Bizarre Food Trends to Watch in 2018

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The food and beverage space has been rapidly changing over the past five years and 2018 looks to be no different. In this post, we will look at some of the Daily Mail’s bizarre food trends to watch in 2018.

Meat Like Veggie Burgers

Veggie burgers have come a long way in the past few years. Anyone with experience eating veggie burgers knows that they have often been dry and bland. Companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods have developed juicy veggie burgers that mimic the texture and taste of real meat burgers. Impossible Foods’ burger even bleeds! Watch out for these burgers near all your genuine beef products in 2018.

It’s 2018, and we are Drinking Mushroom Lattes

Mushrooms have been getting a lot of hype in 2017, and that looks to continue in 2018. New mushroom enhanced coffee is focused on giving you the caffeine kick without the jitters. Four Sigmatic is selling arabica coffee blended with fungi including Lion’s Mane and Chaga. Be on the lookout for coffee bars and mushroom lattes next year!

Bizarre Veggie Bread

Companies are looking for ways to make products healthier especially bread manufacturers. Over the past five years, bread manufacturers in the U.K. have seen sales decline by 12%. They have developed a high protein, low carb veggie bread to lure customers back. These loaves of bread are being made out of beetroot, courgette, and red pepper.

Sweet and Sour Super Fruit

Superfoods and more specifically superfruits have been buzzing for years now. Jackfruit is the latest superfood to pick up steam and demand. In 2018, you can eat it raw, so it tastes sweet like a mango or cook it for a sour taste. The jackfruit is full of calcium and iron.

High Protein Ice Cream

Yes, ice cream is trying to be better for you! Brands are hopping on the protein train and packing it into every spoonful. Be on the lookout for new products from Breyers to compete with protein-infused ice cream originator, Enlightened.

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Whole Foods Releases Top 10 Trends to Watch in 2018

Whole Foods Market, one of leading natural grocery retailers, teamed up with experts to forecast what they believe will be the top 10 trends food in 2018. The seasoned-trend spotters were purchased by Amazon earlier this year, and now have over 100 years of combined experience in product sourcing and studying consumer preferences.

Whole Foods Top Ten Trends in 2018

1. Super Powders

The superfood powders have been gaining traction and will reach new heights next year. They gained market share because they are easy to incorporate into smoothies, nutrition bars, soups, and baked goods. Popular superfood powders include maca root, cacao, ground turmeric, kale, herbs, collagen, and more. Even nutritionally dense powders like GrandFusion are being used to add natural vitamins and minerals to new products.

2. Floral Flavors

Infusing botanical flavors into drinks and snacks will be a huge trend to watch this year. Look for things like lavender lattes and rose-flavored everything. Teas will continue to be huge category using botanicals but be on the lookout for granolas, cocktails, frozen pops, and mineral water.

3. Functional Mushrooms

This could be the hottest trend in 2018, but only time will tell with shoppers. Typically found in dietary supplements, mushrooms use is growing amongst a variety of food and beverage categories. Bottled drinks, coffees, smoothies, teas, and broths will lead the way in 2018.

4. Transparency 2.0

Product transparency is not going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, in 2018, consumers only expect more. They want to know the story of their food from the source to the store. Responsible production and animal welfare will continue to drive a lot of purchases with GMO transparency being important as well.

5. All Plant-Based Everything

The tech world has now met the plant-based world and they have some cool ideas brewing. They are using science to manipulate ingredients and proteins to create crazy dishes like “bleeding” vegan burgers and sushi-grade “not-tuna” from tomatoes. Dairy-free desserts will be a huge trend in 2018 with vegan frosting, brownies, and ice cream making their way to the shelf.

6. Puffed and Popped Snacks

New extrusion methods are paving the way for unique crunch and popped snacks like popped cassava chips and puffed pasta bow ties. Better-for-you snacks will get an upgrade with snacks like lentil crisps, unique veggie straws, and rice crisps joining the snack aisle.

7. Middle East Feast

It’s interesting to see Middle Eastern culinary influences start to catch fire in 2018. Hummus and Pita were taste entry points, but consumers are hungry for more like shakshuka, grilled halloumi, and lamb. Pomegranate, eggplant, chickpeas, and tomato jam will start to pick up more steam in 2018 as well.

8. Tacos Leave Their Shell

Tacos are not only meant for lunch and dinner. In 2018, you will start to see them more at breakfast and in desserts. New kinds of wrappers are showing up like seaweed and grain free options. But don’t worry, classic tacos aren’t going anywhere.

9. Root-to-Stem

Root-to-stem cooking will be one of the leading trends in 2018 as reducing food waste drives the style. The cooking style uses the entire fruit or vegetable including the steams and leaves which are less commonly eating. Recipes including beet-green pesto, broccoli-stem slaw, and pickled watermelon rinds.

10. Cheers to the Other Bubbly

Sparkling beverages are the hot drinks on the block with LaCroix leading the way. But, please don’t call them SODA! New sparkling waters are going plant-based with maple and birch as well as mocktail flavors of grapefruit, lemon, lime, and orange.

