- Functional foods attract health-conscious consumers
- Wellness Industry Statistics & Facts
- Global Wellness Economy
- Global Physical Activity Economy
- Wellness Tourism
- Wellness Communities
- Workplace Wellness
- Spa Industry
- Thermal/Mineral Springs
- Beauty & Anti-Aging
- Key Charts from GWI Research Reports
- Wellness Tourism by Region
- Wellness Lifestyle Real Estate Pipeline
- Global Wellness Economy Linked to Beauty and Wellness Categories
- Spa Facilities by Region
- Thermal/Mineral Springs Industry
- Wellness Real Estate Global Industry
- Wellness Tourism Spending Premiums
- Workplace Wellness Market by Region
- The Future of Work – Past and Future Dimensions
- The World’s Workers Are Unwell
- Spa Management Workforce System
- Wellness Tourism and Medical Tourism Market Spectrum
- The Wellness Cluster
- The Spa Industry Cluster
- 1. Sweet potato is the new cauliflower
- 2. Fish is going faux
- 3. Plant-based yogurt, ice cream and creamers galore
- 4. Mocktails over cocktails
- Bars without alcohol? Inside the growing ‘sober curious’ trend
- 5. Snacks to help you sleep
- 6. Blended burgers and mighty meats
- 7. Plant-based butters are back
- 8. Fruit flours and potent powders
- Top Health Food Trends To Go Mainstream In 2019
Functional foods attract health-conscious consumers
- More consumers — 58% — ranked a balanced diet as a top way to proactively manage health than physical exercise (57%), taking supplements and vitamins (47%) and periodic medical checkups (46%). From a generational standpoint, more millennials said they were proactive with their health (71%) than baby boomers (66%) and Gen Xers (64%). The findings came from a study of 1,001 U.S. consumers that was published this month in a white paper from ingredients company Kerry.
- According to the study, 65% of consumers seek functional benefits from their food and drink. The top five ingredients perceived to deliver these kinds of benefits were omega-3s, green tea, honey, coffee and probiotics.
- The white paper recommends manufacturers add functional ingredients to nonconventional products, address top health concerns — stress, energy, sleep and digestion — and make sure the functional benefits are grounded in sound science.
The days when appearance, taste, texture and smell were the only variables consumers thought about when choosing what to eat are long gone. And while those are still important, manufacturers looking to invigorate their sales and profits should look to bring additional benefits to their products. After all, functional claims are no longer niche, but are increasingly becoming a necessity.
Functional foods continue to be an expanding business. According to Zion Market Research, the global functional ingredients market was worth $64.9 million in 2018, and is expected to reach nearly $100 million by 2025, increasing at a compound annual growth rate of 6.74%. The market for functional products is dominated by the U.S., and that is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8% through the end of 2021, according to Technavio.
Why the sudden popularity of functional foods? A large part of it could come from the democratization of information. Consumers, who may no longer place their unquestioned trust in health recommendations from their doctors and other medical professionals, can use online resources to find out more about different foods and ingredients. This can be seen through online searches for superfoods. As the trend of putting turmeric in anything was taking off in 2016, the bright yellow spice was called a “rising star” by Google Trends for its online search numbers.
As many consumers are searching for functional foods, manufacturers and restaurants are responding and functional ingredients are becoming much more commonplace. Retail revenue for products containing turmeric has grown 179% in three years, according to Nielsen statistics cited in Kerry’s white paper.
Ginger, a functional ingredient known for immune and digestive support, is on 55% of restaurant menus in the nation, according to Datassential Menu Trends cited in the white paper. Apple cider vinegar, known for its digestive and blood sugar managing properties, has grown 86%, Kerry wrote. And 71% more restaurant menus started offering kombucha in the last year, according to a Mintel report referenced by Kerry.
Even though functional foods are becoming ubiquitous, there are still opportunities for manufacturers to get into the space. While bars, shakes, yogurts and powders are common ways for consumers to get functional benefits, the study points to unconventional functional products that consumers might be interested in. Coffee is an obvious choice. On its own, its main benefit is energy-boosting caffeine, but survey respondents ranked it in their top five items they saw as delivering benefits.
Kerry cites Mintel statistics indicating two in five consumers want coffee that promotes brain health, and a third of all consumers are interested in probiotic coffee. Several companies are catching on to functional coffee, including Starbucks and Monster Energy.
