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Unboxed: 4 trends revitalizing pantry staples

Article-Unboxed: 4 trends revitalizing pantry staples

With all of the innovations, global flavors, functional ingredients and specialty diet formulations going on in center of store, who would dare call pantry foods "basic" ever again?

Take a stroll down the pantry aisles in just about any natural grocer and you will find rice and pasta, beans and soups, sauces and baking mixes and all the things we rely on to stock our pantries, feed our families and fill our bellies. 

But take another look and you will see these classics sharing the shelves with a new generation of "amped-up" staples that incorporate functional add-ins, specialty diet-friendly formulations and extra health-conscious ingredient lists—as well as globally inspired recipes that present easy solutions for getting healthy and delicious meals on the table in no time flat.

You will also see organic certification, carefully sourced ingredients and the total transparency that consumers are demanding more and more.

Below are four trends that are helping revitalize today's pantries.

For more insights, trends and product innovations in pantry, watch the on-demand replay of the Discover Pantry Staples: Trends and Innovative Products session at Natural Products Expo West Virtual Week

1. Pasta with a twist.

Pasta made from veggies, legumes and alternative grains are geared toward consumers adhering to low-carb diets and those simply looking for more functional ingredients. Innovations focus on excellent sourcing, superfood add-ins, lower-glycemic versions and other better-for-you, better-for-the-planet products. Meal kits also offer healthier and easier versions of pantry favorites. 

From left to right: Three Farm Daughters Fusilli Artisan Pasta, Freak Flag Organics Mac and Freak, LiveKuna Superfood Quinoa Pasta, Chickapea+Greens Organic Spirals


2. Global inspiration from diverse-owned brands.

The “ethnic” food aisle has become obsolete, with the changing American demographics meaning that globally inspired, diverse foods are now an integral part of this country’s mainstream cuisine. In-store storytelling is key to satisfying consumer desire for authentic, diverse-owned brands in this space. Meal kits are highlighting global flavors and “amped-up basics.”

From left to right: Yolele Fonio Pilaf Greens!, Maya Kaimal Organic Everyday Chana Chickpeas, Coconut and Kale, Immi Black Garlic "Chicken" Plant-based Ramen, Fillo's Americas Made Puerto Rican Rice and Gandules.

3. Baking mixes.

Baking mixes are getting more sophisticated in terms of ingredients, attributes and certifications, while still embracing traditional and classic comfort food recipes. Alternatives to wheat flour fulfill dietary needs such as gluten free, low glycemic and low carb. Functional add-ins such as superfoods and collagen offer consumers more benefits in the same, beloved products.

From left to right: Simple Mills Almond Flour Banana Muffin and Bread Mix, Renewal Mill Upcycled Dark Chocolate Brownie Mix with Okara Flour, Keto and Co Peanut Butter Soft Baked Cookie Mix, The Amazing Chickpea Chickpea Butter Cookie Mix.

4. Sauces and condiments go global.

Global flavors rule in this category, which is exploding with clean-ingredient, internationally inspired recipes that often reflect the culinary heritage of diverse founders. Consumers crave authenticity, excitement in the kitchen and easy solutions to put globally inspired meals on their dinner tables. Simmer sauces are particularly popular and allow for meat or plant-based versions.

From left to right: Fly by Jing Sichuan Chili Crisp, Essie Spice Tamarind-OH!, Meal Mantra Golden Turmeric and Cardamom Simmer Sauce, Fila Manila Fillipino Adobo-Tamari Soy and Garlic Simmer Sauce.
natural products expo virtual logoView the on-demand replay of the Discover Pantry Staples: Trends and Innovative Products session in its entirety here. Check out upcoming Natural Products Expo Virtual events and learn more about the platform here.
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