I attended the 2016 Summer Fancy Food Show at the Javits Center in New York City a few weeks ago. As a post-50 foodie, I gravitate toward wellness trends. In my mind that includes dark chocolate (which, BTW, is supposedly filled with healthful benefits) and frozen treats (OK, only some were low-fat ice pops—I couldn't resist the full-fat ice cream too. Boomer girls gotta live a little.)
I walked more than 6 miles, sipping and nibbling my way through 363,000 square feet filled with 2,670 exhibiting companies—and I'm pleased to share some of the food trends and favorites from the show. You may find these products in your local supermarket. If not check Whole Foods, Amazon or online links provided.
Tons of Teas: Aside from water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world, according to the Tea Association of the USA. No wonder there were so many cold-brewed and hot varieties. I drank:
- Thea's English Standard Tea, the proper iced tea, sugar-free, sweetener-free, and calorie-free—the Wonderberry flavor is decaf.
- ASI Yaupon Tea, brewed from wild-picked American yaupon leaves, the only significant native source of caffeine in North America.
- Sencha Green Tea + C, sugar-free with natural vitamin C. They offer green tea mints and matcha powder.
- Numi Organic Tumeric Teas were available. Turmeric is a BIG trend in wellness.
- CHAM cold-brewed wellness teas, which claim to calm, revitalize and provide defense.
- Tea Forte TEA OVER ICE Steeping Tea Pitcher—a neat idea that looked pretty.
Tea is trending with hot and cold brewed varieties.
Drinks to Pick You Up and Put You to Sleep: I am interested in any product that can possibly help with my postmenopausal insomnia, middle-aged middle, and memory loss. I downed:
- Cheribundi Tart Cherry Juice made with 40 cherries per bottle that is supposed to help me sleep.
- IQ Juice made with cold-pressed apple cider and other fruits and veggies in varieties including Fat Burner, Immunity, Memory, Rise Up, Detox, Cleanse, Probiotic, Radiant and Relaxation.
- Natalie's Orange Beet Juice and LoveBeets.com Juice allows you to drink your beets. It claims to improve stamina, lower cholesterol and blood pressure and even increase sex drive. (These tasted just like my mother's borscht without the sour cream.)
- Mansi Calamansi Juice Beverage from Philippine lemons and limes that are high in vitamin C and have other health benefits.
Juices with health benefits were flowing with beets and cherries.
A Waterfall of Water: I passed on coconut waters and instead tried:
- Happytree Maple Water, which contains metabolism-friendly B-vitamins and more manganese than a serving of kale. (Not sure if most people really need an overload of manganese in their diet. Based on what I've read, it's not a nutrient that is lacking.)
- Blossom Water, pure water infused with natural fruit and flower essences. No health benefits, per the owner, but the prettiest packaging of the show.
Blossom Water and Maple Water were two flavored waters at the show.
I was amazed at all the products that have probiotics. I take a probiotic supplement every morning to help my IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), and they are very expensive. If I can consume more probiotics in my food and beverages in addition to my daily yogurt, it would be great. I tried:
- Living Intentions Superfood Popcorn made with live probiotics in flavors like Cinnamon Twist, Tandoori Tumeric and Salsa Verde. (Available August 2016.)
- Probiotic MELT Organic Buttery Spread, a dairy-free, trans-fat free, soy-free and gluten-free spread made with Probiotic Ganeden BC30.
- Five Acre Farms Kefir in regular, maple and honey.
Probiotics are now being added to foods.
High-Protein Foods and Superfoods
My boyfriend L will be happy to know that there are more high-protein snacks to choose from at the grocer. Nutrient-dense superfoods are popular too. I tasted:
- Iconic Protein drinks with 20 grams of protein per bottle.
- R.e.d.d. energy bars packed with 9+ grams protein, 11 superfoods, 23 vitamins and minerals, and 35+ mg natural caffeine—plus, they're gluten-free.
