The food industry is an exciting, ever-evolving world of innovation. At Cambrian, our industry experts have extensive industry knowledge and are always keeping their eyes peeled for interesting and innovative ingredients.
Here is what we’ve observed as our top 9 trends to watch for in 2019.
Building off last year’s trend of transparency, consumers are becoming more conscientious of the values of the retail brands they choose to support. Not only are they looking for ecolabels like Fair Trade, Organic, and Non-GMO, but they want to know the story behind the brand and what it stands for. Sustainability, ethics, and traceability continue to be important to consumers. The fewer miles that food travels, the less it’s environmental footprint and the more it aligns with the values of many consumers. Less time in transit also ensures ingredients stay fresher and thus more nutritious. We predict that ingredients with traceable, environmentally-minded supply chains will continue to grow in demand for 2019.
As our ongoing quest for new and innovative food continues, people have turned to the sea! Seaweed and other sea-sourced ingredients pack a serious nutritional punch and offer unique and interesting flavour profiles, unlike any others. As innovation in this industry continues, we are seeing versatile seaweed ingredients that can be added to virtually any application, boosting a product’s nutrition levels in a healthy, natural way.
Would it really be a 2019 trends list without mentioning plant-based proteins? Plant-based product claims experienced high double-digit annual growth over the past half-decade. This trend is on a roll with recent innovations in plant-based burgers and unique meat alternatives such as textured pea protein and jackfruit, allowing for many interesting and delicious options for this ever-growing category. The most interesting part is that 86% of the people buying products labelled as “plant-based” are meat-eaters.
It’s not only meat alternatives that are showing significant growth in the plant-based sphere; alternative dairy has also seen exponential growth. While coconut and almond milk take up most of the beverage part of this category, niche options such as rice, pea, oat, cashew, sesame and peanut milks are popping up as unique alternatives to traditional milks and creams. However, alternative dairy isn’t limited to beverages. We are seeing significant growth in demand for vegan cheeses, vegan yogurts, nice-creams (vegan ice-cream), and more. Ingredients that can boost protein content and help mimic “cheesy”, creamy textures are in high demand as this area of the food industry continues to grow.
As consumers look to up their snack-game, spreads and butters are a popular healthy treat. An interesting trend that has been gaining traction is seed butters. While consumers might already be familiar with tahini, a key ingredient in hummus made from sesame seeds, other butters are popping up such as chia seed, sunflower seed, pumpkin seed, and more. Expect to see this trend making its way into snack food, salad dressings, condiments, and spreads.
With the rise in popularity of low-carb, high-fat diets like the Keto Diet, food that is high in healthy fats are making a serious step into the spotlight. The Keto Diet has been a successful tool for managing diseases such as diabetes and epilepsy and has quickly moved into the mainstream. Consumers are keeping an eye out for popular keto-friendly ingredients such as coconut, coconut oil, olive oils, avocado oil, Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT), etc.
Cannabis is undeniably a growing industry with its recent legalization in Canada and many American states. With the regulations surrounding edibles around the corner in Canada, the opportunity for the use of cannabis in food is growing immensely and with this will come new and unique formulation challenges. Flavour masking, dispersion, and emulsification will all be issues that will arise in the edibles category.
From kombucha to kimchi, fermented foods and their naturally occurring probiotics have exploded in popularity in the past few years. The probiotic trend is now extending past the refrigerated and supplements section of the grocery store with new strains of probiotics that are heat-stable. Probiotic ingredients like HU58, Bacillus subtilis, makes heat-processed probiotic products possible.
Collagen is a hot topic in the health ingredients world, and we predict that its popularity will spill over into food this year as well. Collagen has been shown to benefit the body in a multitude of ways, with claims anywhere from improving bone density to decreasing wrinkles by improving skin elasticity. With all these benefits and its growing popularity, don’t be surprised if you see ingredients such as Hydrolyzed Collagen and Ovomet™ Eggshell Membrane (which contains a minimum of 25% type 1 collagen) showing up in snacks, smoothies, shakes and beyond.
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!