Being a food blogger, I try to stay up to date on all the industry food trends.
Following food writers Marion Nestle and Dianne Jacob, among magazines and blogs, I have found my top five food trends which may influence the grocery and restaurant industries for 2018.
5. Sugar Under Fire
Admit it, the United States has an obesity health crisis. One reason the epidemic seems to get worse each year is sugar consumption.
I am not talking about naturally occurring sweeteners found in strawberries and fruit. I mean artificially manufactured sugars, which processed food manufactures use to add flavor.
Our bodies need sugar, which we turn into energy; however, the health effects vary depending on what type of sugar you are consuming.
Foods with natural sugar have an important role in the diet of cancer patients and anyone trying to prevent cancer because they provide essential nutrients that keep the body healthy and help prevent disease.
Food manufacturers add chemically produced sugar, typically high-fructose corn syrup, to foods and beverages, including crackers, flavored yogurt, snacks, cereals and condiments.
Over consumption of refined sugars leads to obesity. Obesity has been associated with various cancers. However, fruits high in antioxidants—blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and apples—may reduce your cancer risk. The fiber in fruit, found mainly in its skin, suppresses your appetite to prevent overeating and weight gain.
In 2018, health officials will continue recommending a whole food lifestyle. Whole foods refer to foods that are either unprocessed, such as fruit and vegetables, or minimally processed, such as whole grains.
4. Chick Pea Innovations
Along with health officials urging Americans to adapt whole food, balanced eating habits; the food industry will continue to develop options derived from plants.
Chick pea seeds are high in protein and one of the earliest cultivated legumes in the world.
Sweet Earth Foods, an innovator in vegetarian foods, was purchased by Nestle (the largest food company in the world), who plans to expand and research new ways to create plant-based protein from real food.
Sweet Earth Foods founder, Kelly Swette, says Nestle has been working towards removing sugar, salt, preservatives and artificial flavors from their frozen foods line. She believes, “Nestlé sees the acquisition as an important movement in food that has international implications.”
Chick Peas are in Hummus, Tofu, and many Indian curry dishes. Sweet Earth Foods will devise new ways to incorporate chick peas in their products, like their chick pea patty and veggie sausage.
3. Food Labeling Decisions
The United States Department of Agriculture is expected to finalize its rule on GMO (genetically modified organisms) product labeling in July 2018.
I am completely against GMO’s in our food supply. I wrote a four part series about the relationship between our food industry and the federal government regarding this topic, in 2016.
The ruling should include what types of products, if any, will be required full disclosure of GMO ingredients. Other questions, which will hopefully be answered are:
- What does “bio-engineered mean?”
- Will highly refined foods made from genetically modified products, such as high fructose corn syrup or soybean oil, require GMO labels?
- What will be the exact required verbiage for generically modified foods?
- What will be the implementation deadlines for manufactures?
The popularity and social commentary of probiotics will increase in 2018.
Probiotics are live micro-organisms that when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit in the host (World Health Organization).
The Greeks and Romans initiated the consumption of probiotics through preservation of cheese and fermentation of other foods.
Every New Year, the most popular resolution is “LOSING WEIGHT.” With our increasing fascination with “good gut health,” we turn to Probiotics.
Look for food manufactures to begin to market and label food “PROBIOTICS = GOOD DIGESTIVE HEALTH.”
1. The Amazon Effect
With the $13.7 BILLION dollar acquisition of Whole Foods, Amazon entered the food eCommerce industry.
In 2018, we will find out what effect this will have on our shopping and the Grocery Manufactures Association.
In the 1950’s, there were minimal supermarkets throughout suburban America; only 60 years later (which is a short time for innovation), we have supermarkets everywhere.
Will Amazon eliminate the 45-60 minute pantry stocking trips many families make; in lieu of preparing meals completely off the cuff?
Will AmazonFresh force the closure of the gianormish grocery commercial buildings, throughout our neighborhoods?
With limited delivery areas, Amazon’s dominance will take time, however, the merge of Whole Foods and Amazon has already started to impact the grocery landscape.
What food trends do you expect in 2018?