On October 17th and 18th The Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers hosted Grocery Innovations Canada- a premier grocery and specialty food show. Faith Baxter a sensory evaluation and regulatory technical assistant tells us about the products and trends that stood out to her.
The Grocery Innovations show was one of the largest trade shows I’ve ever been to. There were a lot of different companies and sectors of the food and beverage industry represented,
1. The Zummo orange juicer is really cool to watch in operation. The machine uses 2 cups to guide the orange over a blade to slice it in half. The halves are then juiced into the pitcher below. I’ve never seen orange juice made that way and it was memorable.
2. Goh Goh cereal is a new product by Sunny Crunch Foods. Essentially, it is granola in a cup with milk powder. Simply add water to the fill line and stir for whole milk and cereal. I thought this was such a great product for anyone who eats on-the-go! There are 2 varieties available: Honey Hemp & Flax and Almond & Raisin. I’ve tried both and they are not only convenient but also delicious!
The gluten-free trend doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. Many companies are beginning to offer their products in gluten-free and minimal allergen varities. One product that stood out to me was the Nair’s Gluten Free StemGinger and Oatmeal cookies. They were not only gluten-free but they were also made without many other common allergens.
Another trend I noticed was the creation of more premium versions of existing products. These are branded with words like ‘artisanal’, ‘premium’ or ‘hand crafted’. For example, I noticed some new Classico Riserva pasta sauces, which are part of a premium sauce line from Classico.
Overall, I had a great time at Grocery Innovations. What really struck me, besides the cool products and trends was learning more about the differences between large and small companies in the food and beverage industry. There are benefits to both. At a larger company you have the advantages of big and recognizable brands and more advertising dollars to promote new products. This was evident in the size of the booths and display areas for larger companies. They were considerably larger than their smaller counterparts. Though the smaller companies were showing fewer products in more humble booths, their offerings were just as intriguing. I think it would be interesting to work at a small company like Sunny Crunch Food’s. Their Goh Goh cereal is a product that shows such innovation; it makes me curious as to what else they’re working on.