So I went to Fancy Food Show last month; not as an exhibitor for once (out of… what, six years?), but as a press attendee! This is such a huge and busy show, and you can’t really look at everything during your 15 minute break. So this year, since I didn’t have to stand at a booth and sell stuff, I took two days to check out both halls. Mainly for restaurant supplies for my friends’ restaurants, investigating new trends, and most importantly… NEW SNACKS!
The children’s snack sector is one of the most promising and fast-growing in specialty foods, and with good reason. Snacks are a good way to get kids to eat vegetables, or to expose them to new flavors and textures that they otherwise would not encounter.
A lot of the companies that show at Fancy and Natural Products are new, up and coming, and aren’t even in Whole Foods yet. So I thought it would be great to introduce some of these delicious snacks to you!
Snacks are rated out of 5 high-fives for the following:
Share-ability: Is this gluten-free? What are the listed allergens? Think of the worst case scenario: if Lan shared this with a friend, will it cause a moral or allergy crisis? (will I get beaten up by other mommies if I shared this snack at a playground in Newport Beach?)
Tote-ability: Do they come in tiny individual sizes? Do they travel well? All samples have withstood a super science toteability test in which products were carried in a crammed tote bag from the convention center to our home via public transit (BART).
Buy-ability: Is it available in stores? Do I have to bribe some import official to get this? More importantly, can I order this in bulk from Amazon Prime?
Flavor: (for obvious reasons)
Here are Miss Lan’s winners from the Fancy Food Show…
POP ART POPCORN
Shareability - Certified Gluten-free, Non-GMO organic corn, vegan friendly. This product is produced in a facility that uses milk and tree nuts, and this particular flavor contains coconut and mustard. Everything is written in detail, which is nice.
Flavor - I got a sample of the Thai Coconut Curry and its ah-mazing! Lan never really liked curried things before she had some of this popcorn, and now she is more tolerant of it. It’s perfect for introducing exotic flavors to kids! Other flavors include Tandoori Yogurt, Rosemary Truffle, White Cheddar Jalapeno and Nori Sesame.
Other Things To Note – dat package design!
Shareability- Non GMO, Kosher, Gluten-Free (non certified). Contains milk, and made in a facility that processes dairy, soy, wheat, peanuts, and tree nuts. Pretty detailed documentation, which is helpful.
Buyability - Currently direct sales only – shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for deets! However they’re working on their Amazon seller so it should be available shortly.
Flavor - We got the Smokey Chipotle sample and Lan ate every single piece of it. A little bit of spicy, surprisingly savory – it’s super good! Other flavors include Sea Salt, Sweet & Spicy Sriracha, and Less Mess White Cheddar.
PLOCKY’S HUMMUS CHIPS
Shareability - Gluten-Free (non certified but uses Elisa testing in-house), GMO free (non-verified), Certified Kosher. Contains milk and soy, manufactured in a facility that also processes soy, wheat and milk. Chickpea based!
Flavor - Delicious! For something that is pretty tasty, it’s pretty low-cal, and since it’s got 2 grams of protein per bag, it keeps the kids filled up for a while (at least until dinner!). Other flavors include roasted garlic, Greek lemon and herb, honey caramelized onion.
SUPEREATS KALE & CHIA CHIPS
Flavor - A little bitter and seaweed-y due to the high kale content, and a little on the salty side (but still lower than Doritos, you know). Not Lan’s first choice, but she enjoyed it nonetheless. We had the ranch flavor sample; other flavors include cheddar, chili lime, sea salt, and wait for it… TOMATO BASIL!!! (I am clearly too excited about the tomato basil)
Other Things To Note - Made with kale and chia seed, and you know, hipsters are all over that.
Other Things To Note- Less guilt because sweet potato chips > potato chips. Also, the bag comes STAMPED with the potato source, which is pretty crazy! My sample bag says: Made with Organic Sweet Potatoes from Quail Cove Farms!!
Disclaimer: Much thanks to the companies that provided take-home samples at the show – I know that they go fast and your generosity is much appreciated. Written content and product photo is by me, package photos are by manufacturers… And obviously the baby photos are by me!