If you are like many of us within the food industry, you have probably turned to one or more of your favourite food prediction lists to help determine what the latest food trends will be for the coming year. Yet, this can still be a challenge especially since there are so many lists. Out of the 22+* food trend lists we reviewed for 2018, one thing we did notice is that many had their own, unique twist on the items listed. Despite this challenge, there were several key trends found to be common amongst the soothsayers of the industry. Check out the summary below which includes practical tips on how to capitalize on each trend.
- Plant-based proteins are projected to continue to dominate into 2018 as more consumers are predicted to choose a flexitarian and vegetarian lifestyle. Although, diets are considered passé today, there continues to be a concentrated effort by consumers to lead a healthier lifestyle. Even though engineered protein-based innovations continue to draw a lot of media coverage especially in the development of alternative meat products, there are ingredient solutions available today that can expand this type of excitement beyond just the meat and dairy categories. Wondering which big category will be the next to explode? We recommend taking a closer look at vegan options of classic desserts or creating “healthy-ish treats” as the one to consider. Not sure where to begin? One way of creating market-ready high protein vegan dessert solutions is to utilize the expert knowledge of the Dealers Ingredients R&D team to incorporate award-winning Profi, a complete high protein plant-based composite (HPPC) in value-added cakes, artisan breads, cookies and so much more. As Profi is 100% vegan, halal, kosher and non gmo and gluten free, it is ideal for creating not just vegan and vegetarian desserts but value-added (ie. protein) versions.
- Ethnic flavours continue to expand. Several of the food trend lists we reviewed indicated at least one and sometimes several ethnic food trends mentioned. Some of the trends focused on a specific product category such as taco modifications while others focused on regional flavour trends within a specific area. The regional flavours that appear to be driving this demand are middle eastern flavours from Persian, Israeli, Moroccan, Syrian as it relates to cardamom, za’atar, shakshuka and halloumi; Asian island cuisine from Malaysia, Philippines such as sambal, kaffir lime, adobo; and East African fare such as berbere spice blend and Tanzanian BBQ. Consumers today are also demanding great tasting healthy options of these types of blends and flavours. Butter Buds, with over 50 functional ingredients including ghee, yogurt and milk buds Asia and Peru options can help meet this demand. With new Butter Buds organic flavours and non-dairy cheddar option now available, food manufacturers today have more resources to help them create healthier traditional dish options.
- Snacking is changing. Not only is it “expanding into a light meal but meals themselves are taking on a snack-like appearance”. The trend of sipping on soup instead of juice could be viewed as an example of this “snack-like appearance”. Some categories such as seafood are projected to become one of the new snacks for 2018. Despite these shifts, snacking occasions are currently twice as likely to be driven by desire for a reward or indulgence rather than meal-based occasions. Accessing outside resources such as trusted supplier partner to gain unbiased marketing and sales perspective on how best to capitalize on category market shifts is key.
*For a complete list of the 22+ food trend reports used to create this list, please click here.