More indulgent treats also are a place where manufacturers can add function. And while it may be disingenuous to promote a treat like a cookie as “healthy,” manufacturers can instead play up the better-for-you ingredients and how they contribute to overall health. There are some treats available blending function and indulgence, like Unilever’s protein packed and probiotic Culture Republick ice cream. However, manufacturers should be careful not to violate the so-called “jelly bean rule,” adding nutrients to things that are unhealthy simply to change how they are perceived.
Wellness Industry Statistics & Facts
For questions about research, please contact:
Beth McGroarty; [email protected] +1.213.300.0107
The Global Wellness Institute (GWI) is recognized as the leading source for authoritative wellness industry research. Since 2007, the GWI has commissioned and published numerous research reports on the $4.5 trillion global wellness economy, including its flagship publication, the Global Wellness Economy Monitor. All reports are available free to the public. Data and highlights from recent studies are below. To download all GWI research, including special reports for certain geographic areas, visit Wellness Industry Research.
Global Wellness Economy
Updated data and trends are provided in the most recent GWI Global Wellness Economy Monitor (released in October 2018, with data for 2017).
| | Download 2019 Economy Bubble Chart
- The global wellness economy was a $4.5 trillion market in 2018.
- The industry grew by 6.4 percent annually from 2015–2017, from a $3.7 trillion to a $4.2 trillion market, nearly twice as fast as global economic growth (3.6 percent annually, based on IMF data).
- Wellness expenditures ($4.2 trillion) are more than half as large as total global health expenditures ($7.3 trillion, based on WHO data).
- The wellness industry represents 5.3 percent of global economic output.
- Among the 10 wellness markets analyzed, revenue growth leaders from 2015–2017 (per annum) were the spa industry (9.8 percent), wellness tourism (6.5 percent) and wellness real estate (6.4 percent).
Key sectors include:
Global Physical Activity Economy
First-ever research report on the six-sector global physical activity economy, including the fitness, sports & active recreation, mindful movement, equipment, apparel/footwear and technology markets.
- The physical activity economy will surpass $1.1 trillion by 2023.
- Asia-Pacific will overtake North America as the largest market accounting for an eye-opening 40 percent of all global growth through 2023.
- China and India together will drive nearly one-third of all growth.
- Mindful movement will be the #1 growth sector (12 percent annually from 2018–2023).
- Technology will be the second-fastest-growing market (8.6 percent annually).
Access the latest wellness tourism data and trends in the most recent GWI Global Wellness Tourism Economy report (released in November 2018, with data for 2017).
- Wellness tourism is a $639 billion market in 2017, projected to reach $919 billion by 2022.
- Wellness tourism grew by 6.5 percent annually from 2015–2017, more than twice as fast as tourism overall (3.2 percent annually, based on Euromonitor data).
- World travelers made 830 million international and domestic wellness trips in 2017, representing 17 percent of all tourism expenditures.
- International wellness tourists on average spent $1,528 per trip, 53 percent more than the typical international tourist. Domestic wellness tourists spent $609 per trip, 178 percent more than the average domestic tourist.
- Secondary wellness travelers account for 89 percent of wellness trips and 86 percent of expenditures.
In-depth global data and key measurements are provided in GWI’s 2018 Build Well to Live Well report.
- Wellness real estate is a $134 billion global market in 2017, projected to grow to $198 billion in 2022.
- The sector grew by 6.4 percent annually from 2015–2017.
- Wellness real estate represents about 1.5 percent of the total annual global construction market and about half the size of the global green building industry.
- The top five markets are the United States ($52.5 billion), China ($19.9 billion), Australia ($9.5 billion), UK ($9.0 billion) and Germany ($6.4 billion).
- There are 740 wellness lifestyle real estate and communities built, partially built, or in development across 34 countries.
- GWI estimates that sales price premiums for wellness lifestyle real estate developments average 10–25 percent over conventional residential developments.
In-depth data and analysis are provided in GWI’s 2016 The Future of Wellness at Work report.
- Workplace wellness is a $48 billion market in 2017, projected to grow to $66 billion in 2022.
- The sector has been growing by 4.8 percent annually from 2015–2017.
- GWI estimates that only 10 percent of the world’s workers have access to workplace wellness programs and services, mostly concentrated in North America and Europe.
