It’s hard to say what the fanciest food was at the Fancy Foods Show that recently wound up in San Francisco, especially with many new brands showing less dressed-up products that intentionally range from raw or minimally processed to “I dare you to eat that” kind of ingredients like bugs and kelp.
Certainly, indulgence remains an important characteristic of most of the products popping up in the hall. But the interpretation of indulgence is being taffy-pulled through new ideas about health and wellness and what consumers want from their food, so that even the most expensive of retail channels now puts a premium on products that might once have only been dared in the most out-there natural products emporium.
Things were so paleo-influenced, it was almost as if primitive was the new gourmet. That’s not critical — it’s all part of a consumer set that is causing brands large and small to consider new tactics, and forcing stores up and down the retail spectrum to consider sourcing and preparation as much as shelf life and margin.
It’s in this world that Project NOSH filmed some of the brands and companies that are trying to take advantage of this new set of considerations from retailers and consumers alike; this interview from the show itself indicates the immediate impressions we gathered.