spices, single use compostable pouch
  • Whipnotic flavored whipped cream in a spray can with flavor pod embedded in the nozzle

Vegetable Chips Vacuum- or flash-fried tomatoes, mushrooms, and vegetables are bringing new alternatives to the ever-innovative chip category.

  • Mush Garden Shiitake Mushroom Crisps made with a vacuum-frying technique, also available in tomato and okra
  • Popadelics vacuum-fried mushrooms made into chips
  • Rhythm Broccoli Bites and Mushroom Crisps
  • Root Foods Tomato Chips, flash fried. “The tomato version looks just like a dehydrated tomato, a little bit unlike your sun-dried varieties (which are experiencing a nostalgia-related resurgence). They are tasty, crispy and feel good for you without tasting that way. Tomato-y, but chip-y,” said Melanie Bartelme.

Sustainable and Ethical Choices From upcycled or regeneratively grown ingredients to products that support the livelihoods of underserved communities, foods and beverages with sustainable and ethical characteristics continue to join the market.

  • Black Mamba Foods sauces and condiments, ethical brand from Eswatini in Southern Africa
  • Naera Strawberry Skyr Crunch, produced with green energy
  • Ocean’s Balance Seaweed Seasoning made with regenerative Maine seaweed
  • Oryx Desert Salt, sustainably harvested salt from the Kalahari desert in South Africa
  • Sea Tales Flame Roasted Sockeye Salmon, sustainable and made with transparent catching practices
  • Season Caviart plant-based caviar-style seaweed pearls
  • Spare Food Co. tonics made from whey byproduct
  • Teffola Nutty Teff Granola, grown with regenerative farming
  • Tomato Bliss Soup made from regeneratively grown heirloom tomatoes
  • Waju upcycled water sourced 100% from fruit

Alternative Comfort Food This Trendspotter panel pick for a top trend of 2022 is still going strong, with bases like sunflower seeds, tigernut flour, chickpeas, bananas, and peas emerging.

  • Amasar LLC Breadfruit Pancake & Waffle Mix
  • CHKP chickpea yogurt
  • Current Foods salmon and tuna filet, made with pea protein and bamboo
  • Disturbingly Delicious Foods Spanish Chorizo Charcuterie Sauce, banana-based condiments that taste like cured meat flavors
  • Everything Cheeze cashew parmesan alternative, “Plant-based comfort sprinkle that’s really good!” said Jonathan Deutsch.
  • Good Food for Good plant-based creamy Bolognese sauce
  • Lattini Sunflower seed milk
  • Mosaic Grove LLC Not Nuts! Tigernut Flour for use in baking as a nut-flour alternative for allergies
  • Nutcase Vegan Meats Nutty Loaf
  • Ripple Foods pea-based cheese and soft serve, “A tasty alternative for those with dairy allergy and intolerances. A cheese analog that melts just like traditional cheese – an unprecedented texture in the plant-based cheese sector. Fortified with DHA, omega-3, and vitamin D,” said Kantha Shelke.
  • UnbelievaBuns burger buns made with sunflower flour
  • Whoa Dough! Snack Bars, chickpea-based cookie dessert bars

Peppers Are Hot Identified by the Trendspotter Panel as a top trend for 2022, peppers and traditional pepper sauces and condiments from around the world continue to be prominent.

  • Ayo Shito Sauce, translated to “pepper”, Shito is widely used throughout Ghana
  • Chingonas Salsa Macha, an oil-based chili crunch sauce from Veracruz, Mexico
  • Mr. Chimi’s Hot Chiltepin Sauce, a chimichurri sauce with fiery hot chiltepin pepper
  • Peccati di Calabria Facino Pate di Sarde, an Italian condiment based on a recipe called sardella, spicy sardine spread combined with chili oil. “This is a little-known sauce, even in Italy! Fermented peppers plus super savory fish. I see so many cooking applications beyond eating it on toast or with cheese,” said Jenn de la Vega.
  • Saba Awaze Sauces, Ethiopian and Eritrean style hot sauce
  • Sibeiho OMG! Sambal, one of “Three vibrant and very distinct iterations of Sambal derived from authentic recipes. A product meant to educate consumers to the fact that Sambals come in many forms and are not a monolithic product,” said Stan Sagner.

Play with Your Food Whimsical products from edible candles to animal-shaped cheese are delighting kids and kids at heart.

  • Greenomic Delikatessen Good Hair Day Pasta in whimsical packaging
  • Let Them Eat Candles chocolate novelty edible candles
  • Mac Yourself Cheddar Cheese Sauce Mix
  • Muratbey Misto animal-shaped cheese
  • Supernatural Kitchen plant-based sprinkles for baking, “An all-natural alternative to artificial coloring that still delivers on fun,” said Lindsay Leopold.


  • American Vinegar Works IPA Beer Malt Vinegar and Porter Beer Malt Vinegar
  • Aunt Ethel’s Pot Pies
  • Dr. Bee Honeyland Infused Ice Honey
  • Kosterina Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar
  • Heritage Kulfi, modern twists to traditional Indian frozen dessert
  • Madhu Chocolates with South Asian-inspired flavors, “Beautiful combination of chocolate and spices, from black pepper to fennel and coriander. My favorite was dark rose, full of aroma and with roses to add texture, pure indulgence!” said Patsy Ramirez-Arroyo.
  • RIND Lapsang cheese
  • Sugimoto Umami Powder, “I see this product as a chef’s secret sauce to the secret sauce, a plant-based, gluten free, grain free monoingredient that boosts the richness and depth of any sauce, stew, dip or dressing, among other things. THE NEXT NUTRITIONAL YEAST!” said Victoria Ho.
  • Super Garden Freeze Dried Candies and Ice Creams

About the Specialty Food Association

The Specialty Food Association (SFA) has been the leading trade association and source of information about the $175 billion specialty food industry for 70 years. Founded in 1952 in New York City, the SFA represents manufacturers, importers, retailers, distributors, brokers, and others in the trade. The SFA is known for its Fancy Food Shows; the sofi Awards, which have honored excellence in specialty food and beverage for 50 years; the Trendspotter Panel Show reports and annual predictions; the State of the Specialty Food Industry Report and Today’s Specialty Food Consumer research; the ecommerce enabled SFA Product Marketplace, where members showcase products and sell directly to qualified buyers; SFA Feed, the daily source for industry news, trends and new product information, and Spill & Dish: A Specialty Food Association Podcast.