Specialty Food Magazine

Summer 2019

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

Issue link: https://www.e-digitaleditions.com/i/1119718

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Page 89 of 155

S ixty judges recently spent 12 days at the Specialty Food Association office selecting the 2019 Gold, Silver, Bronze, and New Product sofi Award winners in 39 categories. In total, the group evaluated nearly 2,000 entries, affording them a chance to see up close the most innovative specialty foods and beverages on the market. To illustrate, here—based on input from members of the judging panel—are four trends prevalent among the entries that show flavors and ingredients being used in surprising categories or inventive applications. (See a full list of winners, starting on p. 64.) sofi Awards FLAVOR AND INGREDIENT TRENDS FROM THE LAVENDER Consumers are favoring the natural tastes of botanicals and florals, and lavender is the latest standout. This is especially true in bever- ages where its herbaceous taste and aroma can provide an alternative to cloying sweet drinks. This year's sofi Award entries were full of simple syrups, lemonades, and mix- ers made with lavender on its own or paired with other florals like hibiscus or rose. Beyond bever- ages, dairy products and confections were touting lavender whether mixed with sea salt in a butter or paired with hemp seeds in a chocolate bar. ROSEMARY Rosemary, another botanical, tends to be a workhorse herb. Its woodsy taste and distinct aroma work in recipes from chicken to pizza sauce but now rosemary is popping up in interesting places. It's adding a spicy element to candied almonds, caramels, and other confections as well as seasoning root vegetable chips. With health benefits associated with improving immune, brain, and hormonal functions, antioxidant-rich rosemary is the latest f lavored functional variety in the burgeoning water category. Rosemary's astringent qualities are also linked to healthy skin and hair, making it appealing as part of the growing edible beauty trend named by the Specialty Food Association's Trendspotter panel. 4 SUMMER 2019 87 trend report

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