Top 10 Trends From the 2014 Summer Fancy Food Show

Experiencing the Specialty Food Association's summer show, taste by taste

NEW YORK -- Temptation beckoned with every step I took (and I counted tens of thousands) as I tasted my way around the mammoth Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City, where the Summer Fancy Food Show was held June 29 - July 1.

Over two days, I sampled wares from 2,730 exhibitors and had a fine time filling my belly (really, overfilling) with chocolate, cheese, ice cream and hot sauce, not to mention pate, bacon, cookies and ethnic foods from far and wide. It was all for a good cause: to share the 10 hottest trends in the specialty sector. Here’s what’s happening on the other side.

1. The heat is on

Sriracha was the “it” hot condiment of the past couple of years, showing up on menus in everything from sub sandwiches to barbecued ribs. There were plenty more sriracha line extensions at the show, including sun-dried tomato ketchup, sea salt, tortilla chips, cheese straws, meat rubs, horseradish mustard and popcorn, all incorporating the fiery red sauce. There also was green sriracha made with serrano chilies, plus several other types of peppers emerging in products to scorch taste buds. Some examples: apple ghost chili salt caramels and ghost pepper barbecue sauce; Hatch chile pesto and Hatch chile popcorn; bird’s eye chili hot sauce; Hungarian goathorn peppers in brine; mango-ginger habanero sauce; and banana pepper mustard.