In 2017, consumers will continue to be less focused on dieting and more concerned about clean eating as a whole and trying to maintain a healthier lifestyle, according to a food trend survey of 1,700 dietitians that was conducted by Pollack Communications and Today’s Dietitian.
The emphasis on clean eating continues to be at the center of growing food trends. The majority of the dietitians surveyed agreed that consumers will choose to avoid processed food and instead reach for “clean snacks” and plant-based proteins like nuts and seeds. This encourages retailers to stock these healthier options and manufacturers to find more natural ingredients versus artificial flavors and additives.
Another interesting reveal from this survey is that popular food trends from the past few years likely will have less of a focus next year. Outside of dietary needs, GMO-free, sustainable or gluten-free won’t be as important to the general consumer. They will take a backseat to consumers looking instead for healthy, whole ingredients with no artificial ingredients and cleaner labels. Healthy fats, plant-based proteins and probiotics will also be in-demand criteria.
The concept of “mindful eating”, which typically is associated with a more thoughtful and slower approach to eating, is interesting because at first it seems to go against the huge trend of quick and convenient snacks. What we’ve noticed though is that this trend has motivated manufacturers to create snacks that are not only convenient, but also better-for-you.
The survey also listed the top superfood trends for 2017, which include seeds, such as chia and hemp; avocado; nuts like almonds and walnuts; fermented foods such as yogurt; and ancient grains in the top five. Kale, green tea, coconut products, salmon and exotic fruits round out the top 10.