Check out Whole Foods in 2018 to try a variety of products hitting on these trends in 2018!

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Infographic: 7 Trends Disrupting the Food Industry

Check out these seven trends disrupting the Austrailian and New Zealand food industry in 2017!

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Top 10 Food Trends to Watch at IFT 2017

In April, Food Technology magazine editor, Elizabeth Sloan, published an extensive article on the top 10 trends in the food industry. IFT 2017 in Las Vegas will be a great opportunity to see how ingredient companies are trying to meet the new priorities on healthy, natural, and nutritional focused offerings.

Here is a look at the top 10 trends to watch at IFT 2017 Las Vegas.

1. Prep It

Partially prepared foods are winning in-home supper preparation. According to FMI, 53% of shoppers used some semi-prepared foods versus on 35% that cooked from scratch. In 2016, sales of clean/preservative-free frozen meals reached $2.3 billion. Convenience continues to drive brands to develop quickly prepared foods and meals to meet the consumer’s lifestyle.

2. Lifestyle Foods

46% of the time Americans are eating alone with single adults making up 28% of all U.S. households. It’s no wonder that single-serve packaging and individual multi-packs are seeing increased demand. According to Accosta, 74% of people agree that frozen snacks are convenient at work which highlights that single-serve, on-the-go packaging could increase frozen snack sales substantially. People are now eating more early morning meals, and they are focused on nutrients and protein. Brands have to take a look at how lifestyles are changing to make effective decisions with new product development going forward.

3. Kid-Specific

Baby, toddler, and kid-focused products will grow rapidly as Millennials start to settle down over the next few years. According to Euromonitor, sales of infant formula are expected to grow to over $50 billion worldwide in 2017. Vitamin and mineral fortified, digestive health, eye health, organic, non-GMO, and all natural are top claims on leading formulas. In a report from IRI, they concluded that 40% of all snack sales are from households with kids. Packaged Facts found that 49% of all moms say that nutrition is the top food selection factor with 23% wanting to see more foods with hidden veggies. Bottom line, kid-focused products that appeal to the health conscious parents are winning.

4. Nationalism

A new pride in products made in America will drive increased sales for American cuisine, ingredients, and comfort food. Southerners and households with kids are most likely to buy and eat American made products. Another trend driving this new nationalism is local sourcing for grocery stores and restaurants. According to FMI, 66% of all U.S. shoppers are interested in meats raised in the United States with 60% believing that foods from China pose health risks. American pride is at a high again, and it’s a significant trend for natural products companies to look at carefully.

5. Nutrition

Consumer demand for a healthy lifestyle with simple application continues to gain steam. According to Nielsen, nutritional/supplement bars, drinks, and meal replacements with among the top 10 fastest growing food and beverage categories in the U.S. IFIC reported that 64% of adults tried to get more protein in their diet with 56% looking for more vitamins and minerals. CRN found that 75% of adults take a multi-vitamin daily. The protein gold mine has been most successful in the healthy snacks and frozen entrees categories according to Nielsen. The biggest missed opportunity according to IRI is in snack nutritionals with 60% of consumers looking for energy boosting snacks and 57% seeking snacks with more vitamins and minerals. Nutrition is easily the hottest trend to look out for at IFT 2017.

6. Dinner Redesigned

80% of all households prepare meals based on alternative proteins to meat/poultry at least once a week with the main reason being health according to FMI. Vegetable based “carb substitutes” are a fast growing trend at the dinner table with vegetable noodles and fries at the top of the list. New dinner trends will be important to look at as companies develop new entrees for this meal.

7. Ag Alternatives


Americans are currently experimenting with more plant-based meals. According to NRA, 40% of chefs still cite vegetarian and vegan cuisines as hot culinary trends in 2017. SPINS data showed sales of plant-based food and beverages increased to over $4.9 billion in 2016. Over past 4 years, claims around chia, quinoa, and kamut have been among fastest growing grain-based wellness claims. According to Nielsen, 62% of shoppers bought a food product because it contained fruits and/or vegetables. The new superfood on the block is the mushroom, especially for immune-boosting benefits. New plant alternatives are leading innovation in one of the fastest growing segments of the industry.

8. Upgrading

For the first time in 2016, men were more likely to buy specialty products than women. According to Anon, Sushi is outpacing bakery snacks and breakfast wraps. However, cheese remains the largest specialty category as usual. NPD found that more people are eating meals at another person’s home which is leading to explosive growth in home entertaining specialty foods. Gourmet foods are growing and will be a category to keep your eye on going forward.

9. Claim It

The best marketers and package designers are using claims and copy to convey benefits more quickly to consumers. According to Mintel, the number of “on-the-go” claims increased by 54% over the past six years. The fixation on a clean label has led to more free from, natural, and nutrient content claims. Nielsen found that 70% of all shelf-stable products will most likely be impacted by the new US FDA added sugar labeling requirements. Many sustainable claims around grass fed, free range, etc. are being perceived as healthy. Claims are crucial to attracting consumer attention and closing the deal at the shelf.

