bake - April 2018 - 38


with dairy. Donutology is always looking to experiment with

Those were among the many messages circulating at the

fried dough, as evidenced by its billing as a "modern donut

Specialty Food Association's annual Winter Fancy Food Show,


held Jan. 21-23 in San Francisco. The show drew more than
25,000 attendees and 1,400 exhibitors and featured a full slate

Wonderful wedding cake ideas

of educational programming - 20 hours overall, highlighted by

Scores of consumers use Pinterest to find ideas for their

three "super sessions."

weddings. With that mind, the social media platform is attuned
to the rising trends in the wedding world.

Phil Kafarakis, the New York-based association's president,
opened one of the super sessions, a buyer panel dubbed

Each year, Pinterest releases a wedding trend report. Among

"Selling Specialty," by haling attendees as a "Food Innovation

the categories it covers are style, hair, makeup, décor, honey-

Nation." "People like you are turning the food business upside

moons, and most importantly (to us), food. For 2018, Pinterest

down," he said. "You are pioneers of a community that's taking

shares some of the delicious accompaniments that will be

the industry by storm."

enjoyed at wedding receptions.
The specialty food business, Kafarakis said, generates $138
Vegan Wedding Food: Couples will look to please the vegan

billion in annual sales and accounts for 15 to 16 percent of all

crowd by offering food that satisfies their dietary restrictions,

grocery sales. At this year's show, he said, attendees could

as mentions of vegan wedding food are up 186%.

explore "three football fields of new stuff" to inspire them and
help ensure that those numbers continue to grow.

Minimalize Cakes: This year, many wedding receptions will
feature cakes that keep it simple (+235%) with frosting.

The buyer panel's moderator, consultant Phil Lempert, "The
Supermarket Guru," told attendees they couldn't ask for a more

Metallic Cakes: Metallic decorations (+476%) have remained

exciting time to be working in the retail food industry. "For the

popular after bursting onto the scene years ago. They can

first time in a long time, working in food and grocery is cool,"

adapt to many styles, making them a fashionable choice.

he said. "Innovation in the industry is attracting the attention
of people at Harvard and Stanford. The level of excitement is
unbridled. I've never seen it before."

among the food trends. Figs add a low-key elegance that
factors into the minimalize trend.

The Winter 2018 version of Fancy Food showcased more new
products than ever before, said Lempert, who has been a show

Specialty food insights

regular for decades. "When I started coming, there were a lot

The food world has always been hyper-competitive, and it's

of cheeses, sauces and snacks. Now, you see more stuff than

now in the midst of transformations that will create new stars

you can imagine."

but also leave many industry stalwarts behind.
Armed with predictions for 2018, the West Coast arm of the
Specialty food purveyors that connect with consumers, tell

Trendspotter Panel assessed and noted a variety of prod-

compelling stories, explore new flavors, pioneer convenient and

ucts that either reflected the predictions or indicated new or

healthy solutions and provide a transparent link to the sources

emerging trends. Included in the "trending strong" category are

of their products should thrive in this new world.

alternative sweeteners.

38 < APR 2018 |


Fig Cakes: These cakes are seeing the biggest rise (+575%)

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