Gone are the days when health foods belong to a niche group. As wellness and clean lifestyle grow in popularity, more health and general food trends are starting to merge.
In KIND’s latest trends report, Founder & CEO Daniel Lubetzky joins Senior Food Scientist Lena Halabi and almost 5,000 food and beverage experts—chefs, registered dietitians, team members in global markets such as Mexico, China and Brazil—in sharing the biggest health food trends next year.
Here are the highlights.
Infused water is no longer confined to fruits and vegetables. Beyond lemon or cucumber water plus the mainstreaming of coconut and maple water, people are looking for more new flavors, vitamins, minerals and prebiotics to their diet. In 2019, expect more unusual flavors and variations. Take cactus water, for instance, it’s generally lower in calories and sugar than traditional coconut water, and provides lots of betalain antioxidants for promoting skin revitalization, according to Jackie Newgent, RDN, culinary nutritionist and KIND Snacks spokesperson.
Cannabinoid, an extract from the cannabis plant, is one of the surest trends that will explode in 2019. Given it has no psychoactive effects (unlike THC), it has long been found in lotions and oils to help reduce inflammation and pain. While CBD has already made its way into coffee, cocktails and even olive oil in recent years, expect to see more of it in other products including yogurts, soups and even salad dressings.
WHERE TO FIND IT: MountJoy Sparkling CBD; Vegan and gluten-free CBD Chocolate chip cookie bites (Living Kitchen x Blue Ridge Hemp CBD Cookie Bites); CBD Extra virgin olive oil (Plant People); CBD-infused hemp matcha frozen yogurt (Yogland, London)
Take care of your gut
Emerging at the forefront of the health and wellness industry is the topic of digestive health. With a newfound appreciation for the microbiome—trillions of bacteria and other microbes that live in our intestinal tract—more products (think fiber, prebiotics and probiotics) are geared toward improving gut health. To make sure you get enough fiber to fuel beneficial bacteria, check the food labels and look for at least a 10%-daily value.
Embrace a plant-based lifestyle
As one of the hottest trends in recent years, going meatless is no longer limited to Mondays. In 2019, expect more meat-alternatives in the market, including plants, insects, lentils, soy, dairy-free protein alternatives going mainstream. Aside from the innovations highlighting nuts, extruded seeds, beans, water lentils and algae in snack bars, chips, meat-free burgers or sausages and dairy-free yogurts and cheeses, one of the most exciting developments is cell-based meat—namely meat and protein extracted from animals’ cells without killing the animal at all.
Clearly, it’s not just the health-conscious folks who read food labels closely nowadays. On the whole, people are looking for more details about the food they eat. In addition to the source and list of ingredients, consumers have higher expectations of companies in sharing specific information on the packaging. As companies are held accountable for information including marketing claims on the labels, the demand for transparency will shape companies’ cultures, hiring practices and inclusion measures in 2019.
WHERE TO FIND IT: SmartLabel offers several ways to find more details on a wide range of food and beverage, personal care plus household products, including scanning QR codes on packages and using their app; Porter Road— an online butcher shop that offers full transparency into their standards and processes.