- GWI estimates that workforce unwellness (chronic disease, work-related injuries and illnesses, work-related stress, and employee disengagement) may cost the global economy 10–15 percent of economic output every year.
Updated data and trends are provided in the most recent GWI Global Wellness Economy Monitor (released in October 2018, with data for 2017).
- In 2017, there were over 149,000 spas, earning $93.6 billion in revenues and employing nearly 2.5 million workers.
- The spa sector has been growing by 9.9 percent annually from 2015–2017, and it is projected to reach $128 billion in 2022.
- The top five markets are United States ($20.8 billion), China ($8.2 billion), Germany ($6.7 billion), Japan ($5.7 billion) and France ($3.6 billion).
- GWI projects that in order to staff the growing global spa business, the industry will need an additional 300,000 trained spa therapists and 54,000 experienced spa managers/directors (above the current level) by 2022.
Updated data and trends are provided in the most recent GWI Global Wellness Economy Monitor (released in October 2018, with data for 2017).
- There are an estimated 34,057 thermal/mineral springs establishments operating in 127 countries.
- Thermal/mineral springs businesses earned $56.2 billion in revenues in 2017, and they employed an estimated 1.8 million workers.
- This sector has been growing by 4.9 percent annually from 2015–2017, and it is projected to reach $77 billion in 2022.
- The thermal/mineral springs industry is heavily concentrated in Asia-Pacific and Europe, which together account for 95 percent of industry revenues and 94 percent of establishments.
- Top markets include China ($17.5 billion), Japan ($12.8 billion) and Germany ($7.2 billion).
Beauty & Anti-Aging
The GWI partnered with Anjan Chatterjee, MD, FAAN, University of Pennsylvania to produce the Beauty2Wellness: Mitigating Barriers and Building Bridges report. Download the full Beauty2Wellness report here.
- A natural preoccupation with beauty can contribute to unfair judgments of personality and character attributes, such as intelligence and trustworthiness.
- People make automatic inferences about a person’s personality when they look at a face.
- Men are especially susceptible to adverse biases.
- Concepts that bridge beauty and wellness include nutrition, fitness and products.
Key Charts from GWI Research Reports
Global Wellness Institute research reports are made available to the public at no cost; download your complimentary copies here.
Please note that all reports are the property of the Global Wellness Institute. Quotation of; citation from; and reference to any of the data, findings and research methodology from the report must be credited to the Global Wellness Institute. To obtain permission for copying and reproduction, please contact the Global Wellness Institute by email at [email protected]
Click charts to enlarge.
Wellness Tourism by Region
Wellness Lifestyle Real Estate Pipeline
Global Wellness Economy Linked to Beauty and Wellness Categories
Spa Facilities by Region
Thermal/Mineral Springs Industry
Wellness Real Estate Global Industry
Wellness Tourism Spending Premiums
Workplace Wellness Market by Region
The Future of Work – Past and Future Dimensions
The World’s Workers Are Unwell
Spa Management Workforce System
Wellness Tourism and Medical Tourism Market Spectrum
The Wellness Cluster
The Spa Industry Cluster
Meat-like, plant-based burgers satisfied many carnivores’ cravings for animal protein, while plenty of others ditched dairy for trendy oat milk lattes in 2019.
So what’s on the horizon when it comes to new foods in 2020? Well, it turns out a lot of the same — with a few nutritious twists.
TODAY Food scouted out the new and emerging food products that are all packed with a purpose, whether that’s helping diners incorporate more fiber into their diets, cut down on cholesterol, be more environmentally friendly or even get better sleep.
1. Sweet potato is the new cauliflower
Sweet potatoes are rich in fiber and packed with nutrients like vitamin A and vitamin C.Banza
This nutritious tuber has long been a staple at holiday meals but it’s about to get the cauliflower treatment. Banza’s Plant-Based Mac with Chickpea Pasta is launching in January 2020 and boasts a cheese-less “cheddar” sauce made from sweet potatoes and nutritional yeast.Sweet potato also adds color and nutrients to Maria and Ricardo’s grain-free plant wraps, which offer a half serving (equivalent to 1/2 cup) of veggies per wrap. And instead of snacking on potato chips, try Spudsy, a puffed snack made with upcycled sweet potatoes that were deemed too ugly to be sold at the grocery store. The spuds (which taste exactly the same as their prettier counterparts) get turned into sweet potato flour, before being combined with pea protein and rice flour to make a crunchy snack.
