My main goals in attending the shore are to get a sense of food trends and to find products that are sold locally or that I can request that my local Whole Foods or other stores carry.
My general observations are that GMO FREE has surpassed GLUTEN FREE as the current "desirable" feature of many foods. Of course, many vendors proudly display signs that their food is both.
Lots of snack foods are featured this year, mostly chips of all sorts and popcorns, both sweet and savory.
As always, there are many more cheeses from around the world than any human could possibly taste in a month, much less three days.
What several cheese makers are now doing are expanding their product lines with yogurts and ice creams.
My favorite yogurt from a cheese maker was Tillamook's, coffee yogurt. I'm a big fan of coffee yogurt and have a very hard time finding any brand of this flavor. This one is delicious. Tillamook yogurts are available at Safeway.
Roth Cheeeses was making Reuben sandwiches with their Raclette cheese…what a clever and DELCIOUS idea!
Continuing on the subject of cheeses, I saw many cheeses with spices and added flavors in them. One vendor told me that they take their basic cheese and, with seasonings, wind up with several different products, for many more tastes.
Delallo Italian Foods never disappoints with it array of antipasta, all available for tasting.
I tasted bottled drinks of all sorts. Some have "healthy" additives, others just different flavors.
Republic of Tea is even introducing a line of High Caffeine Teas!!!
A wine that intrigued me is Stack Wines. I didn't taste the wine, but was Wowed by the packaging: 4 single-serviing plastic cups of wine stacked on top of one another. One Stack is a bottle of wine in a break-proof package, great for taking to a picnic or other event.
I think the entire world is hummuses out. I saw very few hummus companies. While I do enjoy hummus, it's time to move on to some other dip.
But, I did discover several granolas and really liked Gypsy Crunch's granolas, which just so happen to be Gluten and GMO free.
A new ice cream that I'm going to be looking for in stores is Agave Dream, which is sweetened with agave syrup instead of sugar. Agave syrup has a lower glycemic index that sugar so is a better alternative for those wishing to consume less sugar. In contrast to sugar substitutes, agave has all the desirable sweetness qualities as sugar. I use agave often instead of sugar.
There were many chocolate vendors displaying very very good chocolates from milk chocolate to wonderful dark chocolates.
Of course, Jelly Belly never fails to have a large exhibit and always a new flavor or two to introduce. It is their Draft Beer Jelly Belly that is one of the new flavors of the year…right in time for Super Bowl snacking.
And, the Jelly Belly exhibit would not be complete without a Jelly Belly work of art.