USA Today Names Top Trends from this year’s Winter Fancy Food Show

USA Today Names Top Trends from this year’s Winter Fancy Food Show

206,000 square feet of exhibit space, 17,000 attendees and 1,300 booths highlighted this year’s Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco, California. And, the USA Today was there to report on what consumers can expect to see on their dinner tables and supermarkets in 2012. Among the trends highlighted were gluten-free and “mindful snacks,” all areas where bakers and food and beverage manufacturers can use honey to capitalize on consumer preferences.

Gluten-free gets respect

“The craze for all things gluten-free is turning up some better-tasting options for those who need to avoid this wheat protein,” the USA Today article stated. The gluten-free market is rife with opportunities, and honey is becoming a key player in formulating new products. Honey plays two significant roles in gluten-free products. First, honey provides an exceptional natural sweetness while maintaining a clean label. Second, and just as important, honey significantly contributes to bakery foods’ moisture, making sure they stay soft and maintain a desirable texture. This is paramount in gluten-free bakery foods, as the formulation of these products proves challenging to maintain moisture.

By using liquid honey in gluten-free bakery foods, bakers employ a hygroscopic ingredient that maintains moisture in products longer than other dry sweeteners. Honey also acts as a natural humectant in bakery foods, and most importantly, the ingredient performs these crucial roles all while maintaining a clean label.

Mindful snacks

“Snacks today don’t have to simply taste good, they also have to be good for you,” the USA Today article stated. “Store shelves are starting to sport an array of chips and other snack foods with inventive, healthier ingredients.”

Many food and snack manufacturers have turned to honey to provide consumers with snacks designed to appeal to label-reading consumers. Honey not only provides these manufacturers with natural sweetening options, but also an ingredient with a familiar, welcoming name. In addition, honey provides an exceptional flavor profile in sweet and spicy snacks, such as jalapeno and honey potato chips.

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