Top 10 Specialty Food Trends Predicted For 2015

Dec. 5, 2014

NEW YORK, Dec. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumers will seek more from their food in 2015, whether stronger flavors, alternative sweeteners, or snacks made with everything from plant-based meat to even marijuana. That is according to predictions from the editors of Specialty Food News, the daily newsletter from the Specialty Food Association.

The $88.3 billion specialty food industry is driven by innovation and small-batch production. Six out of 10 U.S. consumers purchase specialty food, and those numbers are expected to rise in 2015, according to Association research.

"Food producers are tapping into the growing sophistication and buying power of today's consumers," says Denise Purcell, editor of Specialty Food News. "They are catering to new demands for better ingredients, sustainable packaging, and more convenient ways to shop and eat."

The Predictions:

Fresh Food Delivery Arrives
Grocery delivery tests will give way to far improved services.

Embracing Alternative Proteins
Cricket flour, and meat and cheese made from plants, will gain more fans.

Snack Bar Stampede
Bolder flavors and ingredients mean a whole new image—and opportunity —for snack bars.

Asian Food Roots
American consumers reach beyond Chinese, Japanese, and Thai to discover new regional foods, from Vietnamese to upscale ramen.

Tea's Time
Tea is getting the high-end treatment from ingredient upgrades to elegant cafe experiences.

Sweetener High
More shoppers are swapping added sugars for alternative natural sweeteners, from stevia to reimaginings of honey and maple syrup.

Packaging Revolution
Transparent labeling is a boon for business and sustainable packaging gives producers another badge of pride.

Culinary Cannabis
Marijuana is the latest herb to grace baked goods and candies for that extra punch.

Generation Z Raises its Voice
Its elders (born in 1995) have reached the age of influence, and their purchasing power will only grow from here.

Super Bowls
Superfood mania, on-the-go convenience, and healthful fast-casual dining make bowls the go-to vessel.

Bonus: Other Trends to Watch 
Small-batch, local yogurt; the next superfood contenders: kaniwa, baobab, soursop; the next kale: seaweed, cauliflower.

Learn more about these predictions in the just released article in Specialty Food News. Access and download infographic: Specialty Food Trends Forecast 2015.

About the Specialty Food Association
The Specialty Food Association is a thriving community of food artisans, importers and entrepreneurs who bring craft, care and joy to the distinctive foods they produce. Established in 1952 in New York, the not-for-profit trade association provides its 3,000 members in the U.S. and abroad the tools, knowledge and connections to champion and nurture their companies in an always-evolving marketplace. The Association (formerly the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade, Inc.) owns and produces the Winter and Summer Fancy Food Shows, and presents the sofi™ Awards honoring excellence in specialty food. Learn more at