NASFT Presents Fall Food Picks

Pumpkin, Sweet Potato, Squash Crop Up in Unexpected Places

New York, N.Y. -- Specialty food makers are going nuts for fall. Pumpkin, sweet potato and squash are cropping up in salsa, pasta sauce, crackers and even chocolate. In fact, trendspotters for the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade named fall flavors one of the top five food trends of 2010.

With planning for tailgating parties, Halloween and Thanksgiving in full swing, the NASFT has assembled a list of foods from a bounty of fall specialty products to help add panache to parties and dress up home-cooked meals. These foods and beverages, from members of the NASFT, a not-for-profit trade association for food artisans and entrepreneurs, include:

 Low Country Produce - Sweet Potato Butter
 Frontera Foods - Chipotle Pumpkin Seasonal Salsa
 Food Should Taste Good - Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips
 Polka Dot Bake Shop - Sweet Potato Crackers
 Castleton Crackers - "Putney Pumpkin" flavor with dried cranberries and thyme
 Nutorious Nut Confections - Pumpkin Palooza Nut Mix
 Simply Delish - Chunky Dip, Roasted Pumpkin
 Dave's Gourmet - Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce
 DeBrand Chocolatier - Sweet Potato Tasting Bar
 Sweet Marguerites Artisanal Chocolates - Umami Assortment including Sweet Potato Caramel

"Fall is the season of comfort foods, and these new twists on products reflect the bounty of innovation and creativity among today's specialty food makers," says Ann Daw, president of the NASFT. "They will enhance any occasion and fit right in with consumer trends."

According to new NASFT research, consumers are making a strong return to specialty foods this year. Sixty three percent of U.S. consumers have bought specialty foods in 2010 versus 46 percent last year. Of this year's specialty food consumers, 62 percent said they use specialty foods for everyday meals at home, and 35 percent said they look to these products for special occasions at home.

"Top Food Products for Your Thanksgiving Menu," a new article on foodspring.com, the NASFT's website for consumers, presents more fall ideas. Among the picks, selected by specialty food retailers, are Stonewall Kitchen Butternut Squash Risotto Mix, Urban Accents Gourmet Gobbler Turkey Rub, and Hidden Orchard Pumpkin Butter.

The top five food trends for 2010 were selected by a panel of food experts at the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York, the largest such marketplace for specialty food and beverages in the U.S. They are Great Vinegars; Indian Products; Grains, Nuts & Seeds; Squash, Pumpkin and Sweet Potato, and Handcrafted Local Heritage Foods.

The NASFT is a not-for-profit trade association established in 1952 to foster commerce and interest in the specialty food industry. Today there are more than 2,900 members in the U.S. and abroad. The NASFT's website for consumers, foodspring.com, provides an insider's look at specialty foods and the companies, entrepreneurs and artisans behind them. For information on the NASFT, go to foodspring.com/about/nasft. For information on the NASFT's Fancy Food Shows, go to www.foodspring.com/about/fancy-food

NASFT MEDIA CONTACTS:
Ron Tanner, VP Communications & Education; 646-878-0115, rtanner@nasft.org
Louise Kramer, Communications Director; 646-878-0130, lkramer@nasft.org