Foodable Host Roundtable — Top Finds at NRA Show 2015

On this episode of On Foodable, brought to you by the Foodable Network, four Foodable hosts weigh in on their most interesting findings from this year’s NRA Show. Foodable Founder/CEO Paul Barron, Managing Editor Jessica Bryant and “Rock My Restaurant” co-hosts Eric Norman & Bill Bender join us to reveal some interesting products from the floor. Watch the full episode as they dive into a cost-effective, mobile contraption for on-site hydroponic farming, a flash-freeze system for barware and plates, no-scratch/no-cloud glassware, and gluten-free fare at the Show.

4 of Our Favorite Trends from NRA Show 2015

4 of Our Favorite Trends from NRA Show 2015

The 96th annual NRA Show, held May 16th-19th at McCormick Place in Chicago, was a whirlwind of equipment, technology, products and samples to whet — and fill — the restaurant industry’s appetite. The lengthy lineup of education sessions sprinkled more than a dash of diversity and curiosity: How can women climb the ladder to executive positions in a male-dominated industry? Will marijuana in certain states start to infiltrate menus? And the samples — from a cheese loop to gluten-free goodies and from meatballs to frozen yogurt — were plentiful. 

Though thousands of guests in the foodservice arena feasted their eyes on a vast array of products & exhibitors, we hone in, below, on 4 of our favorite trends that permeated throughout the Show.

1. Artisanal Products & Authentic Flavors

If you’re familiar with the Swedish culture, you’ve probably been turned onto fika, which translates to a daily tradition of drinking coffee. Fika provides an intentional, often scheduled break to take time for oneself while enjoying a cup of coffee and usually a sweet treat on the side. This is the DNA of Fika, a line of NYC-based boutique cafés that not only serve coffee, but specialize in handcrafted chocolates by award-winning Swedish chocolatier Håkan Mårtensson. At the show, Fika was doling out a variety of chocolates & treats, from cookie dough chocolate protein power bars to a hazelnut spread and spicy raisins — encased in ginger, cloves, cinnamon and milk chocolate. 

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