Food services and facilities management company, Sodexo USA, has released a list of the top five food trends to expect for this year. The list was developed by Sodexo’s culinary experts and some of these trends are already visible in the food space.
Consumers are now more environmentally conscious than ever. In the food industry, many manufacturers are appealing to this demographic through sustainable packaging. This why there is a growth in bio-based and recyclable packaging in food and beverage products.
However, according to Sodexo, people want to go beyond packaging this year and work on reducing food waste. More people are eating parts of foods that had previously been thrown away. Products made from beet greens, broccoli stalks and even watermelon rinds are rising in popularity.
- Plant Forward Eating
According to Sodexo, the plant-based eating trend is expected to grow this year. Though there are many consumers who support the meat industry, that number is expected to fall as people start to incorporate plant-protein into their diets. Recent research from Health Focus shows that over 60 percent of consumers are now cutting back on meat products.
This trend’s effect on the food industry is already visible. Canada’s biggest meat-processer, Maple Leaf Foods, had acquired vegan-protein manufacturer Field Roast Grain Meat Co. last December. More recently, Aldi launched nine vegan protein products under their new private label Earth Grown brand.
- Fermented Foods
Foods that are rich in probiotics and prebiotics are in the spotlight this year. As consumers become more aware of the health benefits of regular probiotic and prebiotic consumption, the market for such products is expanding. From fermented dairy products to teas, the probiotic trend is bringing about the launch new and innovative products.
According to market research firm Packaged Facts, about 25 percent of US adults look for foods that are rich in these bacterial cultures. This growing consumer interest in digestive health has encouraged major beverage companies to invest in new products. Beverage giant Pepsi Co. recently acquired probiotic beverage maker, KeVita, and launched a new Tropicana Essentials Probiotics line.
With the market for probiotics expected to reach a total of $50 billion by 2020, it is a trend that is likely to grow this year.
- Non-grain Sustainable Proteins
With consumers being aware of the current agricultural strains on the environment, the production of non-grain sustainable protein products has increased. Sodexo USA expects foods like cricket powder and algae, which are high in protein and can replace grain products, to rise in popularity this year.
- International Cuisine from Israel, Morocco and the Philippines
The American consumer demographic is becoming more diverse, leading to new international flavors and food creations. People are starting to appreciate international cuisines and foods from countries like Israel, Morocco and the Philippines. This growth in international flavors has also brought rise to fusion foods that incorporate one or more international flavors and ingredients in a traditional American dish.
These food trends are indicative of a more diverse and environmentally conscious consumer demographic. Foods that are not only good-for-you but good for the environment and the welfare of animals will become more accessible in the food space this year.