6 New Food Allergen-Friendly Foods Coming to the Market: Fancy Food, Summer 2013

BBQ sauce. Popcorn. Flavored waters. Special salt. Fancy honey.  Caramels. And chocolate, always chocolate.  These were the themes I saw within the over 5,000 booths and three floors of this year’s Fancy Food Show at the Javitz convention center last week.

Heading into the Fancy Food Show at the Javitz convention center
At Food Fete, a press-only event around Fancy Food Show (one floor, 61 vendors), I had a chance to talk more in depth with manufacturers about what is coming down the pipeline for them, how they handle allergens and what, if any, their allergen policies or certifications might be.

Food Fete all a-buzz
Some of the more intriguing items I discovered at both shows.

Bequet Caramels at the Fancy Food Show stopped me in my tracks and it said nut-free on their sign, which is a rarity in the conventional sweets world. When I asked why they were making their caramels in a nut-free environment, their representative said because so many people are allergic, they wanted to make a safe for all treat.  I’m looking forward to trying those! (Here's their allergen information, please note: Bequet Caramels are dairy-based.)

Gluten-free is still a hot topic and more and more stalls at the Fancy Food Show and Food Fete are claiming that their items gluten-free but with either confusing labeling or claims of certification with proper labels. Take Pepperidge Farms, for example. I had a chance to talk with them at Food Fete and they have launched a new series of products that are gluten-free which their representative said were made in a gluten-free certified facility. However, gluten-free was only mentioned once, on the back, near the nutritional labeling and there was no certification information.

Front of the gluten-free goldfish puffs - notice no GF mention

Back of the gluten-free goldfish puffs bag. No certification symbols and one mention of gluten-free.
I’m waiting to hear more from the Pepperidge Farms team about what this all means. As it relates to tree nut and peanuts, the Pepperidge Farms team representative emailed to say this: “If your concern is with Peanuts and Tree Nuts, at this point in time, none of our Goldfish Crackers (excluding Goldfish Grahams), Bread, Hamburger and Hot Dog Rolls, Croutons, Stuffing, Turnovers, Garlic Breads and Puff Pastry products currently use this ingredient. A few of our Cookie and Layer Cake products do contain Tree Nuts, but no Peanuts.” (Note: there is no information on the Pepperidge Farms corporate website about allergens, and the GF items aren't on there yet.)

Back at the Fancy Food Show, Sam Mills makers of Pasta d’Oro (gluten-free, corn-based based used in many New York City restaurants) has a whole line of other gluten-free pasta-based foods. No information on the Sam Mills website but here’s a picture; they do exist.

At Food Fete, Amy’s showcased their newest items: a dairy-free coconut-based ice cream with four new offerings. Not at all nut-free but might be a safe option for you dairy-free folks. Here’s more about Amy’s and here’s their extensive allergen policy and information.

At Food Fete, Organic Valley showcased some grass fed beef hot dogs – yum. I have a sample of those in my fridge right now waiting to be tried.

At the Fancy Food Show, Wild Garden hummus is shelf-stable and tree-nut free and they come in single packs; there are no tree-nuts in the facility. We all need safe travel foods, this might be an option for your family. (Note: They do contain sesame seeds.)

Thank you Fancy Food Show and Food Fete for showcasing hardworking food manufacturers!


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