Food Trends

Wellness and Food Trends: Getting to Know the Next Wave

December 16, 2016   /

Want to learn about the latest in wellness and food trends? Studies have shown that the top concern for most people is the retention of mental abilities with age. So you can expect to see more foods and supplements touting these benefits. Other big marketing opportunities include immunity, heart disease, arthritis, eye health, and the body’s ability to “detox.” Here are some other up-and-coming trends.

Fresh, whole foods
Consumers are opting for fresh, whole foods that are naturally rich in nutrients. Organic foods are going to continue to rise in popularity. The less processed, the better as far as today’s shoppers are concerned. However, this does not mean that fortified foods are done, but today’s savvier consumer is more likely to look for specific additions, as opposed to generalized claims, such as “fortified with 12 vitamins and minerals.”

Fewer ingredients, less packaging
Beginning in 2009, a whopping 42% of food and drink categories reduced the number of ingredients in their products. Using minimal packaging is also a growing interest for many people.

Carbon footprint
Many experts say that we can expect to hear a lot more about the “carbon footprint” of our food choices in the near future. Look for food labels related to carbon footprint, water footprint, food miles, biodegradable packaging, and fair trade.

Vegetarian or flexitarian diets
The number of people choosing a vegetarian or flexitarian diet is growing by leaps and bounds for a number of reasons, including environmental concerns, economics, and emerging health information.

Reduced or low-sodium foods
Reduced and low-sodium foods are likely to become the new focus for consumers, now that many people are already choosing reduced-sugar and trans-fat-free foods.

Food and dining options
People are going to continue to experiment with food and dining options, such as gastropubs, fusion dining, and communal dining. Chain restaurants are beginning to experience trouble staying afloat in an oversaturated market, leading the way for more creative endeavors to find room to thrive. Different flavor combinations, such as bacon ice cream or red pepper chocolates, are going to continue to gain popularity, as more people begin to use food as a way of expressing their individuality and unique personality.

Meals at home
Preparing food at home is becoming ever more popular. Some experts theorize that more people are beginning to alter recipes to suit their personal preferences and to add different ethnic components to the dishes.

Food vetting
People want to know exactly where their food has come from, opening the doors for food vetting (food sourcing issues) to become a growing field.

The energy craze
The energy craze started with Red Bull®. Now it seems that food companies are searching for the “anti-Red Bull”—a food or beverage that will calm people. Many will try, and few will probably succeed, but those companies that do manage to create a successful product will likely hit it big in today’s market. For instance, Jones™ GABA soda’s advertisements state that, “Jones GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) increases the production of alpha brain waves, known to enhance focus + clarity. At the same time, the amino acid decreases beta brain waves, which are linked to nervousness and scattered thoughts. In other words, Jones GABA relaxes your brain, puts you ‘in the zone,’ and allows you—and your customers—to perform at your peak.”

Brand-name loyalty
Gone are the days of brand-name loyalty. Private store labels are becoming more creative and more willing to answer people’s desires with appropriate and tasty choices.

Mini desserts
Bite-size mini desserts are forecasted to remain popular well into the future.

Nontraditional fish and meats
Nontraditional fish, such as branzino and Arctic char, are appearing on more restaurant menus, as are new cuts of meat, such as Denver steak.

Locally produced beverages
More people are choosing locally produced wine and beer, micro-distilled liquor, and artisan liquors, both at home and in restaurants.

Gluten-free foods
Gluten-free foods, although debated by many nutrition and health care professionals, are only beginning to pick up steam. The average, healthy shopper, not just those diagnosed with celiac disease, will continue to purchase these products well into the future.

 

References and recommended readings

Helm J. The buzz in 2010: these nutrition trends will be fodder in new year. Available at: http://nutritionunplugged.com/tag/2010-food-trends/. Accessed March 9, 2010.

MyJones Store. Jones GABA. Available at: http://www.myjones.com/store/beverages/jones-gaba.html. Accessed March 20, 2010.

Restaurant.org. Chef survey: what’s HOT in 2010. Available at: http://www.restaurant.org/pdfs/research/whats_hot_2010.pdf. Accessed March 9, 2010.

The Food Channel®. Top 10 food trends in 2010. Available at: http://www.foodchannel.com/stories/2154-top-10-food-trends-for-2010. Accessed March 9, 2010.