BY BENJAMIN BOURINAT
DIRECTOR OF MEDIA STRATEGY, SOPEXA
The most exciting part of my job, as a food and beverage marketer, is to look at consumer trends for my clients. Over the past year, I have been able to listen to what made people and foodies salivate, and what they want more of in 2016. Whether it’s new flavours or food-hacks, this year will be about bringing the fun back to conscious eating – as opposed to healthy eating, which is being redefined day after day: as KIND’s chief rightfully pointed out, high-nutrient foods like salmon and nuts are still considered “unhealthy” by the FDA. So, without further delay, below are the top food, beverage and nutrition trends that will make 2016 more healthy, creative and indulgent.
Avocado for days
The “good” fat in your guacamole and on your toasts will soon become your favourite cooking oil and ice cream flavour!
Another way avocado gets into our system. With New Year’s detox and other cleanses, the juice trend is still going strong – and is the reason why Americans have been eating more fruits and vegetables lately. The great thing about juices is how creative you can get.
Demonising sugar wasn’t a bad thing, given its “hidden” kinds, in condiments for instance, have led to dramatic increases in obesity, heart disease and cancer over the “fat-free” craze. As we get rid of sugar, sweeteners and artificial ingredients, people will go for naturally sweet foods like honey or peaches as well as sugar-free ingredients like Dijon mustard.
Watch out, sodas! Energy, coco, cucumber or fruit-flavoured, water is making a strong comeback and is the next big market for Pepsi and Coca-Cola.
Organic, low-cal wine
You heard me. The wine trend keeps on growing, with organic, low-calorie and low alcohol wines available nationwide. Best thing about it? Lots of them are coming from top regions (France, Italy, Spain and New Zealand) at affordable prices.
Veggies over carbs
The increased consumption of vegetables will not only be through juices. Consumers will turn to nutrient-packed carb substitutions, such as dried vegetable chips, cauliflower pancakes, spiralised noodles, and of course, seaweed!
After the “good” fat, the “good” bacteria. Probiotics is key to keep a healthy balance in your gut, and as Americans look for easy ways to manage digestive issues, probiotic foods like yogurt, sour pickles or even soft cheeses like brie or feta will claim a hot spot in our fridges.
The healthiest (and yummiest) way to stay on track with all of the above is the Mediterranean diet, a sugar-free way of eating based on fresh vegetables, healthy fats and lean, omega-rich protein. Red wine is one the menu too. Why? Antioxidants.
If you’re like me and can’t live without beef, but can’t get over the inhumane treatments of animals in this country, grass-fed beef is your saviour: high in antioxidants, vitamins, but especially omegas and this other “good” fat called CLA, grass-fed beef is not only good for you but the animal too.
Lazy food economy
Thanks to Uber Eats, Amazon Restaurants, Maple or Munchery, now your favourite healthy and gourmet meals get delivered to you. And for those looking to cook at home, services like HelloFresh get all prepped ingredients delivered in a box to your doorstep. Nothing new here but what some call the “lazy food economy” is only set to grow with new apps popping up every day – and the digitalisation of foodies continuing.
Overall, this redefinition of eating healthy is leading people to pay more attention to the origin of products: non-GMO, local farms, foreign provenance, or even a brand. Conscious eating is also encouraging people to be more creative at home: that means Americans will reclaim the kitchen, as well as the art of culinary experimentation.
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