Flexible eating styles will be the theme of next year’s top food trends, predicts Kroger, one of the country’s largest grocery companies. The Cincinnati, Ohio-based company’s team of product developers, chefs and others created this list of top five trends:
Foods influenced by regions across the country are bringing flavor and fun to any meal. From tried-and-true barbecue sauces and flavorful potato chips with a twist, food developers are drawing inspiration from Nashville hot chicken, Southern Appalachian pimento cheese and other areas. Consumers will see a growing number of products influenced by local, regional and global tastes.
Consumers are finding it is easier than ever before to incorporate more plant-based fare into their daily diets. When they are electing to go meat or dairy free, whether for a meal, a day or every day, more plant-based options are available to power. Last year, 31 percent of consumers participated in meat-free days once a week.
More consumers are purchasing better-for-you products and subscribing to different eating styles, including vegetarian, flexitarian, keto and paleo. A recent study reports 15 percent of the U.S. population identify as vegetarian or vegan.
Medical studies show that a healthy gut is the foundation of overall wellness, and more than ever before, consumers are seeking foods that support self-care and healthy immune systems. Consumers will find a growing number of products rich in probiotics and flavor.
Low sugar and natural sweeteners
Many consumers are motivated to reduce or eliminate sugar, or consume alternate natural sweeteners such as honey and agave. Nearly half of consumers surveyed say they are trying to minimize their sugar intake. New solutions and foods will continue to be added to grocery shelves to help them find products rich in nutrition and flavor and lean on sugar.
Source: The Kroger Co.