In a world focused on innovation and marketing the next big idea, it can be hard to keep up. Evolving tastes and highly-informed consumers mean that trendy, well-documented products and services are more important than ever. For us at Cambrian, working with global ingredient suppliers gives us early insights into trends across the food industry. Using our extensive market knowledge and expertise, we wanted to share some of the notable trends that we are predicting to grow and develop in 2018.
Here are the top 8 trends we predict for the food industry for 2018.
There has been a growing demand for transparency in the food industry. Many consumers want to know what is in their food and look for ecolabels that align to their values (Fair Trade, Non-GMO, and Canada Organic). Additionally, more consumers are reading labels and looking for names they recognize and trust. As a result, clean-label ingredients are rising in demand. Formulators, therefore, need to look for food and natural and organic ingredients that can meet these needs and desires.
Schedules today are busier than ever and consumers are always on the go. Between work, family, activities, socializing, and exercise, there just never seems to be enough time in the day. This has created a demand for food that is convenient, healthy, and safe. Clean-label preservatives are gaining attention in the food industry as manufacturers recognize that consumers are unwilling to sacrifice health for the sake of convenience. Products that can meet both health and convenience requirements will grow in popularity this year.
With growing interest in health and wellness, consumers are looking for the best ways to fuel their active lifestyles. Protein is a key ingredient in an active diet, as it helps muscles to repair and recover after a workout. Plant-based proteins such as pea, brown rice, chia, hemp, soy, potato, sesame, and pumpkin can help food developers add protein that consumers are looking for. These proteins can be used in bakery, beverage and vegan applications to boost protein content.
Nutrient Rich Foods:
Fad diets have been replaced with “lifestyle changes.” Consumers are taking a more holistic approach to their health. To match these lifestyle changes, consumers are looking for foods that are high in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Ingredients that can provide these nutritional benefits are therefore growing in demand. There are numerous food and natural and organic ingredients that can provide these nutrients in unique ways; for example, Beta-Carotene, a yellow-orange colourant, is also considered a safe source of Vitamin A.
Vegan, Vegetarian, and Flexitarian Options:
For some consumers, vegan, vegetarian, and flexitarian (flexible vegetarian) diets are becoming more popular. Fruits and vegetables are ingredients that consumers desire but can pose challenges to formulators. Luckily, options such as Individual Quick Frozen (IQF), powdered, freeze-dried, or pureed or juice concentrated fruits and vegetables are flexible alternatives offering ease of use. Additionally, quinoa, ancient grains, and sprouted grains have a wide variety of applications and are very popular among vegans/vegetarian consumers, as well as those with wheat allergen concerns.
With the rise of Instagram and social media, consumers no longer view food simply as fuel. Instagram-ability has become a selling factor and consumers love photogenic food. This is something to consider when formulating products. A great way to get gorgeous hues is to use natural colours. This clean-label option appeals to consumers desire for natural ingredients while offering vibrant beautiful food that isn’t just fun to eat, but also pleasing to the eye.
Grains such as amaranth, quinoa, brown rice, kaniwa, millet, and sorghum add protein, fibre, and iron to products. Puffed and popped ancient grains are quickly growing in popularity in snacks as they provide significant health benefits and add a delightful crunch to each bite. Sprouted grains add value to bakery and vegan applications as the enzymatic (sprouting) process activates higher levels of nutrients than non-sprouted grains.
Over the past few years, coconut ingredients have continued to grow in popularity, and we don’t predict that this will change in 2018. Coconut oil, water, vinegar, milk, chips, shavings, flours, creams, and starches, prove coconut to be one of the most versatile of foods. They also support immune system health, are a natural source of energy, and aid in the absorption of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
Are you trying to stay ahead of the trends? Do you think one of these ingredients could work for your application? Feel free to contact us with any questions!