There are trends going on in the world of food marketing and manufacturing that are responding to your innermost desires (well, maybe not quite) or guiding you to simply desire. Similar to which came first the chicken or the egg, sometimes a trend pops up because food makers take note of consumers purchasing behaviors or nowadays voices in the blogosphere, and sometimes the makers of the foods we eat simply decide that a certain food pathway may blaze a new trail in purchasing habits. One example is the Greek yogurt phenomenon that seemed to identify consumers' search for higher protein foods and healthier yogurt option.
So what are the most recent top ten natural and organic trends identified by Food Navigator?
Healthy, wholesome “food for men” – With the notion that men often see food as a source of fuel, expect to see manly yogurts, and “jerky” type fruit bars.
Benefits that come from a higher authority – Though weight loss and immunity have been guiding ingredients used in food manufacturing, expect to see ingredients that supposedly support clarity, calm, inner peace and bliss.
Green still rules – As in green leaves, which will continue to pop up in teas, snacks and sweets.
A whole new range of fortified waters - With the focus on so-called natural ingredients including birch tree juice, olive oil, and alkaline minerals.
I’m drinking …. - Waters with a chewy texture, thanks to chia seeds, and other similar healthy add ins.
Meat alternatives – This food category continues to evolve with soy and other non-meat sources of protein.
So-called “clean” alternative proteins – Pea protein tops this list as a newcomer, along with other plant-based proteins.
The nut butters front and center for kids and adults - All kinds of nut butters are available but now those nut butters may come with added fruit, chocolate, espresso beans, spices, and seeds like chia and hemp.
Healthy desserts – Like protein-packed cookies and frozen yogurt, and desserts with “functional ingredients.”
An invasion from South America of new superfoods – Acerola cherries, Peruvian purple maize, and Chilean maqui fruit in juice and energy drinks.
Just a word of caution: Healthy foods still have calories, sometimes lots of calories. Just because an ingredient is considered uniquely healthy, it does not necessary make a food healthy, when you add in a small amount of this ingredient. Drinks, even healthy drinks, allow you to squander calories and often times still not feel satiated. And when you drink calories you sometimes forget to include those liquid calories in your daily total of calories consumed. And as for a healthy dessert?? Why not just enjoy a small serving of the real deal, savor it and remember that it should be an intermittent pleasure. Why try and justify eating a dessert more frequently by adding a healthy ingredient to it? I personally love frozen yogurt and do appreciate when it has higher protein content, but I still consider it a "sometimes treat." For most people, I find that occasionally enjoying a small serving of a decadent and special dessert, without feeling the need to make it healthier is an important pleasure principle. If you want it too often, then something else is going on.
Amy Hendel is a health professional, journalist and host of Food Rescue, Simple Smoothies and What’s for Lunch? Author of Fat Families, Thin Families and The 4 Habits of Healthy Families, she tweets health headlines daily @HealthGal1103. Catch her guest appearances on Marie! on Hallmark and other local and national news and talk shows.
Published On: June 26, 2013