10. Natural Living

Consumers are intrigued by living a more natural, chemical-free, sustainable lifestyle. According to Nielsen, products with an organic claim saw a compound annual growth rate of 14.8% over the past 4 years. Natural claims drove growth in natural snacks like candy and cookies. Consumers want minimally processed foods with fewer ingredients, which is somewhat a headache for manufacturers.

The Transformative Food Trends of 2017

While we are still in the middle of the first quarter of the year, food analysts have already determined different food trends that will become popular throughout the rest of the year.

#1: Perfectly Imperfect Whole Foods

People used to be so obsessed with perfection when it comes to their food. They want their carrots to be free from blemishes, and their spinach must have uniformly sized leaves. Today, however, the perception of perfection has changed. To achieve perfect produce, they need to undergo a lot of agricultural treatments. For carrots to be blemish-free, they need to be sprayed with nematicide so that their roots can grow perfectly without being eaten by nematodes.

This year, many customers want imperfect whole foods. For them, foods with cleaner labels are more important than perfect produce. Customers prefer foods that are unadulterated and has undergone minimal processing.

#2: All Smart Everything

You have your smart appliances so expect to see all smart everything in the food scene this year. Multiple companies that manufacture kitchen appliances have developed smart devices to provide more convenience to users. For example, the company Flatev has made kitchen appliances that will allow you to make homemade tortillas or bread with just a few clicks of the finger.

#3: Plant-Based Movement

Another trend this year is the plant-based movement. Consumption of plant products is increasing this year as more people are becoming aware of the health and environmental benefits of eating a plant-based diet. In fact, many companies have jumped on the bandwagon of producing plant-based food. Almond milk, for instance, is a billion-dollar industry that is constantly increasing its revenue as more people are looking for dairy alternatives. Other companies have also created plant-based meats to meet the demands of people who prefer not to eat meat.

#4: Internet Retailing

Big retailers like Walmart, Safeway, and Kroger have typically expanded by building a larger store or opening more distribution all over the country—or the world. Building a business through traditional retail may still be popular today, but it is being replaced with internet retailing.

Today, most millennials prefer convenience, which is why online shopping is a very attractive option for buying things. In fact, we can buy anything on the internet. From ready-to-eat meals to groceries, you can simply purchase anything with just a few mouse clicks.

But aside from internet shopping, the use of technology is also implemented in brick and mortar stores. Amazon launched its Amazon Shop where people can shop for items without having the need to go through a checkout counter as their payments are already deducted through RFID.

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Mintel’s 2017 Global Food and Drink Industry Trends

Now that 2016 is over, it’s time to look at the food and beverage trends shaping up to make an impact in 2017. Mintel recently announced the top six trends that they believe will see fast growth this year. Check out their predictions below!

1. Traditional Processing

While our food today is made using modern processing, many people are now opting for foods made by conventional processing techniques. Companies are looking at using age-old formulation as well as classic flavors. People tend to view these foods as safe, reliable, and recognizable. This trend can be attributed to the recent rise of ancient recipes, cooking practices, and traditions that have resurfaced to incite the feeling of familiarity in the kitchen and food.

2. Plant-Based Formulation

Plant-based diets are becoming more popular, and Mintel expects this to be a huge area for growth in the industry. As a result, the food and drink industry is developing more products that emphasize using plant-based ingredients. This trend will not only be perfect for vegans and vegetarians but also flexitarians. We predict there will be an increased consumption of vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, grains and other botanical products.

3. Zero Food Waste

The year 2017 will be the year of the environment. But how does that relate to food? The answer is zero food waste. Today, many food manufacturers and restaurant owners want to address the growing problem of food waste. There will be an increasing awareness among people to use “ugly” produce as well as repurposing food ingredients to avoid wastage.

4. Night Shift Market

In today’s fast-paced life, many people have to work at night when we are all asleep. This lifestyle creates a new market niche for food manufacturers. Companies are developing products that are solely dedicated to nighttime workers as well as those who stay up late at night. Products such as teas made from lavender and chamomile are now introduced to night owls so that they can relax better just before their bedtime.

5. Healthy Food for Everyone

In the past years, only people from the higher income brackets could afford to eat healthily. Fortunately, 2017 will be the year when even lower-income consumers can afford to eat healthily.  2016 helped drive this change with companies like Annie’s leading the Everybunny campaign and other organizations lobbying for subsidized fruits and vegetables to keep prices low.

6. Convenient Healthy Foods

Convenience has been driving change in food for over 30 years, but the new opportunity is in creating fast, healthy foods. People want to eat food conveniently so many food and drink manufacturers are developing new ways to deliver their products faster without compromising the taste and nutritional content.

If you have noticed, the trends of 2017 revolve around the idea of eating convenient, healthy, and reliable foods. It’s not that surprising if you’ve watched the market over the past few years. It will be interesting to see which companies take advantage of these growth opportunities in 2017 and beyond.

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