Top 10 Food Trends of 2019
After a deep dive into the latest emerging trends at some of the major food and beverage conventions, I realized that the world of food is more nimble and responsive to consumer demand than ever. Innovation in the food sector is at top speed and that means more choices for consumers. Interestingly, these trends are coincident, dependent upon the person and the food sector is responding accordingly. Food trends can be tricky often suggesting that they give a “health halo” but every individual is different and working with an expert in the field about dietary trends for individual needs is important piece when making changes to diet.
Here is a roundup of the top 10 food trends that you will see in 2019:
1. Full Fat
I used to watch my mom in awe as she made her traditional Swedish dishes twenty years ago. At a time where butter alternatives were in vogue, my mom bucked the trend with REAL butter insisting that the flavor couldn’t be beat. Today, full fat products are back with keto diets leading the trend with items like pork rinds, real butter, whole milk, bacon, avocados and more. So watch for fat-free, the top trend of 20 years ago, to be displaced by full fat.
2. Kale was King, but Celery is Looking to Dethrone
If you thought celery was for ants on a log, think again. Celery juice is making a major play as a top trend, inspiring home juicers to prepare this beverage in the morning or buy it pre-made for its fiber and other heath attributes. Kale, watch out. The rising celery consumption has pushed prices to historic highs (almost tripling since January 2019).
Food Stakeholder Manager North America
3. Regenerative Food and Ag
Soil is hip today. You may see new labels or ads on some of the foods you eat touting regenerative ag or food. It’s a mouthful, but generally it means companies are focusing on tools that improve soil health, biodiversity and animal welfare practices involved in production of the food. Check out the USDA report showing that conservation tillage was used on roughly 70 percent of soybean (2012), 65 percent of corn (2016), 67 percent of wheat (2017), and 40 percent of cotton (2015) acres.
4. Plant POWER
While we Americans still have a ways to go to get our recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables, there is a trend to include more plants in different food products. Think cauliflower everything, vegetable noodles, peas, juicing, exotic fruits, berries, diverse lettuces, beets, avocados, coconuts and plant based beverages. Look to see grocery stores amplifying their produce departments as a differentiator.
5. Spice it up
When I first learned about new spices and their impact on digestive health, I was skeptical. That was until I read how turmeric was being characterized as the Justin Timberlake of spices. Multi-talented, exotic and tasty, this spice is fast making its way into your coffee, juices, tea and milk. Other spices and supplemental to watch for: matcha, ashwagandha and maca.
6. Return to Your Roots
Getting the soil under your fingernails and connecting to how your food is grown and processed is making a comeback. Thank Martha Stewart, Pinterest and the Food Network for this growing trend of getting closer to your food. Backyard chicken coops, gardens, pickling, jams and homemade sourdough bread are a few of the things consumers are doing to connect to their food and their roots. Sure, sourdough starter can be daunting, but if you want to dip your toe in the homemade category, check out some of the pre-packed pickling cucumbers where all you have to do is dice, add vinegar, water, salt and your choice of seasoning and voila! You have refrigerator pickles.
Contradictory to the trend above, the convenience customer probably spends more time online shopping than pinning. They are looking for grab and go meals, prepackaged snacks like beef jerky, individual fruit and veggie containers, meal replacement options (think protein shakes) and probably favor meal delivery options like Postmates and Door Dash. Keep an eye on the next best trend in home food delivery, where your food may be actually prepared in a mobile kitchen, allowing you the best of restaurant style food delivered to your home in minutes. Bussers, watch out!
8. Alternative Proteins
Sausage made with peas, impossible burgers at White Castle and Burger King, shitake mushrooms posing as bacon and textured vegetables in place of ground meat. A fast-moving trend is underway to enhance plant protein consumption. Would a prime steak lover ever also love a beet steak? Or an In-N-Out double double lover convert to eating a soy burger? How far this trend will extend is uncertain but watch for it to make appearances at more of your traditional burger joints and to appear in food stores.
At a time when farm and ranch families account for only 2% of the population, there is an ever growing desire for the other 98% to learn much more about how their food is grown. There is a strong demand for information on where the farm or ranch is located, how the food was grown and how it was processed and packaged. While some of us are lucky enough to visit farms and ranches on a regular basis, the rest of the consuming public will be looking to get closer to their food – and the farmer!
Whether it’s with a home garden heirloom tomato seed or a cherry tomato from the store, seed breeders are constantly coming up with new varieties that taste better, have a nicer texture and make the perfect topper on your ‘grammed avocado toast. Consumers want more flavors in everything from fruits and vegetables, wagyu beef, artisan cheeses and flavorful lettuces. Watch out for new varieties to emerge, indulgent flavors and innovation in some of your old favorites.