The Sauce Source
May 2018
Click to forward this  
newsletter to a friend 

2018 Food Show Trends

Paradise chefs and R&D recently attended several food shows, including Expo West, Pizza Expo and the Research Chefs Association. After gathering information, taking photos, and a lot of tasting, we’d like to share several great trends that were common to all the events. Plus, show some fun examples from our spring food show journey!

The trends we saw everywhere were: ethnic condiments/sauces; healthy and/or medicine as food options; veggie centric; clean label; and local sourcing/selling with a story.

Ethnic Flavors

Many of these trends are not new to the world but are continuing to expand and evolve. Ethnic sauces fit right into this category.

Asian food has always been a top 3 for ethnic foods in the USA (rounded out by Italian and Mexican), but ethnic flavors continue to evolve into more regional and authentic areas. “Asian” has evolved into Thai, Filipino, Japanese, Indian, Korean, and Burmese distinctions, with an endless number of options.

Korean cuisine is front and center, starting with bulgogi (Korean BBQ) and continuing onto bolder flavors such as gochujang (a savory, sweet, and spicy fermented chili paste), ssamjang (a spicy Korean dipping sauce) and kimchi (salted and fermented vegetables). We saw Korean flavors showcased in rice bowls, protein bars, potato chips, sauces, beef jerky, hummus, wings and burgers.

Kettle Brand Potato Chips, always a flavor trend leader, has a Korean Barbeque chip flavor with sweet and savory flavors.

One of our favorites was Mama O’s Super Spicy Kimchili Sauce, a delicious spicy and fermented hot sauce that was fantastic. They also offer a foodservice kimchi kit that is foolproof, customizable and easy to make quickly.

In the ready to eat prepared meal segment, Kimchi was also present. As an example we saw Suji’s Kitchen Kimchi Rice with Uncured Bacon.

As you can see, Korean has crossed into many categories and shows no sign of slowing down.



The healthy trend is also not something new but it continues to expand. Thankfully, flavor has become very important to products in this category, and they must deliver on flavor, not just be good for you or have a perceived health benefit.

It can be as simple as repositioning a current product to highlight the inherent health benefits, such as these Buffalo Walnuts, seasoned with a spicy buffalo seasoning and highlighting their Omega 3 content.

Or creating a new reason to add Sriracha to everything, like Wildbrine’s Smoky Jalapeno Sriracha which calls out its probiotics effect.

Veggie Centric

We also saw plenty of veggie centric products, including many meat substitutes that are plant based. Crunchsters are a sprouted protein snack that comes in “Beyond Bacon” flavor, all vegan.  Crispy avocado chips were also hard to beat as a unique snack.

Who ever thought vegan jerky would be a thing? It has arrived!

Snacking also offered plenty of fruit and vegetable-based snacks - chips and puffs made from everything from chickpeas to cauliflower, dragon fruit, moringa, jackfruit, avocado, and even brussel sprouts.  Smoked BBQ baked Jicama chips?  They were at Expo West too.

Clean Label

Many products had clean label front and center, touting GMO free, no preservatives, allergen free, “real”, soy free, or vegan friendly.  Other premium claims out there - grass fed, responsibly sourced, gluten free, renewable source, organic, all natural, and premium, just to name a few.

One of our favorites was “no nonsense added” on Bear brand fruit rolls. They lived up to the statement and were a delicious, guilt free snack.

Other Cool Stuff

Product with a Purpose - We saw many beverage options.  One that struck our hearts was Me & the Bee’s Lemonade.  Based in Austin, TX, they make a prickly pear lemonade that is very Texan!  The drink was amazing but the story behind the product was even more amazing.  Inspired by bee stings and Great Granny Helen's recipe, Mikaila Ulmer developed a product that donates part of the proceeds to help save the bees, all by the age of 13!  This is a great example of reaching millennials and Gen Y, who need a purpose behind the products they buy. 

Dessert Standouts 

Wild Ophelia Cold Brew Chocolate Coffee Bites was one standout.  Merging two trends, artisan chocolate and cold brew coffee, these chocolates were toe-curling good and just the right size. 

Is ice cream more your style? This fun treat by SaltiSweet Ice Cream Treats is a pretzel stick wrapped in ice cream and coated in chocolate. Simple but on target as an indulgent treat that is just the right size!

Hope this brings some inspiration. Maybe it’s a simple twist on a mainstream item or a new flavor to reach your adventure seeking customers. Or it could help in adding some key callouts or creating a story behind your brand. 

For more trend info and ideas, contact Allison Rittman, Paradise’s Corporate Research Chef at allison.rittman @

To check out more trends, be sure to go to our blog

How to Leverage The Latest Trends Right Now


Paradise Honey Sriracha Sauce
A sweet and spicy combination of spicy Thai Sriracha balanced with sweet honey.

Honey Sriracha Chicken Wings
Honey softens the intense chile heat of red jalapenos in Paradise Honey Sriracha Sauce. Tossed with crispy, juicy chicken wings and served with a cooling basil ranch dressing for dipping.

Paradise Smoky Italian Tomato Sauce
Fire roasted tomatoes are the basis of this traditional Italian tomato sauce, with the addition of basil, roasted garlic, and sweet onion.

Smoky Bacon Carbonara Pizza
Paradise Smoky Italian Tomato Sauce with mozzarella cheese, thick sliced bacon, and grilled onions.  All on a thick focaccia style crust brushed with garlic butter.

Paradise Kickin’ Cajun Sauce
A Cajun tomato-based sauce with notes of spicy cayenne, sweet onion, oregano and garlic.

Kickin’ Cajun Shrimp Po’ Boy
Grilled gulf shrimp tossed with spicy Paradise Kickin’ Cajun Sauce and served on a soft po’ boy roll paired with a cooling remoulade sauce, crisp lettuce and juicy, garden fresh tomatoes.


Paradise Smoky Chipotle BBQ Sauce
A BBQ sauce with moderate heat and notes of honey and smoky chipotle peppers.

Super Stuffed Chipotle BBQ Spuds
Extra-large potatoes baked and topped with Paradise Smoky Chipotle BBQ Sauce, grilled chicken, Cheddar cheese, sweet red onion, and sliced ripe tomatoes. Drizzled with a creamy cilantro- lime sauce to finish.

Paradise Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
A flavorful sauce with roasted garlic, black peppercorn, and roasted red bell pepper flavors.

The Tuscan Pizza
A thin crust pizza topped with grilled chicken, roasted garlic, Paradise Roasted Red Pepper Sauce, and a sprinkle of Provolone cheese. Finished with an Italian herb spice blend for an extra boost of flavor.

Veggie Centric:

Paradise Fire Roasted Lime Salsa
A vibrant salsa made with fire roasted tomato, fresh lime notes, sweet onion, cilantro, and a touch of garlic.

Baja Rice Bowl
Wood fire grilled vegetables with roasted corn, sweet red onion, red and green bell peppers.  Served on a bed of tender brown rice and slow cooked black beans, then topped with spicy Paradise Fire Roasted Lime Salsa.

Paradise Shakshuka Sauce
A mildly spicy sauce made with garden fresh tomatoes, spicy red chili peppers, and sweet yellow onions.  Finished with bright paprika, fragrant cumin, and fresh garlic.

A one pot Tunisian dish with eggs baked in Paradise Shakshuka Sauce and paired with sautéed yellow onions and bell peppers, finished with fresh parsley.

Copyright © 2018 Paradise, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences