Ask any food insider – from star chefs to famous retailers – and you’ll hear that The Fancy Food Show is the must-visit destination for the specialty food industry. The semi-annual trade show celebrates the people and the passion behind the products we see on store shelves and bestows annual awards, the sofis, in categories ranging from baked goods to snacks.

This year, 180,000 products were shown at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City, and Denise Purcell, senior director of content for the Specialty Food Association and a member of the show’s trendspotter panel, checked out as many as she could to get a sense of what the up and coming trends are.

Take a look at what we’ll likely be seeing a lot more of in the near future:

Cookie Butters

Amoretti Cookie Spread Lead Image
Amoretti suggests that you spread this silky and creamy cookie butter on your morning toast or pancakes, or even mix a dollop into your yogurt.

We’re not talking about raw cookie dough here — these spreads are made of finely ground cookies, calling to mind a dessert variation of almond butter. “Dave's Gourmet is making a new oatmeal cookie butter that tastes just like a cookie and is good on toast, mixed with ice cream or eaten right out of the jar,” says Purcell. The treat, which won a coveted sofi award, proving it is one of the very best specialty foods, was inspired by a popular Belgian paste based on the Speculoos gingerbread cookie. Other American entrepreneurs hitting this new sweet spot include Amoretti Graham Cracker Natural Cookie Spread and Gooey on the Inside’s handcrafted cookie butter in flavors like Fluffernana (bananas, peanut butter, marshmallow), Smores and Chocolate Chip.

Premium Jerky

Salmon Jerky Lead Image
Ocean Beauty began in 1910 as a storefront on the Seattle waterfront called the Washington Fish and Oyster Company. Wild Salmon Jerky is their newest product and is available in three flavors: Teriyaki, Black Pepper and Original.

“All of a sudden, jerky is huge,” says Purcell. “Not processed sticks, but high-quality turkey, grass-fed beef, wild salmon — it’s a whole makeover of the category. There’s even Cactus Jerky for vegetarians.” The protein-packed, chewy snack is appealing for its convenience, plus there’s the perception that it’s better for you since it’s not full of sugar and fat. “And it’s a taste adventure,” she notes. Brands to look for include SlantShack Jerky, whose grass-fed beef is marinated in Bronx Brewery Pale Ale, marrying it to another trend: craft beer. Ocean Beauty Seafoods recently debuted wild-caught, omega-3-rich salmon jerky and the latest offering from Field Trip Jerky: all-natural turkey jerky with crushed chilies. “Chilies, in general, are another major flavor trend right now,” adds Purcell.

Smoked Foods

Smoked Chocolate Chips Lead Image
Founder Autumn Martin grew up around freshly caught and freshly smoked salmon, and became fond of smoky flavors at an early age. Using a cold-smoking method she developed, Autumn has been smoking chocolate for years.

“Smoked foods have moved beyond the meat and cheese category and are exploding in new areas like chocolates and pickled vegetables,” notes Purcell. “It gives a new layer of taste to familiar things and can be used in really delicious, unique applications.” For example, she praises Rick’s Picks for dreaming up Smokra, smoky okra enlivened with Spanish paprika, a snack that snagged the sofi award in the Appetizer, Antipasto or Hors d'Oeuvres category. Smoked chocolate chips from Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery — the perfect ingredient to give cookies a compelling new twist — were also a big hit.

Seaweed Snacks

Seaweed Snack Lead Image
GimMe Health Foods is owned and operated by Annie Chun and her husband Steve Broad. The company got is name, gimMe, from gim, the Korean word for seaweed, and the fact that it tastes so good, everyone wants more.

“Healthy, crunchy snacks like lentil chips and roasted chickpeas have been growing in the last couple of years, as alternatives to potato chips,” Purcell says. “Now we’re seeing seaweed, tied to the kale phenomenon, as the next green that’s going to take off.” At the Fancy Food Show she noticed seaweed chips from SeaSnax in flavors like jalapeno and Korean BBQ plus Gimme seaweed snacks roasted with teriyaki, wasabi and coconut oil.

Bourbon As An Ingredient

Bourbon Brittle Lead Image
Handcrafted by native Nashvillians in the heart of Music City, Olive & Sinclair's uses a bean-to-bar approach. Select single-origin beans are combined with pure brown sugar for a smooth and robust flavor.

“Bourbon has been popular as a flavor trend for the past couple of years in barbecue sauces, but now it’s popping up in different ways,” Purcell says. One of those ways: ice cream, including Brown Sugar Bourban and Pecan from Batch, which won in the Dessert category at the Fancy Food Show. Another bourbon-infused treat: Brooklyn Brine Co.’s Spicy Maple Bourbon Pickle, which was a finalist in the Appetizer, Antipasto or Hors d'Oeuvres category. Winning Outstanding Confection this year was Olive & Sinclair’s Bourbon Nib Brittle, which contains cacao beans aged in bourbon barrels from some of the best distilleries in the South. “The bourbon is not overpowering,” Purcell reports. “It just gave it an interesting twist.”