Food Trends of 2019

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2019!

With a new year we look to the future with much anticipation. Many wonder “What’s next?”. We eagerly await what is new, what is going to be popular, and what will create an impact and influence our lives and others around the world. Great topics for discussion are food trends!

I’ve gone through several articles and reports and compiled what appear to be the major trends in 2019, giving you an idea of what how our food landscape is expected to evolve.

Alternatives Ingredients

Food alternatives are a big theme, including meat and dairy alternatives. Many are choosing alternatives to align with a special diet, to avoid a food component, such as lactose in dairy, or to adhere to personal choices based on values, beliefs or customs (especially for sustainability and environmental concern reasons). Attention and accommodation for special diets expanded in recent years and will continue to do so. Alternative milks in particular are predicted to be one area of growth. Almond and soy are the familiar alternative milks but others, like oat milk, are predicted to gain attention. Options to meat could be a completely different food, such as beans and legumes. Work being done on “motherless meat” products, which are made to resemble meat products in taste, texture and appearance.

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Edible Cannabis Prducts

In 2018, Canada saw the legalization of cannabis, and by natural extension cannabis-based edibles will be a next step and an area of growth  in the food industry. More legislation is required before this is possible but it is a hot topic and one of the most cited expected trends by far.

Eco-conscious Packaging

Environmentally conscious and responsible choices strongly influence many of the 2019 food the trends. While “going green” was the trend over many previous years “shifting to sustainability” will be the mantra of the future. Companies are going to be looking at new ways to package and present products with a focus on reducing their environmental impact. This will make the consumer feel better about purchasing and supporting the products.

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Tahini in Deserts and Non-Dairy Frozen Deserts

Certain foods always take the spotlight from year to year (kale, quinoa and cauliflower to name a few!). In 2019 Tahini, a paste made from sesame seeds, is getting ready to take centre stage. It is smooth and creamy and is added to many middle eastern dishes, like hummus, to provide a creamy texture. In 2019 Tahini is taking it’s turn in other dishes, specifically deserts and frozen deserts. It will be used in ways similar to peanut butter. It makes a good alternative to peanut butter because it has the consistency and enough similarity to be used like nut butter but it is not a nut and therefore can be used with less concern about allergies. Look for tahini in ice cream and with chocolate! Along these lines, frozen deserts in general are predicted to see a makeover. Rather than using dairy watch for non-dairy ice cream made with avocado as well as tahini. These alternatives provide the creamy texture but do so with healthier fats so that when you do indulge in a frozen desert you can feel more virtuous in your decision because the ingredients are more nutrient dense.

Up-cycled or “Ugly” Fruits

In the past, many grocery stores and supermarkets would reject any produce that was bruised or damaged. This has resulted in tremendous food waste of much good and nutritious food. The food discarded has the same nutrients as their esthetically pleasing counterparts so there is no reason that this good food should be going to waste. As consumers realize the ridiculousness of this and with the support of food providers leading by example, “ugly” fruits and vegetables are gaining acceptance and going into shopping carts to be used – rather than in the garbage. Food waste is a terrible loss and more prevalent than many of us realize. Sustainability again is the underlying theme to this trend as food waste not only costs dollars but also costs the environment.

New Greens

Going green has been a trend, not just in the context of the environment but with respect to discovering and incorporating green foods into mainstream dining. Kale is an old timer by now. It was a great first step for getting people to choose greens but now it is thought that we are ready for some more exotic choices in greens. Watch out for water lily seeds, seaweed, kelp and algae being promoted in 2019.

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Shelf-Stable Probiotics

Eating for a healthy gut is still going to be a focus in 2019. This feeds into the probiotics industry and the creation of more products to help people achieve a healthy gut microbiome for optimal health and vitality. Producers are going to be devising ways to make it easier for consumers to access probiotics. As mentioned in an earlier trend, many are veering away from dairy, and traditionally dairy has been how probiotics have been consumed. It has also been important to keep probiotics refrigerated, which can be inconvenient for anyone who is busy and on the run. As a result, look for more options in shelf-stable products in the new year, and the incorporation of probiotics into non-refrigerated and non-dairy items such as cereals, nutritional bars and soups.

Automation

Technological advancements always trickle into other industries and the food industry is no exception. Robots delivering room service or operating coffee stalls could become a regular sight. Using technology and automation could make food preparation time efficient which is of benefit to an ever more time-pressed society. However, there is understandable concern for those who work in the food industry regarding how this will affect operations and even job security.

Stepping-up Snacking

Snacks and snacking keep hovering in and out of the spotlight a topic loaded with mixed feelings and opinions. Popular diets have supported grazing strategies. In 2019, snacking is going to get an upgrade with fancier offerings and more wholesome choices. Chacutterrie, as an example, came to the forefront in 2018 as did the idea of making snacking into a definitive occasion and something to get excited about. Especially for those with active and busy lifestyles (most of us!) snacking offers a practical solution to keep up with good nutrition while on the go. With proper planning and offerings of more substantial snacks that are nutrient dense as well as snacks with benefits (i.e. the incorporation of “super foods” into snacks) this is going to be an interesting trend to watch in 2019.

Transparency

Transparency is gaining importance and is a force shaping the world. With more openness and forms of communication increasing, members in society take an interest in what goes on around them, there is a heightened concern for social as well as environmental issues. Consumer interest in the story behind their food is growing. Companies will feel more pressure to share information on company culture and best practices in order to win customer respect and brand loyalty.