- Supereats Chips and Puffs with 10 grams of protein and gluten-free.
- RXBAR packed with 12 grams of egg white protein and antioxidants.
- Navitas Naturals Superfood + Chia Rosemary Pumpkin Seeds and Superfood + Tumeric Tamari Almonds.
- Chosen Food Chia Bites with 6 grams protein, 284 mg omega-3 and 5 grams dietary fiber per packet.
- RayZyn Co. Cabernayzyn Dried Cabernet Wine Grapes which have significantly more antioxidant content than red wine. I am curious to learn more about their current study with postmenopausal women and the benefits of these dried grapes.
- K'UL Superfood 70% Dark Chocolate Bar offers K'UL (pronounced cool) bean-to-bar artisan dark chocolate and energy bars that are functional foods. Anyone who wants to convince me that chocolate is not candy, chocolate is food, and encourages me to eat more choc-full of health benefits K'UL chocolate bars is cool in my world.
Get your protein in different ways.
Superfoods were packed with grains, seeds and veggies like chia, quinoa and beets.
Eating your dark chocolate just got a whole lot more functional with K'UL bars.
Now I can eat dried wine grapes instead of drinking wine. RayZyn is doing a study with postmenopausal women.
Ice Cream and Frozen Treats
I didn't pass up any offer for ice cream or frozen treats, including:
- Mochi hand-held bites enrobed in Japanese rice cake from Mochidoki, Bubbies and MrMochi. While mochi is definitely trending, I'm not a fan of the texture.
- Graeter's Handcrafted French Pot Ice Cream was OMG YUMMY! Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip was OMG YUMMY! Go order online now!
- CoolHaus Gourmet Ice Cream in Bananas Foster and Chocolate Molten Cake were two favorites.
- LaLoo's Reduced-Fat Goat Milk Ice Cream was pretty good.
- Joel's Outrageous Ice Cream Sliders—one bite was likely 100 calories, but who's counting.
- EatPops with health benefits like Activate with Beet, Carrot & Apple and Restore with Banana, Pineapple & Pear.
- GoodPop in Chocolate Milk, Watermelon Agave, and other flavors.
- Brewla Bars new cold-brewed coffee flavor ice pop for coffee lovers.
Indulgent ice creams were everywhere, and I ate them all. Have you tried mochi?
More Favorite Foods
Here's the grand finale, with more pictures below. From Melanie's Medleys breakfast bowls made with quinoa (a popular gluten-free grain) to Hudson Henry Granola (delicious but not gluten-free) with Pecans & Chocolate, from Jicachips to Beet chips (beets again) with Cinnamon & Coconut Sugar, from Sir Kensington's Fabanaise Vegan Mayo (they make good ketchup too) to Victoria's Marinara soon made with Avocado Oil (the best sauce when I don't make homemade), from PB Crave peanut butter with a twist to bNutty beyond peanut butter (so glad I don't have any allergies to peanuts), and finally Hannahmax Baking, which makes the best gluten-free bagels I have ever tasted in everything, plain and cinnamon-raisin (I haven't had a bagel in two years since I went mostly gluten-free). It was a fantastic foodie day.
I ate brownies, more dark chocolate and lots of peanut butter treats.
The best-ever gluten-free bagels.
To top it off, I met Emmy-awarding winning chef Lidia Bastianich, who was touting her new organic pasta sauces and pasta. Having just visited Italy, I was so excited to meet Lidia. She has a fabulous journal if you are interested in learning more about Italian cooking.
I met Emmy-awarding winning chef Lidia Bastianich.
Are you a foodie? What's your favorite specialty food product? Share a comment so others can try it.
Are you hungry? As they say in Italian — mangia tutti.
P.S. For those of you who missed it, I was pleased to be featured on BBC.com about "Yes, You Can Retire at 50—Here's How."
This post originally appeared on aboomerslifeafter50.com.