Specialty Food Insights
There has been a shift in consumer demand for hand-made, artisan foods in the last few years. It’s no longer just our industry recognizing the art and dedication behind these products. We sit down with Specialty Food Association President Phil Kafarakis to talk about this shift and how it’s impacting the specialty food sector.
The idea for Cava Grill stemmed from the full-service restaurant Cava Mezze, which was founded by three childhood friends aiming to provide high-quality Greek and Mediterranean cuisine to the modern consumer. Cava Grill, the fast-casual spinoff of Cava Mezze, has since exploded.
The Foodable Network recently partnered with the SFA, a trade organization for members and the producer of the Summer Fancy Food Show. The new partnership will allow Foodable to set and produce an exciting media stage to help feature a wide range of innovations at the upcoming show this summer.
Wild Poppy is popping up like wildflowers in gourmet shops, cafes, restaurants, and food retail locations around the country, and can be found in stores like Target and Whole Foods Market. It has caught so much attention that it was even one of just 11 food and beverage brands chosen by the Next Great Consumer Brands (NGCB) Conference to be showcased at the NASDAQ in Times Square earlier in May.
During the winter, sap in maple trees collect nutrients from the soil. When spring shines on Vermont, the sap begins to run as the days grow warmer — that's when the brand collects the sap straight from the trees, without harming the trees in the process, as DRINKmaple puts a heavy focus on sustainable tapping. And with half the sugar of coconut water and more manganese than a cup of kale, it's no surprise this sap is sticking in the beverage industry.
Health-conscious snackers can rejoice with Fiddyment Farms. This brand boasts more than just "high-quality, great-tasting, and all-natural pistachio nuts" — it's all that with a little extra kick of flavor. From barbecue to jalapeño and mandarin to butter toffee, and even garlic onion and sea salt and pepper, Fiddyment Farms developed a fine, gourmet line. Since 1968, this brand roasts its product in small batches to ensure quality standards.
By Brian Murphy, Foodable Industry Expert
The growth of craft beer is old news, yet it continues to unfold and grow. Acquisitions from “big beer” are a testament to the fact that beer drinkers are demanding a different brew. They are demanding a local brew, and while parts of the West Coast don’t see much in the way of seasons, guests are either open to the education or are already looking for something different mid-spring and into summer.
Hazy West Coast IPA
Think “location," not “style.” Chances are, you already have at least one super-hoppy IPA on the tap line, and guests embrace it, but they are looking for something new. The West Coast is bulging with various styles of IPAs, and is now adopting some practices from New England styles, offering hazy IPAs. Breweries like Great Notion Brewing in Portland, Ore., are offering IPAs that offer a fruit-forward beer that is approachable for someone new to IPAs but with enough bitterness on the finish to let your guests know they are drinking an IPA.