The top five trends emerging from San Francisco’s Fancy Food Show, January 17-19 are purple food, protein alternatives, Southeast Asian flavors, grass-fed animal products, and snacks in a cup. Out of the 80,000 food and beverage products being showcased by more than 1,500 exhibitors at this year’s event, the Specialty Food Association identified these trends by sending designated experts throughout the exhibit hall.

Denise Purcell, editor of the organizer’s Specialty Food Magazine, made the announcements on the final day of the show.

Are you ready for the Purple Reign?

Trend spotters recognized popularity with new purple foods such as Way Better Snacks brand of purple sprouted tortilla chips and Back to the Roots organic purple stone ground flake cereal. Purcell said trend spotters also noticed beets being used in everything from yogurt to cereals, cookies and snacks. Natierra’s Organic Chia Crunch (purple crispy chia snacks with beets), and Love Beets demonstrate that consumers are demanding the antioxidants associated with purple food.

Grazing on Grass. The second major trend refers to the many products derived from grass-fed animals. For example, Organic Valley has introduced a grass-milk yogurt, while another popular show attraction was Steve’s Ice Cream, made with milk from grass-fed cows.

Pushing Protein. Though protein has been trending for several years, numerous alternative proteins and plant-based protein products were introduced at the show. One of the new alternative high-protein product lines is from Bitty Food, a company creating tasty snacks from cricket flour. Tiny Farms and Don Bugito also captivated attendees with their edible insect products. Protein bars, protein drinks, and protein pastas continued to dominate new product offerings.  With double digit sales growth seen in 2014-15 for gluten-free seeds and grains such as quinoa, amaranth, kamut, chia and teff, the turn of the gluten-free tide has brought on a wave of grain-free products, as stated by the SPINS TRENDWATCH in its Grain Free update, September 2015.

Southeast (Asia) meets West, was defined as a trend using flavors from Southeast Asia. Though the flavors have long been popular in condiments and cooking sauces, they’re now showing up in everyday foods like candies and chicken nuggets. The panel singled-out, Organic Shallot Oil, a Vietnamese staple made with fried shallots and safflower oil from Wei Kitchen. This high-temperature oil can be used to flavor salads and other foods as well.

By the Cup. The trend toward single-serving packaging is a response to consumer demands for snacks on the go. Snacking and “on the go eating” has been an ongoing trend, explained Denise Purcell. “Snacking is changing the food culture,” she said.

“The three balanced square meals that we remember from childhood is just not the norm anymore. People are snacking all day. They are often eating alone, at the desk or in the car,” she added.

And, as was the case with the 19,000 buyers at the Fancy Food Show, they’re also snacking on the “floor.”