SPOTTED AT THE 2018 SUMMER FANCY FOOD SHOW (CHRISTMAS IN JULY EDITION)

Spotted on Shelves is showing off what was in the aisles at this year’s Summer Fancy Food Show (FFS) in New York City. I scoped out new products from familiar brands and interesting things from up-and-coming companies.

As is the nature of trade shows like this, I was plied with free samples and the occasional tote bag. This did not affect what was chosen to appear in this column or my opinions of the products, but it did affect my waistline.

It’s July, hot as Hades and even my sweat is sweating. So, let’s talk Christmas! Because it apparently takes time to manufacture and order products, (aren’t we living in the future?) booths at FFS were displaying new things that will be hitting shelves right around the time we’ll switch from complaining about the heat to complaining about the cold.

Tate’s Bake Shop Cookies – Double Chocolate Peppermint and Butter Crunch

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Tate’s – makers of thin, crispy chocolate chip cookies – are debuting two new flavors of thin, crispy cookies for the holidays. The samples I tasted were both delicious – Butter Crunch was quite caramel-y and Double Chocolate Peppermint was minty, but leaned more chocolate than, say, a Thin Mint. Neither one, however, struck me as particularly a holiday flavor. With repackaging, these could run all year.

Available starting in October in grocery stores and retailers nationally.

Pretzel Pete Seasoned Pretzel Mini Twists – Peppermint Flavored

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I don’t think I’ve ever had a peppermint pretzel that didn’t have white chocolate to act as a liaison. Pretzel Pete cut out the middleman and put the peppa’ right on the pretz here. The seasoning dust was sweet, minty and buttery. The pretzels were the standard mini twists that we all know. It was a good combo. I really enjoyed them.

Available on Amazon starting in August

Crafty Cooking Kits – Who-ville Village, Who-ville House, Mini Who-ville House and Mickey Mouse Holiday Gingerbread Cabin Baking Kits

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As someone who loves baking, these pre-baked kits make me a little sad that children aren’t getting the full experience of making something from scratch. But if they act as a gateway drug to get screen-obsessed kiddos into the kitchen and creating, I’m OK with it. And they’re adorable.

Available in grocery stores and retailers starting September/October.

Rice Krispies Treats Kits – Ugly Sweater, Holiday Snowman, and Christmas Stocking

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Huh, this ugly sweater thing just keeps going, doesn’t it? These kits provide the Rice Krispies, marshmallows and decorating supplies. You add butter to make the treats and lay on the frosting and sprinkles.

Available in grocery stores and retailers starting September/October.

Skinny Syrups Limited Edition Holiday Collection – Christmas Cookie, Peppermint Bark, and White Chocolate Mocha

Skinny Syrups Whipped Foam Topping – Chocolate Peppermint and Christmas Cookie

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These zero-calorie syrups seem like a good multi-purpose product, particularly for those of us trying to escape the holidays without a massive weight gain. In addition to what the label suggests, I want to try these in cocktails, throw a dash into peanut butter, and add them to waffle/pancake mix. The foams – let’s face it, those would just get poofed right into my mouth. I won’t bother with the pretense of a food vehicle. I didn’t get to sample them, but I’ll be looking for them on shelves.

Mississippi Cheese Straw Factory Cookie Straws – Peppermint and Red Velvet

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Both of these cookies were dense but crunchy with a powdered sugar coating and would make a nice addition to a holiday cookie table. The peppermint cookie straws were a subtle peppermint. Red Velvet cookies were basically a chocolate chip cookie with a red color.

Available in gourmet shops and select department stores and online starting in September.

Stonewall Kitchen Holiday Baking Mixes – Chocolate Peppermint Brownie Mix, Chocolate Peppermint Fudge Mix, and Holiday Bundt Cake Mix

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Sadly, I didn’t get to sample these baking mixes, which is downright tragic. I’ve never seen a Fudge mix before. I was told that the bundt mix is like panettone. Since panettone is a yeast bread, I’m guessing this is a vanilla cake with the traditional panettone mix-ins like raisins and candied citrus.

Available in gourmet shops and select grocery stores start in September/October.

Dry Sparkling Soda – Cranberry and Blood Orange

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For the holidays, Dry is making new flavors of their soda in large, festive, champagne-like bottles. While there were no samples on hand, the horror-movie enthusiast in me gets very excited at any mention of blood orange, so I’ll be looking for that on shelves.

Available starting in September/October in grocery, big box stores and Amazon.

Dewey’s Bakery Limited Edition Holiday Cookies – Soft Baked Dark Chocolate Mint with Chocolate Chips, Soft Baked Triple Chocolate Brownie, Moravian Style Gingerbread Cookie Thins, and Moravian Style Hot Cocoa Cookie Thins

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Dewey’s was showing and sampling their holiday cookie lineup. I tried the gingerbread and hot cocoa cookie thins, which were tasty and delicate. Exactly the kind of cookies you munch away on and then realize “I ate THIRTY of those?” I also had the urge to make a sandwich cookie out of them with some homemade jam. The hot cocoa thins with a couple of mini-marshmallows between them, microwaved for a few seconds would be great, too.

Available starting in September/October in major grocery chains nationwide.

Hands Off My Chocolate – Strawberry Meringue White Chocolate and Cinnamon Cookies Milk Chocolate

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These weren’t available for sampling, but I love the packaging and look of the bars, so I’m going to try to track them down for stocking-stuffers. They look like little bundt cakes or wreaths. So cute!

Available at select retailers starting in September/October.

One thought to “SPOTTED AT THE 2018 SUMMER FANCY FOOD SHOW (CHRISTMAS IN JULY EDITION)”

  1. Nestle Carnation makes Famous Fudge Kit. I thought a bundt cake was just a cake, nonspecific recipe, in the shape of a bindi pan; guess the fruit and but mix ins make it a “holiday “ cake.

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