 

Although it’s impossible to identify with absolute certainty what the next food craze is going to be, it’s fun and useful to engage in speculation. Individual preferences and world events can totally morph any prediction and there is a great deal of variation in opinion. The data gathered here presents the most commonly overlapping themes, but there are many other opinions on taste and cuisines which you can explore further.

What looking to and following trends does for us is help us connect with a global consciousness and awareness. It provides a tool for connection and a factor in uniting common interest. We need to take an interest in world trends and events, especially in areas as important as our food system. Awareness is a key step on the way to change on a personal as well as global level. If you are working in the industry, studying trends and help you find ways to stand out, get ahead and more likely be in the lead of what’s next.

As consumers, you must remember that despite being a trend and popular do you actually need to follow it? Does it truly align with your personal beliefs and values?

One thing is certain though, as consumers we have a choice. Our choices and our voices will shape and empower our food environment and options in 2019 and beyond.

 

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The Science of Saying Grace

Thanksgiving may have come and gone but don’t stop being grateful just yet! Saying grace or giving thanks for food is a centuries old tradition. It is one of the oldest and most universal human behaviours and is still in existence today. The word “grace” comes from the Latin word “grātia” meaning “favor” or “kindness” and in our context it is a short prayer said before or after a meal. Long ago food was more scare and harder to grow without modern technology so having food was seen as a kindness from the gods and/or the universe. Many religions have special prayers they will say before an everyday meal or for specific ceremonies that involve food but although the religion connections exist, you don’t need to follow any specific religion to recognize and be thankful for your food. In fact saying grace and showing appreciation for our food is showing to be beneficial on many levels for physiological and psychological health and well-being.

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On one level, saying grace is your chance to recognize and honour who got you your food, how you got your food and how fortunate you are to have the food you are about to eat. If it were not for many people and circumstances the food you are about to eat would still be out there – on a tree or in the ground.

Moreover, only a few words before eating will slow you down while giving you a moment to appreciate your food which makes the meal more enjoyable and promotes a more harmonious relationship with food. Eating more slowly is better than shoveling down your food and cleaning off your plate in 10 minutes flat because a measured pace assists the digestive processes of your body while improving satiety and helping you eat less. Being distracted and hurried eating can lead to over eating. Eating more slowly gives your body and brain the time it needs to recognize that you have eaten all your body needs.

Thousands of years ago one meal could make the difference between life and death. There was a lot more uncertainty about food safety and availability. Our circumstances have drastically evolved since then but there is always and time and place for saying grace and being thankful for our food.

If you’re looking for something to say check out these 11 Beautiful Ways To Say Grace for some inspiration.

 

Fall in Love with Food Again

It’s been said: “September is the new January”. September is a popular time for making resolutions, getting back into a routine or starting new ones, going back to school … the list goes on. We are presented with a new season, a beginning and new energies to work with.

Changes start to become visible everywhere. Fall is special for so many reason, not only for the colours and the vigour of crisp, clear autumn days, but also because there are so many fantastic fall foods we have to enjoy. We’ll be exploring some of these in the weeks to come.

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At this time, many set goals around improving their health, nutrition and eating habits. It can be tempting to lean towards the latest fad, quick fix, diet plan or supplements – all of which there are many – drawn in with promises of extraordinary results with little to no effort. But in choosing a quick fix do we become destined to fall? A “diet” that is overly restrictive, excludes certain foods or entire food groups, and does not provide adequate energy and nutrients will ultimately do more detriment to health, happiness and well-being by crushing motivation and even hampering physical and mental performance.

It is often more challenging to follow strategies that are complex, demanding or overly restrictive. As such, we are setting ourselves up to fail and fall into despair. A spiral of negative emotions and eating habits and patterns can result; founded on fears and anxieties over what to eat, when to eat and how much to eat. Food is tied to emotion in so many ways. When we feel like we have failed or fallen in our eating patterns we develop negative emotions and aversions to certain foods or to eating in general. This can lead to more serious health and well-being issues, as the many eating disorders that exist are proof.

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So now the question becomes how do we fall in love with food again?

Keep it simple. Food is meant to renew and empower. It serves us by providing energy and nourishment to create and do what we need to do.

How can you simplify your eating? Make a resolution to eat real food – and enjoy it too! Enjoy it in it’s purest form. The way it was gifted to us by nature.

The closer it is to that state when you take it from the earth the more natural it is. When you compare an apple to apple sauce to apple juice – you can see the progression of processing and which choice is most pure and closest to what nature intended.

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When was the last time you sat down and enjoyed a real meal? Do you have a favorite meal you haven’t made for a while?  If you don’t have one pick something new. Make a plan to eat at home plan to cook a meal from scratch. It’s a new season so time for new adventures! Is there a food you have always wanted to try but have not. What’s the reason? Why not now?

Have you enjoyed food that was picked fresh and grown in the soil close to where you live? Why not pay a visit to your local farmer’s market and get some real, fresh local goodies. There’s no better time to develop an understanding and appreciation for what is grown in your region than now with the bounty of the harvest season available to us. Eating local produce and products has a way of really connecting and grounding us.

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Happy first day of Fall everyone!