Saturday, October 29, 2016

The Next Hot Trends in Food

Trend-spotting in food: What experts say may become the next açaí berry or coconut water. GETTY IMAGES
By JULIE JARGON and  ANNIE GASPARRO Oct. 16, 2016 10:18 p.m. ET

Nowadays people are becoming more concern about the food they put in their mouths than they were in the past. Nutrition science and customers’ rapidly changing tastes are forcing the food business to search ever farther afield for new edibles.

It used to be fat the biggest enemy until carbs and then gluten appeared. According to WSJ each time they discover a new enemy, a rash of new products appear that claim to be packed with good stuff and free of things that cause harm. But now it’s no longer enough to claim a product is simply free of something that’s frowned upon. Consumers want to know that the bad ingredient hasn’t been replaced with something equally bad or worse. And they want to know the story behind their food—how it was grown or raised, and whether its production and distribution was kind to the environment. The less processed and simpler the ingredients, the better. That has left food and restaurant companies rushing to clean up their labels with ingredients derived from natural sources consumers can understand and pronounce.

For a trend to go mainstream, it has to provide health benefits, be easily comprehensible, make economic sense for the manufacturer, and of course taste good, says David Garfield, food-industry consultant at AlixPartners. It’s even better if the product tells a story and has third-party verification, such as a certified-organic label. This is probably why now several super foods that are foreign and unknown for us are becoming more and more popular, some of these new trend of super foods include the following:

The next superfood moringa:

 considered a new super green, the leaves of the moringa oleifera tree, grown in Haiti, parts of Latin America and Africa, are drawing interest from trend watchers for their nutritional content. The leaves contain high levels of calcium, potassium and protein, as well as vitamins A, B, C, D and E.

The next buzzword: regenerative grazing

“Grass fed,” once a progressive term in the food world, has become a mainstream buzzword used to attract consumers who want to eat beef that doesn’t come from cows raised in feedlots. It has expanded from expensive meat sold at Whole Foods Market Inc. and steak burritos at Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. to Chili’s Grill & Bar, which recently began offering grass-fed burgers, and Annie’s Mac & Cheese, which uses milk from grass-fed cows.

The next ingredient: something consumers understand

"Clean Labels" a lists of ingredients consumers can understand and pronounce. So, food makers are experimenting with adding natural ingredients to mask bad flavors or enhance good ones without swapping one bad ingredient for another. For instance, one biotech company is using mushrooms to remove the bitterness in cacao beans so that chocolate can be made with less sugar. Other companies are moving to soy protein and natural flavor enhancers to reduce sodium levels in food.

The next healthy beverage: plant waters

The coconut-water fad appears to have unleashed a new category in the drink aisle: plant waters. From aloe water and maple water to artichoke water and cactus water, they are replacing more sugary sports drinks and artificially flavored waters that don’t appeal to consumers’ desire for nutritious and natural beverages.

The next meat alternative: jackfruit

In health guidelines issued early this year, official U.S. dietitians say Americans eat too much meat. That’s giving fodder to new meat alternatives aiming to replace the usual meat replacement, tofu, which has worn out its welcome with many consumers. There are burgers made with protein extracted from yellow peas, a molecule called heme that makes plants taste like beef and faux pulled pork made from shredded jackfruit.

The next natural food dye: Spirulina

The move toward cleaner food labels is pushing out artificial food dyes like Red No. 40 and Yellow 6, which were popularized for making Jell-O dessert bright red and giving Froot Loops cereal its neon glow. Food makers are responding to growing concerns among parents that artificial food coloring may cause hyperactivity and allergic reactions in their children.

While red and yellow are relatively easy to replicate with natural spices like turmeric and paprika, blue and green have given food makers trouble, until now. Blue-green algae called spirulina are often sold as a health supplement at vitamin shops or as an energy shot in smoothies. But now they are being harvested for use as a natural blue-green dye.

I feel happy to see that people are becoming more conscious about what they eat. I am glad to see companies creating more and more healthy products that are environmentally friendly. I personally have seen the development and growth of the healthy overall industry of plant-based alternative foods, including replacements for meat and dairy. I used to struggle to find healthy and tasty meatless alternatives but nowadays every place I shop at have a growing variety of choices that I can now pick from. 

1 comment:

  1. I think this a very important topic since one of the main sources of health or illness is the food we consume. Today, the major part of food available in the market is industrialized, that means it doesn't have the nutrients it should, resulting in a bad nutrition and rise of illnesses related to it. By reverting or at least reducing the industrialized food trend, many health problems would be reduced, improving the quality of life of people, as well as reducing the cost of health care of them and for the countries.