Walking the trade floor at Expo East in Baltimore, MD, I’ve seen a number of familiar brands, faces, and products; I’ve also observed the following trends:
Gluten-Free: The range of offerings in the gluten-free category are expanding rapidly, pushing the boundaries of baked goods as once we knew them. This is good news for sufferers of celiac disease, those with gluten-sensitivities, and perhaps even cookie-lovers in general. Of the many products I tasted, quite a number were tempting treats regardless of their special attributes.
Ancient Grains: While Quinoa has become somewhat common-place after a few years of meteoric rise, this year highlights new preparations and seasoned single packs to maximize the well-loved complete protein. Expo East brought out some of its lesser-known cousins: Amaranth, Kamut, Flax Seeds and Hemp among them. Oats were well represented as well, appearing in new configurations alongside these newer-to-market ancients. Breakfast lovers, rejoice- a whole new world of options is on the horizon.
Organic on the Rise: Organic continues to expand across all categories, as it attempts to satisfy growing consumer demand. At each meeting, it became apparent that all involved are aware of the need to solve for the inevitable gap between supply and demand, looking for sustainable solutions to keep organic ingredients apace.
Hormone and antibiotic free meats, Non-GMO Verified, Chia seeds and a continuing multitude of on-the-go options were also highly visible this year; I look forward to seeing (and sampling) the next crop of products to hit the shelves!