A new year is on its way and with it comes new food trends that are inspired by consumer shopping behaviors. Kroger, one of the largest food retailers in the US, has released their annual list of food trend predictions for 2019.
According to the company’s team of Our Brands new product developers, chefs and innovators who focused on flexible eating trends among modern consumers, there are five food trends to look out for in 2019.
- Regional Flavors
According to Kroger’s team, foods are now being influenced by regional and global flavors. Many food items are starting to represent the different regions in the US such as Nashville’s hot chicken and Southern Appalachian pimento cheese.
Last summer, potato chip company Lay’s took advantage of this trend with their limited edition “Taste of America” line of chip flavors. The eight different flavors paid homage to popular foods that are found around the US. The flavor varieties included Thai Sweet Chilli, New England Lobster Roll, Deep Dish Pizza, Chesapeake Bay Crab Spice, Fried Pickles with Ranch, Pimento Cheese, Cajun Spice, Cile Con Queso.
- Plant-Based Foods
The plant-based eating trend continues to grow this year and next as more consumers are starting to have flexible diets. Consumers are starting to go meat or dairy free for certain meals or certain days of the week, making it easier for them to have flexitarian lifestyles. Trends such as Meatless Monday and Flexitarian Friday have been catching a lot of attention on social media. In fact, 31 percent of consumers claimed that they participated in meat-free day once a week last year, according to Kroger.
- Eating Styles
This year the food industry has seen a variety of eating styles or diet trends such as the keto, paleo and Whole30 diets. Kroger cited a recent study which found that 15 percent of the US population identifies as vegetarian or vegan which adds to the plant-based food trend.
- Gut-Healthy Foods
Gut-healthy foods such as yogurt and kombucha are in high demand because of the health benefits associated with probiotics and prebiotics. This why consumers, especially, millennial consumers, have been actively looking to include such foods in their diets.
- Low Sugar and Natural Sweeteners
The low/no sugar trend is taking the food industry by storm as consumers are starting to put more value on low sugar products than low-fat products. In fact, 47 percent of US consumers claim to be working on reducing their sugar intake. This might be why low-calorie sweeteners such a stevia or Reb M glycosides are gaining popularity in food formulations.
As more consumers turn to nutritionally dense, low-sugar, probiotic and ethnic foods, the food industry will continue to transition its portfolio of food offerings. As for this upcoming year, it looks like there is a focus on specific dietary preferences and nutrition, so food companies would do well to add such products to their food offerings.