The Best Food Trend of 2024, According to a Food Editor

This sweet snack is my hands-down favorite food trend.

<p>Simply Recipes / Photo Illustration by Wanda Abraham / Ciara Kehoe</p>

Simply Recipes / Photo Illustration by Wanda Abraham / Ciara Kehoe

I was lucky enough to attend the Fancy Food Show in Las Vegas this past weekend, and to call it overwhelming would be an understatement (that being said, the one in NYC is apparently bigger). There were over 1,200 vendors at the show, with many of them showing off tasty new products. I ate my weight in samples over the course of an entire day (I love my job).

One thing the Fancy Food Show PR team focuses on is spotting trends, and as my co-worker and I paced the long aisles, we did the same thing. It was genuinely interesting to see what types of products popped up again and again, like yuzu treats and snacks to pair with cocktails and wine. Out of all the trends we spotted however, one such trendy item stood out to me: dates! 

Why the Dates Trend Is a Trend Worth Doing

In addition to snacking dates, and dates used as an in various products, the most memorable things we sampled were the dates stuffed with different fillings. We’ve seen fancified dates make the rounds on social media the last few years—they’ve often gone by the name candy bar dates or Snickers dates. And now food brands are responding with their own products, ready to eat right out of the packaging. The ones we tried were filled with things such as nuts, peanut butter, and/or caramel, and they dipped in chocolate. Some were then rolled in coconut or chopped nuts. All were delicious.

One of our favorite stops at the show was Rancho Meladuco Date Farm based out of Southern California. I’ve spotted their lovely packaging a few times but have never sampled their dates. They set out halved, pitted dates topped with a swipe of PB Love Co. cinnamon almond butter and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt. Sweet, creamy, nutty, and lightly salty—it was so simple and divine. 

<p>Simply Recipes / Photo Illustrations by Wanda Abraham / Ciara Kehoe</p>

Simply Recipes / Photo Illustrations by Wanda Abraham / Ciara Kehoe

How To Make Your Own Candy Bar Dates

I make my own stuffed dates every month or so and stash them in the fridge—and while I wouldn’t call them a 1:1 swap for a Snickers or other candy bar, these dates are completely delicious. They’re ideal after lunch when I need a little something sweet to get me through the rest of the work day.

The natural sweetness of the date means no extra sugar is required, and the texture of a great date is somewhere between nougat and caramel. This also makes it a natural pairing with crunchy roasted nuts and dark chocolate. A sprinkle of salt helps offset the sweetness of the date.

Keep an eye on grocery store shelves in the coming year for more creative date products. I’ll keep making my own, but I’ll also grab a few ready-to-eat dates to squirrel away in case of emergencies.

Get Recipe with Title: Candy Bar Dates Recipe

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