The Eco18 team hit up the Summer Fancy Food Show in Washington D.C. this past weekend. Not our first time at the show, we were still overwhelmed with all the rows-and-rows of food for us to conquer in the two days we were there.
We were excited to represent Eco18.com and interview a few brands, as well as anxious to scope out the trends. While at first we weren’t sure we were noticing significant trends, it became clear that a couple different items were popping up more than others: olives, olive oil and cheese, lots of cheese.
While sampling olive oils and olives it became obvious that many brands were in fact offering organic options. Olive oil is a commodity that is no doubt used daily in many households for cooking, so it is an item that you want to pay attention to its origin and sample a variety to find the taste and smoothness you like best. The top three producers of olive oil are Spain, Italy and Greece—and our taste tests lead us to believe that Greece topped in flavor. A couple brands we were especially partial to at the show were a Greek brand called Esti, a Peruvian brand called Oasis Olives and also Canaan Fair Trade, which offers delicasies from Palestine and puts a big emphasis on their local farmers.
And the cheese—every other booth seemed to have cheese. There was a great variety from the US as well as international products. Gouda, mozzarella, goat cheese, truffled cheese, brie, blue cheese, chocolate ricotta, baked cheese–you could find any type you wanted somewhere in this show. And every time we turned around, we were getting to taste it. We especially liked the Point Reyes Cheese Company, some local Vermont varieties and the Kitchen Table Bakers baked cheese snacks.
In addition to the olives, olive oil and cheese, we did also notice a big emphasis on brands focusing on local. Many companies were excited to tout that the majority of their ingredients were grown locally. For example, Brooklyn Salsa Company has five varieties of salsa with local New York ingredients and even provide a seasonal creation based off of what ingredients are the freshest each season. The Canadian company Le Grand also does its best to make their full line of sauces from local providers. It’s exciting to see a lot of companies working to support their local farmers and communities, as it makes us as consumers more anxious to buy their products.
We also noticed some great, healthy snacks that we fell in love with. There were a variety of flavored nuts, including Lord Nut Levington, which offered the most unique and tasty flavors. Also, we couldn’t get enough of Somersaults, a snack made up of a mixture of seeds (which is another trend we’ll start to see more throughout the year).
All-in-all, Fancy Food was a great show. Stay tuned as we give more details and full reviews on some of the companies we connected with in upcoming weeks