A sneak peek at what's coming to your local grocery store

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Grocery shopping. We all have to do it. Some of us love it, some of us hate it, and some of us make our partners do it. But regardless, we all have to venture to the grocery store.

The grocery industry in Canada is worth $90 billion a year. That’s some serious dough (ha!). I had the opportunity to get to attend the annual Grocery Showcase West recently, which shines a spotlight on the newest trends and products that will soon be showing up on the shelves at your local Safeway or Superstore. It was a huge tradeshow, with over 350 exhibitors, and some pretty impressive booths, but here were my favourite new products and food trends.

Urban Mac ‘n’ Cheese Balls

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Deadly delicious. A warm, gooey ball of macaroni and cheese with bacon. These come from a B.C.-based company called Moccia & Urbani. They also make aranchini, and either would be perfect to serve at your next party with a nice marinara sauce to dip them in.

Goat Milk Products

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Okay, I love me some Chèvre, but man, I have never seen so many goat products in one place! There was goat kefir, goat cheese (many different kinds) and even goat ice cream. The joy of goat milk is that, often even people who are lactose intolerant (or allergic to cow’s milk) are not bothered by it.

Coconut

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Coconut has been a big food trend over the past few years. It started with the coconut water craze, which is still running. Coconut water is a natural way to recharge after exercise–it’s full of electrolytes, and it’s all natural, unlike Gatorade or other sports drinks. I’ll be honest with you, I’m no fan of coconut water. But Zico has a new line out of flavoured coconut waters, including coffee and chocolate that were quite palatable.

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Coconut has also become quite popular to cook and bake with. Cooking with Coconut Oil has become quite mainstream, as coconut oil is a healthier, vegetable-based fat. I’ve started baking with Coconut Palm sugar, a less-refined sweetener, and I love the caramelly taste it gives to my cookies. Rockwell’s Whole Foods, out of Saskatoon, sells coconut oils, coconut palm sugar and they just added two new coconut products: a coconut pancake syrup and a coconut oil pan spray. The mister contains no ingredients that will create holes in the ozone. Phew.

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Coconut Ice Cream: FrozenCoco is a local business, which has their operations in Richmond. They create delicious, creamy, vegan ice cream out of coconut milk. They come in six flavours, and I honestly could care less if I ever eat regular ice cream again. The coconut milk makes them incredibly creamy, and they have that creamy mouthfeel that you really crave in a frozen dessert.

Bacon

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Okay, this isn’t a new trend, for sure. But I loved Sunpic’s new line of Aoli dipping sauces, including Baconaise! Yes, that’s right, bacon-flavoured mayo. The great thing about it? It contains no meat, so it’s suitable for those of you who are vegetarians. If you like your burger with a smoky kick, try the Chipotle mayo.

Get Spicy!

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I really loved the new line of seasonings from Langely-based LB Emporium. They sell spice mixes, flavoured salts, and drink rims, with fun names like Aphrodite Bites (Greek), Bollywood Nights, and Last Tango in Paris. My favourite? The cheeky Cook Your Own Damn Dinner (a good-for-everything BBQ kinda spice mix).

Gluten-Free

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Because Gluten-Free living is a trend that is not going away any time soon, companies are creating more and more gluten-free product lines. I especially liked the new gluten-free line of raw dough from Pillsbury. You know the poppin-fresh boy? He now has a gluten-free counterpart. You can bake yourself up some easy, worry-free treats like chocolate chip cookies (or eat the dough straight from the tub!) or make yourself a gluten-free pie from their pre-made dough.

Kefir

Fermentation is a big trend right now. From sauerkraut, to sourdough, from kimchi to kefir, fermented products aid in digestion. Many people who have problems with wheat are able to eat bread that is made with sourdough, as it assists in the breakdown process. Kefir is nothing new, but it’s increasing starting to show up more and more on grocery shelves. It’s a kind of drinkable yogurt, and contains high quantities of acidopholis and other gut-friendly bacteria. It’s great for your digestion, and for you immune system. Find it in the refrigerated section with the milk.

Look for these new products to start showing up soon at your local market!

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Rebecca Coleman Rebecca Coleman is a blogger, teacher and social media marketing strategist. She runs a recipe blog, Cooking By Laptop, and loves to experiment in the kitchen. She blogs at Vancity Buzz about restrictive diets. Connect with Rebecca on Twitter @rebeccacoleman..
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