2. Fish is going faux
Tuna looks like canned tuna but it’s actually made from soy protein and other flavorings.Tuno
If 2019 was the year of the Impossible Burger, 2020 may just be the year of plant-based fish. Tuno is a seafood alternative made from soy protein and seaweed (which contains beneficial DHA, a type of omega-3 fat) and promotes itself as a more sustainable alternative to seafood. Good Catch offers more seafood options sans fish, but creates its products with a blend of six legumes and adds algal oil for that “of the sea” flavor. The company currently offers pouches of plant-based “tuna” and will release frozen, plant-based crab cakes as well as “whitefish” sliders, in 2020.
Finless Foods is also on a mission to create nutritious seafood without harming live fish. It’s growing bluefin tuna cells that can then be harvested and eaten. This product is set to make its market debut by the end of 2019, with more species to follow.
Eating seafood is touted by most health institutions, including the American Heart Association, as one of the keys to living a long, healthy life. But some consumers just don’t like the taste, or are concerned about the environmental impact of fishing. These options will offer consumers alternative protein options that mesh with different dietary plans and eco-friendly beliefs.
3. Plant-based yogurt, ice cream and creamers galore
Plant-based milks are being used in a variety of traditional dairy products.Halsa Trending stories,celebrity news and all the best of TODAY.
There are now dozens of oat, hemp, coconut, flax and almond milk (or mylk) options on the market … and even more are coming. Care for a little pistachio nut milk or black sesame milk? New, plant-based milks from Three Trees are delicious and offer home cooks the ability to add unique flavors to traditional dishes. Even dairy behemoth Chobani will be offering a new line of oat-based drinks and blends (aka oat yogurt) that will roll out in January. The Greek yogurt brand joins Scandinavian company Halsa (“health” in Swedish), which launched its organic “oatgurt” in September.
The range of plant-based creamers for your morning latte is expanding, too, with pecan milk options from Malk and banana milk versions from Mooala. In January, artisanal ice cream maker, Van Leeuwen will launch a line of oat milk ice cream (flavors include Caramel Cookie, Cookie Dough Chunk and Mocha Latte) that will be sold in grocery stores and scooped at local shops.
If you still want to reap the benefits of traditional dairy (like calcium, vitamin D, protein and potassium), but also want to avoid lactose and cut some calories, give Live Real Farms’ dairy and oat blend a try. This hybrid combines low-fat milk with oats, plus the enzyme lactase for a lactose-free milk beverage that’s creamy and satisfying. Compared to oat milk (90 calories per cup) and 2% cow’s milk (130 calories per cup), this dairy blend is a nice compromise with 110 calories per cup.
4. Mocktails over cocktails
Not long ago, people who abstained from drinking alcohol had few options at most bars. Thanks to wellness-obsessed millennials, we’ve seen the rise of zero-proof beers that are still flavorful, plus a bevy of drink mixers meant for mocktails. The “sober curious” movement has gained in popularity with folks in their twenties, giving rise to delicious, alcohol-free beverages beyond seltzer.
Bars without alcohol? Inside the growing ‘sober curious’ trend
May 27, 201903:42
HopTea brews tea (black, green and white) with hops for people who enjoy the hoppy flavor of a craft beer, but don’t want the extra calories or a hangover. Kater Wingman is creating refreshing, electrolyte-enhanced sparkling waters in beer bottles. Non-alcoholic craft beers like Hairless Dog, which has increased production by 400% in the last three months, uses a proprietary brewing process where alcohol is never introduced. Traditional low-alcohol beer, like O’Doul’s, use a distilling process that still leaves a trace amount of alcohol (0.5% ABV) in the drink.
More bars are even popping up to cater to the trend. Getaway, the first alcohol-free bar in Brooklyn, New York, has a complete menu that includes non-alcoholic beer, wine and cocktails, plus house-made shrubs. Sans Bar, the first sober bar in Austin, Texas, caters to both sober and sober-curious crowds. Its founder and CEO Chris Marshall, previously worked as a substance abuse counselor and wanted to create a fun space that took the stigma out of living sober. In 2020, Sans Bar will be running pop-up events throughout the country in partnership with Dry Soda. Hotel chains like Hilton will also be offering guests zero-proof crafted cocktails, alongside the usual options, in 2020.
