Specialty foods have great appeal to present-day consumers, not only because people have become more conscious of what they eat and drink. They purchase food regarded as special because the products offered exemplify quality, innovation and style that can be purchased at prices reasonable enough to enjoy them.
There was a time when specialty foods were special because they can be purchased only at brick-and-mortar stores devoted to selling a specific type of food brand. Yet as more and more people have become Internet-connected, specialty foods are now offered online and can be delivered, or can be found at some corner shops in some busy downtown areas.
Specialty foods are in fact, no longer elusive. Yet they still attract consumers because they do not have the qualities possessed by foods sold as mass market products.
The Specialty Food Association (SFA) released a report about specialty food that trended as top choices in 2018. The common factors that made them popular include use of sustainable ingredients, promotion of wellness, and at the same time offer flavor adventure and convenience. After all, having a broad range of variety to choose from, encourages consumers to try all variants that appeal to their taste, to their eating preferences, or dietary restrictions.
The best part is that they can be taken as go-foods that come in neat, convenient, and eco-friendly packages.
Types of Specialty Foods that Trended in 2018
The SFA’s Trendspotter Panel listed the following as the type of edibles that dominated the specialty food market in 2018. Mainly because they meet the qualities consumers regard as extremely enjoyable, affordable, healthy and convenient.
Plant-based options that offer twice as much protein than traditional meat, including algae that is now being touted as the upcoming superfood.
Goth food trended because of their detoxifying appeal; despite being blackened by charcoal, black sesame, black truffle or some other natural food blackening ingredient like squid ink.
Cannabis cuisine is on the rise as more U.S. states are into legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes. Weed-enhanced food and drinks are slowly making their mark as they come with a promise of bringing something extra to the specialty food adventure.
Filipino cuisine trended, overshadowing other Asian dishes. Apparently, more and more Americans have taken a liking to the complex flavors of traditional Filipino dishes that combine Asian and Latin influences into a culinary cuisine on its own.
Dietary All-Sweet foods are attractive as alternative choices for the low-glycemic conscious eaters. Sweet flavors come from syrups made from sorghum, dates, sunroot and yacon roots.
Budget-Friendly Upcycled Food that appeals to environmentally conscious consumers, without attempting to mask edibles as more than just products made from recyclable ingredients; e.g. imperfect fruits, fruit pulps and spent grains derived from beermakers.
Actually the SFA Trendspotter panel spotted many more, including those that were favored because their packages and/ or labels furnished the complete details of what make their edible offering, truly special.