Insights for 2018
Well it’s that time again.  Another year – so what’s predicted to happen on the food and nutrition side of things? I attended the Food Ingredients Conference in Frankfurt at the end of November last year and several themes were apparent. So, here’s what seems to be taking trend at the moment…

Caring about Food Production.
We now not only want to know about how our food is produced but how this and its packaging impacts on the environment too. Sustainable is a key trend that is showing no signs of subsiding in 2018 or indeed the near future. So sustainable and innovative farming and food production methods certainly seem to be here to stay.  Biodegradable packaging is also a must for the future given rising plastic concerns.

Deeper thinking about what we are eating, how it is produced and packaged.

Clean Labels.
Yes, it’s that term again. People are fast becoming fed up with over information. This coupled with fast paced lifestyles – a quick glance at a product and we want to know what it’s all about in a nanosecond. So simple and clean food labelling coupled with packaging that reflects what a product is now a must.

Protein Possibilities.
Alternative sources of protein is a big and steady going trend. Plant-based proteins including like likes of pea protein are fast emerging within the food market. We are also likely to see a surge in plant-based dining. That said, trials testing the biological effects of plant-based diets are only just coming through. So we need to be weary that fast-paced expansion of this sector does not surpass the science. In doing so there could be nutritional ramifications.

Plant-based protein is showing no signs of subsiding.

Big on Colour.
This was a humongous market sector at the Global Fi Conference. What I would say – “do we really need to add colour to foods to give it added appeal?” This  seems to go strongly against the natural trend.  Nevertheless, there seems to be a market for these and a large one at that. This is possibly being indirectly fuelled by the likes of Instagram and the upsurge to take images of foods and drinks that we eat. So if you fancy eating or taking a snap of a food that is iridescent blue or illuminous green the colourings to do this are out there and now being marketed as natural too.  The question is – if it’s added is it natural or deceptive?

Big on instgram = becoming big on colour.

Drinks with Dazzle.
Since SACN published its reduced sugar intake guidance the beverage market has been fast innovating. So from sparkling tea, to alkaline water and turmeric-infused lattes a whole range of new drink products are coming through. And yes, there is even now a new drink to combat the effects of ethanol after a hard night out. And the evidence-base behind these? For most the product has come before the evidence. For these to survive the fast-changing pace of the market and have on-shelf longevity research and evidence needs to come hand-in-hand with these innovations too.