KIND Healthy Snacks unveils anticipated food and nutrition trends for 2019
Nearly 5,000 food and nutrition experts predict 2019's developing ingredients, flavors and wellness practices
KIND Healthy Snacks (KIND) has forecasted the top ten food and nutrition trends for 2019. The first annual report is a compilation of thinking from nearly 5,000 experts and practitioners within the food and beverage industry, such as KIND's new product development team of chefs and food scientists, KIND's Nutrition Collective network of 4,500+ registered dietitians, international team members across Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific, and Daniel Lubetzky, KIND's founder & CEO. The trends include:
- Seed Butters: It's no surprise that 2018 was the year of alternative nut butters - such as almond butter, cashew butter and walnut butter. While nut butters' popularity likely won't slow down in the coming year, we anticipate a new offering to hit the scene: seed butters. In 2019, keep an eye out for sunflower, pumpkin and watermelon seed butters - which share the same good fat profile of nut butters, but may offer an alternative for those with nut allergies.
- Cannabinoid Craze: While CBD can be found within lotions and oils to aid folks with chronic conditions, 2019 marks the year where the cannabis plant extract makes its way into the food & beverage industries. We've already seen CBD's presence within coffee, cocktails and even olive oil in 2018 - next year, we anticipate CBD to permeate into other formats such as yogurts, soups and even salad dressings.
- Food Porn No More: The business of perfect-looking food has been ubiquitous within our society for the past few decades. In 2019, we expect this movement to be flipped on its head, and 'ugly' foods to earn the praise they've long deserved. To help prevent food waste, look for retail programs that encourage shoppers to buy ugly produce that is misshapen or flawed in some way.
- African Flavors: African-inspired culinary influences have been ever-present in the American restaurant scene, but 2019 marks the year that these spices and super foods will make their way into more conventional formats. We anticipate flavors and ingredients like harissa, berbere, dukkah, ras el hanout and tiger nuts will make their way into U.S. pantries in items such as condiments, grain snacks and protein rubs.
- Trust Your Gut (Health): Digestive health has emerged as a core component of our modern view of health and wellness, with new appreciation for the powerful impact of the microbiome. Look for even more products to tout the gut health trio of fiber, prebiotics and probiotics. On food labels, look for a Daily Value of 10 percent or more to indicate the product contains a good source of fiber.
- 'Anti-Sugar' to 'Anti-Added Sugar': With the new requirement that companies distinguish between added and naturally-occurring sugars on food labels, consumers are becoming more aware that not all sugars are created equal. Added sugars are those not naturally found in foods or beverages and are added during manufacturing. Research has shown that dietary patterns lower in sugar-sweetened foods and beverages reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease - stressing the need for individuals to be mindful of their intake.
- H2-Wh0a: While infusing water with fruits and vegetables is common for many Americans, we anticipate other forms of hydration to gain popularity. Coconut water will remain mainstream, but other options will be available for those looking to add more vitamins, minerals and prebiotics to their diet. Such options will include maple water, which contains less than half of the sugar of coconut water, as well as cactus water, which is promoted for skin revitalization.
- Going Meatless Isn't Just for Mondays: From plants to insects and lentils to soy, meat and dairy-free protein alternatives are becoming more mainstream. We can expect to see more innovations highlighting nuts, extruded seeds, beans, water lentils and algae across categories such as snack bars, chips, meat-free burgers or sausages and dairy-free yogurts and cheeses.
- Foods First, Vitamins Second: With growing interest in clean labeling, individuals have adopted a 'food-first' mindset and started embracing whole, minimally processed foods to meet their nutritional needs. This means they are moving away from heavily fortified products and replacing them with whole options that are inherently nutrient-rich.
- Transparency 2.0: While transparency within the food industry is table stakes at this point, consumers are continuing to hold food companies accountable and expect specific information on-pack. This past year, we saw transparency make its way onto the nutrition label, ingredient list and even marketing claims. In 2019, we will see transparency shape companies' cultures, hiring practices and inclusion measures.