Last week, members of our team took a trip to Baltimore for Natural Products Expo East in search of the most prominent food trends for the coming year. As an agency that works in the food and beverage space (and as a group of people that loves to eat), we can say for certain that Expo East did not disappoint.
Below is a round-up of 9 food trends we’re excited about:
1. Alternative Flours
If there’s one thing we believe when it comes to food, it’s this: Everyone should be able to enjoy a good tortilla. Unfortunately, those with gluten and grain allergies haven’t always been able to enjoy these delicacies. With the alternative flour brands like Siete emerging, the options for those with dietary restrictions are expanding.
2. Water with Benefits
It’s common knowledge that water is good for you, but you’d be surprised to find out how much water gets diluted… with other stuff. Essentia has found a way to restore bottled water to a more natural state. It’s nitrate free, sodium free, and naturally rich in bicarbonates and electrolytes. Your water just got healthier. Mind blown.
3. International Flavors/Spices Mixed into Everyday Foods
If you can’t take a trip around the world, you can at least eat exotically. We’re seeing an increasing trend in melding flavors from around the globe with common foods that we all know and love, taking these flavor profiles over the top. Our client Cedar’s does a great job with this.
If you’re unfamiliar with fermenting, a type of food preservation that also increases the food’s nutrient content, it’s time to get on board. While produce tends to be the most commonly fermented food, we came across a few new consumable fermented products at Expo East that caught our eye.
5. Zero Waste
We’re big fans of the blog Trash is for Tossers, in which Lauren Singer chronicles living a trash-free lifestyle for four years in NYC. She has also managed to fit all of her waste from those four years into one mason jar and open a pop-up shop to help others transition to zero waste. It’s pretty cool. We’re now seeing more and more brands like the Maple Guild getting on board with producing less waste as well. The Maple Guild has taken an innovative approach repurposing the steam produced while boiling sap down to syrup and condensing it into their new infused water product Tapt.
6. Alternative Pasta
Not being able to eat pasta sounds like our personal nightmare. Luckily, brands have started experimenting with ways to think outside the (pasta) box to reach those with dietary restrictions, as well as expand the flavor profile of common pasta.
7. Gut Health
We’ve already touched on ferments, which are an excellent way to get your gut in check, but now we’re seeing new and exciting products specifically geared toward keeping the belly happy.
8. What’s Old is New
“Out with the old, in with the new” isn’t necessarily the rule to live by when it comes to choosing healthy food options, because even your most tried and true comfort foods can take on a healthy twist like these protein-packed frozen waffles by Kodiak Cakes.
9. Alternative Oils
When a problem comes along… pour coconut oil on it… or almond oil… or avocado oil… or flaxseed oil. You get the gist. Old cooking oil standbys now have plenty of company on grocery store shelves. So, you’ll have no trouble finding an oil with the right flavor and health benefits for your personal palate.
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