Top industry trends are emerging at NCA's Sweets and Snacks Expo this week, as confectioners unveil new flavors such as maple syrup, specific varieties of apples, blood orange and s'mores, as well as customizable cookies, crackers and candies. Other new products include flavor mashups, functional products, jumbo shareable versions of iconic treats and "thin" cookies and biscuits.
Whole-wheat and whole-grain breads are not always equally healthy, but Dr. David Ludwig of Boston Children's Hospital said those that still contain bits of intact grain are less processed, take more time to digest and can help keep blood sugar and insulin levels from spiking. There is a trend toward eating less processed foods, and artisanal baker Dan Gottfredson of Rockville, Md., said high-fiber, crunchy breads are his best sellers.
A study found that people who shop when they are hungry may buy more calories, so nutritionist Dr. Lisa Young recommends having a healthy snack before going to the store. Some quick options include an apple with peanut butter, fruit with yogurt or cottage cheese, a cup of mixed vegetables with hummus, a fruit smoothie or whole-grain crackers and reduced-fat cheese.
It is not true that brown sugar is healthier than white sugar, and while maple syrup and honey might be slightly better options, dietitian Cindy Sass says people should reduce their intake of sugar overall. Nutrition experts say that while it's true that microwave cooking can destroy the B-12 vitamin content of foods, it's a myth that sea salt is healthier than regular salt and that multi-grain foods are as nutritious as whole-grain foods.
New York City bakeries are giving Danishes a gourmet makeover that is causing foodies to flock to their local pastry shop. Bakeries such as Runner & Stone are filling the flaky dough with ingredients that include high-end cheese, rich fruit fillings and maple syrup.