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Make way for breadfruit waffles and maple pancake ice cream

Maple-flavored foods are trending these days — as are snacks made from cauliflower and burgers made from anything but meat, judging from a list of the Specialty Food Association's favorite new products.

Why it matters: The winning products — which include a breadfruit pancake and waffle mix, a salted caramel hot chocolate and a vegan cheese made from carrots — point to the flavors and products that will be on the menu in mainstream restaurants and in home kitchens.

A taste: Winners of the Specialty Food Association's "sofi Awards" include Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream’s Maple Soaked Pancakes, Rick’s Picks Savory Snacking Cauliflower Florets and Gathered Food Corp.’s Plant-Based Salmon Burgers.

Methodology: The judges, who hailed from the Food Innovation Center at Rutgers University, used "flavor, appearance, texture, aroma, ingredient quality and innovation" as their criteria.

Of note: Weird ice cream flavors — including "everything bagel" and "mac 'n' cheese" — are a new trend, per The Wall Street Journal.

What's next: Some of these products could be showing up in your neighborhood 7-Eleven.

  • The company has started a contest for rising food makers who want to be featured next to the Slurpee machine (and elsewhere in the stores).
  • "Sevs" (as 7-Eleven is known in Jennifer's household) has said that it wants "to expand its product offerings past those of a typical convenience store."

Editor's note: This story was originally published on May 10.

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