Posted on Oct 22, 2019, 5 p.m.
We are poised to enter a new decade, and in terms of health food this may be a whole new realm as this past year has brought forth plant based meat and probiotic backed pantry goods. If you think the industry won’t get more innovative you may want to rethink that, as the industry is always looking to improve and set new trends ranging from seeds to eco-friendly sourcing. According to Whole Foods Market, these are some of the top trends on the horizon in their annual report.
Regenerative agriculture, eco-anxiety, and climate change are a hot topic as people have become more aware of farming and grazing practices of most food items. Regenerative agriculture restores degrading soil, improves biodiversity, and increase carbon capture to promote long lasting environmental benefits; these farming practices have become a beacon of hope for those desperate to see a real change in sustainable eco-friendly agriculture initiatives. In the coming year we can expect to see more brands hop on board this bandwagon or risk losing their consumer base as more and more consumers are shopping for products with regenerative practices.
This coming year may be the year of alternative flour with eccentric flour swaps appearing on the shelves to choose from. These flours won’t just be relegated to the baking isle as consumer snacks and pastries have already begun to incorporate these blends into their products. Next year when you want to bake you may be able to reach for banana or cauli-flour as an alternative for an extra boost of protein and fiber.
More wonderful West African flavors are starting to pop up everywhere; this region boasts some super choices such as tamarind and moringa as well as more newcomers such as teff, millet, sorghum, and fonio. In the coming year expect to see more of the subtle influences of West African culture to appear on the shelves.
Snacks are moving from the cupboard to the refrigerator as fresh snacking is a twist on the typical grab and go with single serve portions including foods like pickled vegetables, drinkable soups, and mini dippers of all sorts. This snacking means more wholesome ingredients with less unfamiliar nutrition labels which is a trend everyone should get behind.
Soy has primarily dominated the plant protein scene, in the upcoming year we should be seeing a move towards other plant based options that avoid as many allergens as possible, which means a lot of brands going soy-less. It will be interesting to see how innovative brands will be at imitating meat and dairy without the use of soy.
2020 may have many options for spreads that have those with nut allergies in mind ranging from hummus, watermelon seed butter to chickpea butter to provide plenty of options to spread on toast, bagels, and produce. Many of these makers are going a more eco-friendly route by trying to eliminate the use of palm oil which has been shown to release high levels of carbon dioxide.
Expect brands to revisit children’s menu choices with items such as non-breaded salmon fish sticks, pastas made from alternative flours, and fermented foods. These products have the potential to turn children into more adventurous eaters less dependent on the current sugary foods without them even knowing it.
There may be new options for sugar alternatives as brands have started to make extract reductions from fruits such as dates, coconuts, monk fruit, and pomegranates that can be used to create sweet flavours.
Meat brands may become just a little more plant based while not going completely vegetarian. Some brands and chefs across the nation have begun to include a percentage of plant based ingredients into ready made products such as burgers and meatballs to provide what they consider to be a good choice for a flexitarian meal.
2020 may be ushering in the time to rethink some classical cocktails and other alcoholic beverages. Look forward to seeing many beverage brands using their same distillery methods for alcoholic drinks to produce nonalcoholic alternatives to have some sober fun with a variety of zero proof drinks.
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This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement.