Each year the National Restaurant Association Show attracts thousands of professionals from the restaurant, foodservice and hospitality industries. The show allows professionals to explore trends and insights. Additionally, they learn about what’s up and coming, including food and beverage products and brands, equipment and supplies and the newest technology. Check out the latest trends and insights from some of our favorite companies at this year’s centennial show.
Emerging Trend: Plant-based Everything
From eggs to burgers, plant-based and veggie-centric foods are here to stay. Companies, like JUST, are growing and positioning to go public. JUST offers plant-based eggs, mayo, cookie dough and more. Similarly, Daiya’s products are “deliciously dairy-free,” and the company has an extensive product line free of seven major food allergens, including dairy, gluten and soy. Likewise, Beyond Meat serves up tasty plant-based burgers, sausages and ground beef for tacos. Tofurkey has a wide variety of its own plant-based meat and protein products. Plus, with mainstream fast-food stalwarts like Burger King and Carl’s Jr. offering meatless burgers, plant-based foods will be a culinary staple for years to come.
The mission of preserving the planet through sustainable practices is on the rise. Several companies are emphasizing getting food from the earth to your dinner plate in a sustainable manner. Wild Planet sources its tuna exclusively from pole and line catch fisheries. Additionally, Renewal Mill turns soybean byproducts into high-fiber, nutritious and flavorful products, such as their chocolate chip cookies. Going beyond creating plant-based foods, Hay! Straws is leading the charge in ditching plastic straws. The company creates 100 percent biodegradable straws from natural wheat stems.
Around the World with Global Flavors
From Israel to Thailand to Africa — and everywhere in between — new and exciting flavors from around the world are en vogue. Food and drink such as Israeli soda gazoz and Thai-rolled ice cream are catching consumers’ eyes. African cuisines throughout the continent are gaining popularity. Some exciting snack foods that give a kick include Saffron Road’s Crunchy Chickpeas with Bombay Spice and Tapatio’s Original Picante Pop Corn. Muy caliente!
Healthy & Happy
People want to be healthier, feel better and live longer — who knew? That’s why healthy lifestyle diets are more popular than ever. There are plenty of new options to incorporate into your diet, regardless of which health-conscious path you’re following. Try Sabra’s Breakfast Avocado Toast, Perfect Keto’s Almond Butter Brownie Keto Bar or Bubba’s Kettle Cooked Nana Chips for a yummy snack. By the same token, transition to Fora Faba Butter for a dairy-free spread option. When it comes to healthy beverages, Tractor Soda and Odwalla are two organic options. One of our favorite new products is Louisiana-based Swerve, a zero-calorie, non-glycemic sugar replacement, made from ingredients found in fruits and starchy root vegetables. Plus, they have tons of tasty recipes online!
Some Like It Hot Cold!
Your favorite piping hot morning pick-me-up beverage has a new, cooler, companion. Nitro and cold-brewed coffee drinks are all the rage. Nitro coffee has been infused with nitrogen, adding fizz like the familiar CO2 carbonation. But nitrogen’s fizz creates a thicker, foamier beverage, reminiscent of beer. Several brands, such as Community Coffee, Rishi, Coca-Cola, TeaBOT and Tenzo Tea, which claims to be the healthiest drink on the planet, have their own versions of caffeinated, cold beverages. Java House’s Authentic Cold Brew Coffee and LaColombe Coffee are must tries. Other trends included beverages sweetened with stevia and other organic ingredients.
CBD and Cannabis-Infused Food and Beverages
Despite being restricted from the NRA show this year, nearly 77 percent of American Culinary Federation chefs ranked cannabis/CBD-infused drinks as the number one trend, with cannabis/CBD-infused food as a close second. Even household brands like Ben & Jerry’s are getting on board with this growing trend. Don’t be shocked to see CBD products at the 101st NRA show next year.
Who Were Our Favorites?
Over the course of four days at the National Restaurant Association Show, we came across many exciting brands. After experiencing all of the sights, tastes and smells, here are our 2019 favorites:
- Wild Planet – Wild Planet was ranked number one for sustainability among all tuna brands by Greenpeace. The company also offers salmon, sardines, yellowtail and even organic chicken.
- Community Coffee – The Louisiana coffee giant created a new ready-to-drink iced latte.
- Tillamook – This Oregon-based dairy company was a hit at NRA show, serving up over 8,500 mini grilled cheese sandwiches throughout the convention! So delicious!
- Jiffy – We just couldn’t resist these classic, fluffy biscuit and lemon-poppyseed muffin samples made on the spot. Jiffy continues to provide quality, delicious and complete mixes for consumers and the foodservice industry.
- Bear – Their signature product, YoYos, are delicious, healthy fruit rolls made with 100 percent pure fruits and veggies but “no added nonsense.” Inside every package of YoYos is a fun adventure card which allows the reader to learn more about countries around the world.
- Soleil Mimosas – Made with the finest wine and freshest juices, these pre-made bottled and canned mimosas are the perfect bottomless brunch beverage. Refreshing, indeed.
- Bourbon Barrel Foods – The company’s signature product is its Bluegrass Soy Sauce, the only micro-brewed soy sauce made in the United States. What makes this soy sauce uniquely Kentuckyian is that it’s fermented and aged in bourbon barrels.
Check out these exciting companies and products. Who knows, you might just discover a new favorite food or drink!
Have thoughts on food and beverage brands or how your company can become the next big trend? Give us a call 985-377-7160 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emily Carlson, VP Fridge