As we ring in the new year, be on the lookout for the latest food trends in your local grocery store, created to meet consumer demand for more healthful convenience foods.
Deli meats and cheeses
Look for more all-natural deli meats that are free of preservatives, artificial ingredients, and colors. Foster Farms® is one example. Flavors include Slow Oven Roasted Turkey Breast and Honey Roasted and Smoked Turkey Breast. Dietz & Watson® Originals are a line of meats that are both antibiotic-free and organic—their cheeses are RBST (hormone)-free.
Check out new dairy products that are not only low in fat, but have added protein. Most brands of Greek-style yogurt and sour cream contains half the fat and twice the calcium and protein of regular yogurt and sour cream, making it a great dairy substitute in your recipes.
Juicing made easy
Juicing fresh fruits and vegetables has gained popularity over the last few years. Now food companies are making it even easier by offering premixed frozen fruit and vegetables that offer convenience for consumers who want to make quick smoothies at home. Rader Farms Fresh Start® line contains a variety of juicing blends made with kale, blueberries, sweet potatoes, green apples, and other fruits and vegetables packed with nutrition for easy juicing.
Safe Catch® offers canned tuna with mercury levels that are 90 percent lower than the FDA recommended limit and contains five times the amount of omega-3 fatty acids compared to other canned tuna. This is a great option for people concerned about the mercury content of fish, particularly pregnant women.
Look for condiments that are more allergen-friendly. For example, Hampton Creek’s Just Mayo® is gluten, soy, and dairy-free, and is also non-GMO. It comes in a variety of flavors (including garlic and chipotle) to add flavor to your favorite sandwich.
BOCA Burger® has released a new product line called BOCA Essentials®. This plant-based protein product offers a complete protein, containing the nine essential amino acids typically found in meat. This is great for vegetarians who are often concerned about getting all of the essential amino acids by combining different types of plant-based protein.
Pastariso® has created a new twist on the classic comfort food macaroni and cheese – but without the cheese. It’s called Mac Uncheddar®. It is vegan-friendly and gluten-free.
Nasoya now has a line of marinated, ready-to-eat organic tofu that complements any meal. It comes in a variety of flavors including chipotle, teriyaki, and sesame ginger.
There are hundreds of new gluten-free products on the market to meet consumer demand. For those that miss pasta, the House Foods Smart Noodle® line is made of oats and rice bran. Unlike traditional pasta, it contains only 20 calories per serving, packs 6 grams of fiber, and contains 400 mg of ALA omega-3s per serving.
Carrington Farms® coconut cooking oils have a higher smoke point than traditional oils and remain liquid at room temperature. These oils are rich in medium chain triglycerides and come in both unflavored and flavored varieties to enhance flavor. Flavors include rosemary, garlic, and Sriracha.
ExtraOrigin’s OmegaOils® are created from a blend of flax, sunflower, coconut, chia, and avocado oils. They contain a balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids and are available as both salad dressing oils and cooking oils.
Many restaurants are offering unique menu items to meet consumer demand. Many pizza establishments, including California Pizza Kitchen®, have an entire line of gluten-free pizzas. On-the-go stops such as Dunkin’ Donuts® and 7-11® offer egg white breakfast sandwiches that are high in protein and low in fat. Chain restaurants such as Denny’s® and Boston Market® now offer meals that are higher in protein, low in fat, and include healthier side dishes such as fruit, yogurt, or fresh vegetables. Sandwich shops such as Panera® are offering menu choices that are higher in lean protein and lower in carbohydrates.
The bottom line
Make it a habit of walking down the grocery store aisle on a regular basis to check out new products. Each month, you will be seeing new products created to meet consumer demand for more healthful convenience foods. When you are eating out, check out the new menu items offered to meet the changing nutritional needs of today’s customers. The options are there - it’s up to you to find, make and eat them.
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Carmen Roberts, M.S., R.D., L.D.N., is a registered dietitian, receiving her undergraduate degree in dietetics from James Madison University and her master’s degree in health education and administration from Towson University. She is a certified specialist in adult weight management and teaches cooking classes. Carmen enjoys educating her clients about how nutrition affects the body and its role in overall health and wellness. She also loves volunteering, including as a Girl Scout troop leader.