With the growing vilification of sugar in recent years and the popularity of low-sugar diets and lifestyles, it’s no secret that brands continue to search for new and different ways to give consumers their sweet fix—the more natural, the better. Enter dates, the fruit of the palm tree that has been enjoyed for its sweet and yielding flesh since ancient times, and that is once again being embraced not only for its sweetness, but also as a good source of fiber, antioxidants and a range of vitamins and minerals.
Dates put on a strong showing at Expo West this year, both on their own and as ingredients in a variety of formats and products ranging from savory to sweet, as well as in a number of different categories—a trend that we expect will continue to grow at Expo East 2019.
Here are some of the date-ful products that have caught our eye so far this year, and some others that we look forward to tasting in Baltimore next month. Another bonus? Many of the brands we’ve seen use organic dates.