Celebrity Chef Robert Irvine Predicts Specialty Food Products to Become the New Mainstream Market

Celebrity Chef Robert Irvine Predicts Specialty Food Products to Become the New Mainstream Market
  • Millennials, Gen Z, and social media play a big role in the rise of specialty food products.

  • Chef Robert Irvine discusses how specialty foods are no longer on the sidelines in the food service industry.

Consumers today have higher expectations for the foodservice industry. Millennials and Gen Z specifically are looking for specialty foods that offer more options for a healthier diet.

Whether it’s creating new chef-inspired meals and products, or chefs using specialty food products in their menus, the specialty food industry is on the rise. Earning in $140.3 billion within the last year, there is a convergence between chefs and specialty food makers to meet these expectations.

At the 2018 Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City, Foodable’s Paul Barron sat down with Robert Irvine, celebrity chef, and owner of Robert Irvine Foods, as they discussed the role of specialty food in foodservice and the latest dining trends.

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Trending New Products to Feature in Your Restaurant From the 2018 Summer Fancy Food Show

Trending New Products to Feature in Your Restaurant From the 2018 Summer Fancy Food Show
  • The 2018 Summer Fancy Food Show can help you find a new product to feature in your restaurant.

  • Foodable found new trendy products you’ll want to include in your menus.

If you’re an operator, your goal is to have an on trend restaurant with the latest products to keep you there.

The specialty food industry has been growing, earning in $140.3 billion last year alone. So how can you decide on products that will keep you trending?

Foodable has you covered. We attended the Summer Fancy Food Show, presented by the Specialty Food Association, a specialty food trade show showcasing the latest innovations in the industry.

Here is a quick look at some products you won’t want to miss out on.

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Specialty Foods Earned $140.3 Billion in Sales in 2017

Specialty Foods Earned $140.3 Billion in Sales in 2017
  • Specialty foods sales are surging within the past three years.

  • Earning $140.3 billion in sales in 2017 alone.

Jerky and meat snacks, ready-to-drink coffee and tea, rice cakes, and water. What’s one thing that all these products have in common?

These are some of the specialty food categories that have seen the highest dollar growth from 2015 to 2017.

Overall, specialty food sales have risen 11 percent in the past three years, according to the Specialty Food Association. Raking in $140.3 billion last year, this segment has grown faster than all food sold at retail.

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Meet Hippeas: A Puff With a Purpose

Meet Hippeas: A Puff With a Purpose
  • Hippeas founder Livio Bisterzo pushes responsibility in CPG industry with sustainable chickpea puffs.

  • Leonardo DiCaprio invests in consumer packaged goods company benefitting Farm Africa charity

  • Show Notes

  • 0:57 - Livio Bisterzo, CEO and Co-founder, Hippeas
  • 2:14 - The AHA moment
  • 3:37 - Knowing Your Consumers’ Wants and Needs
  • 5:25 - Partnering for the Good of the World
  • 7:17 - The Food Revolution
  • 9:02 - Specialty Food Goes Direct to Consumer
  • 11:12 - Growing the Chickpea Supply Chain
  • 15:12 - The Selective Investor
  • 17:42 - The Future of CPG
  • On this episode of The Barron Report, Paul talks to consumer entrepreneur and CEO of Hippeas, Livio Bisterzo about the future of consumer packaged goods. In the midst of creating a better “puff”, Hippeas has set out to change the landscape of consumer packaged goods from flavor to supply chain. Hippeas are entirely organic, gluten-free, non-GMO and vegan and support the charity organization Farm Africa. They are pushing the industry to think “how can I do this better?” Listen along with the show notes below to learn more!


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What You May Have Missed From This Year's Summer Fancy Food Show

The Specialty Food Association anticipated that 180,000 different specialty food products would be on the 2017 Summer Fancy Food Show floor.

So, it's safe to say that there was so much to see and learn at this year's show and luckily for you, Foodable had a front row seat!

As the Specialty Food Association's partner, we were able to talk to many of the innovators behind brands elevating the food industry as a whole. 

We decided to highlight a few of the live coverage segments that were filmed at the show that you may have missed below.

Want the full scoop? You can watch all of the 16 segments filmed here. 

New Age Food Development

In the segment above, Foodable's Paul Barron sits down with Mike Lee, founder of The Future Market and Erin Kim, communications director at New Harvest to discuss new food development ideas. Guests discuss innovative food sources that are in the research and development stage, how Amazon has entered the food market with its acquisition of Whole Foods, and on-demand delivery and take-out. 

Products on the Radar

Want to know what products were especially hot this year at the show? Guest host and Supermarket Guru, Phil Lempert sits down with Denise Purcell, the head of content at the Specialty Food Association as she names some of the products that consumers can't get enough of. For example, enhanced water and functional beverages are growing in popularity, along with plant-based proteins and beer-infused food items and beverages. 

Artisanal Specialty Foods and the Power to Connect to Consumers

We also sat down with some superstar chefs Francisco Migoya of Modernist Cuisine and Maria Loi of Loi Estatorio to get their perspective on the specialty food market. These chefs discuss why artisanal products have become so popular with today's more adventurous consumers and how telling a product's story helps operators and brands to connect better with guests.