The Speciality & Fine Food Fair showcases over 700 producers and suppliers of artisan food and drink. With so many products under one roof, we picked up on a number of different trends:
The growth of the free-from food and drink category shows no signs of letting up and innovations on show included
Our Little Rebellion's gluten-free Corners popcorn crisps and popped pea and bean crisps.
Harvest Moon produce coconut milk and cashew-based dairy free desserts made with yoghurt cultures in flavours such as dark berry, lemon and bergamot and chocolate.
In fact, many of the other products below are free-from as this trend becomes increasingly mainstream.
A number of companies demonstrated how they're playing their part in reducing food waste.
Charly's All is Fair, produce vegan organic cheeses that are made from the by-products of organic fair trade cashew production. Varieties include a fresh and herby Boerse'zin and savoury Parm á Zaan.
Barmie's baked beer snacks are designed to be a great accompaniment to craft beer and real ales. They also happen to be made with 'beer barm' a by-product of brewing beer.
Sea-chips produce salmon skin crisps, utilising a nutrient-packed ingredient which is regularly thrown away by fishmongers.
Unexpected vegetable-based products included
The Growers Garden broccoli crisps, which are made by a collective of Scottish farmers. They claim to be the first extruded snack that use fresh vegetables and each bag contains at least 27% broccoli as well as being vegan, gluten-free, high in fibre and low in saturated fat.
The Veggie Plot produce savoury yoghurts for foodies. With a Greek yoghurt base and no-added sugar, varieties include cucumber and dill and beetroot and cumin.
A taste of the sea
Alongside Sea-chips, a number of products showcased the health benefits of seafood and seaweed.
Doctor Seaweed's Weed and Wonderful seaweed infused oils highlighted the role of seaweed in helping with weight management and managing blood sugar release.
Shetland Air-Dried Cod shared their gourmet take on the popular Portuguese speciality bacalhau, which can be conveniently stored at room temperature.
On the fish front,
The Pished Fish showed off their alcohol-infused smoked salmon in varieties such as The Augustus Gloop (with raspberry vodka and blueberries) and Old Fashioned (with whisky, maple syrup and orange zest).
Weed & Wonderful
No-added sugar chocolate
With consumers looking to reduce their sugar intake and big brands looking at reformulating their products in response, artisanal producers are also getting in on the low sugar action.
Chocolette produce Red, a "no added sugar" chocolate which holds 10 patents. Instead of sugar, the chocolate contains inulin, erithritol and stevia obtained from natural sources. This results in a dark chocolate bar with 45% less calories than regular dark chocolate.
Pundits produce a range of chocolate bars sweetened with stevia in award-winning flavours such as milk chocolate and salted caramel and white chocolate and strawberry.
A number of 'other butters' showed their free-from, premium or health credentials.
The Sweet Beet's
Oak Smoked Apple Butter is vegan and gluten free - it's rich and creamy texture is the result of slow-cooked apples combined with caramel and smoked water.
Ghee (clarified butter) and turmeric are two on trend functional ingredients which have been
hailed by celebrities for their health benefits.
Happy Butter have capitalised on both trends by producing certified organic ghee infused with turmeric.
olive oil marmalade is made with a blend of olive oil, sugar, water and xantham gum.
The Sweet Beet
As global resources and space become increasingly scarce, vertical farming (growing crops in vertically stacked layers) has been touted as a possible solution to future food security problems.
Minicrops grows over 60 varieties of micro vegetables and edible flowers in their converted warehouse vertical farm in Deptford. They deliver their produce around the city by electric vehicle, foot or bike.
Bermondsey Street Bees produce award-winning honey from urban hives located on the roof of a Victorian sugar warehouse.
Is your food and drink company looking to take advantage of the latest trends? If so, contact ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre for support with new product development on ZERO2FIVE@cardiffmet.ac.uk or 02920 41 6306.