5. Snacks to help you sleep
Is it really possible to snack your way to a better night’s sleep?Good Day Chocolate
It’s no surprise that many of us are having a tough time sleeping these days. Sleep-related products have been creeping into the market in recent years (and are estimated to grow to a $101 billion business by 2023). In 2020, we’ll be seeing more food-based solutions that will purportedly help us nod off.
If you’re feeling anxious after scrolling through your evening news feed, try whisking up a caffeine-free Night Time Latte from Pukka. It features classic relaxation herbs like lavender and chamomile. Chamomile and lavender are flowers with documented health benefits. Chamomile has a mild sedative effect and lavender has been found to reduce anxiety and improve sleep quality. It also contains the adaptogenic herb ashwagandha, which has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for hundreds of years.
Or try nibbling on an Evening Calm Dark Chocolate Cluster from Good Source Foods with sleep-inducing ingredients like melatonin-rich dried cherries, lavender powder and anti-inflammatory turmeric. If those soporific snacks don’t do the trick, you can munch on a CBD-infused chocolate from Good Day Chocolate. Each candy-coated milk chocolate sphere contains 10 milligrams of CBD (from organically grown hemp), along with 1 milligram of melatonin, plus chamomile extract. Melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep, has been shown in several studies to help with insomnia. As with all supplements, you should discuss using CBD with your doctor before trying it out, especially if you are on any type of medication.
6. Blended burgers and mighty meats
Meat and veggie blends will be popping up all over the place in 2020.Raised & Rooted
Currently, 3% of the U.S. population identifies as vegan, but meat-free offerings have proliferated this year with the nationwide launches of Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods. Conscious carnivores are looking for ethically raised meat that is better for them (whether that’s protein with less cholesterol, fewer calories or more nutrients), as well as the planet. Overall, a lot of people are just eating less meat so food companies are starting to innovate by incorporating the benefits of plants into the products they already sell.
In 2020, look for beef and chicken to get cozy with legumes, cauliflower and brown rice. There will be new offerings from Perdue, like Chicken Plus Dinos, nuggets made with chicken, cauliflower and chickpeas. Inspired by artisan butchers, Misfit Foods has been developing a line of chicken sausages that are vibrantly colored and very veggie forward, boasting a mix of 50% ground chicken with 50% vegetables, such as kale, gold squash and sweet potato. Tyson, known for meat-centric brands like Hillshire Farms and Jimmy Dean, is behind the recently created Raised & Rooted. The brand’s “The Blend” patties feature ground Angus beef and isolated pea protein, so each serving has about 40% fewer calories and 60% less saturated fat than a typical beef patty.
7. Plant-based butters are back
Butter isn’t always better. These new plant-based spreads are creamy and versatile.Melt Organic
Dairy butter and ghee have seen a renaissance in the last few years thanks to the popularity of higher-fat diets like keto, but it may be time to reconsider plant-based spreads. While the margarines many people grew up with featured a combination of vegetable oils (some of them partially hydrogenated) and whey, the latest plant butters are vegan and contain no trans fats. Plus, they’re creamy, tasty, spreadable and can be used to make all types of different dairy-free creations.
Miyoko’s cultured vegan butter is made with organic coconut oil and cashew cream that’s fermented with live cultures, creating a tangy and very butter-like experience. Melt Organic’s spreadable plant butter is made from a blend of coconut, palm, sunflower and flaxseed oils. And Country Crock has revamped its product line to include plant butters that boast a blend of palm kernel, canola, palm fruit and avocado oils. These new butters do still contain saturated fat, but have less per tablespoon (3.5 grams to 5 grams versus 7 grams) than traditional butter.
8. Fruit flours and potent powders
Fruit is getting pulverized into powder for a variety of uses.Carrington Farms
Keep the doctor away in 2020 by using apples for more than just an afternoon snack. Hearthy Food’s apple flour is the latest go-to for those seeking gluten-free alternatives to make baked goods and more. Since it’s made from whole apples, it offers an apple-forward flavor, so it might not be suitable for every type of recipe.
Another new flour on the horizon? Banana. Let’s do…Organic Organic Green Banana Flour might just change your banana bread game forever. It’s free of gluten and grains, plus it has fiber. And, like bananas, it also has a healthy dose of potassium.
The antioxidant-rich pomegranate fruit is delicious, but it’s hard to find the fruit fresh year round. Carrington Farms’ pomegranate powder, made from the juice of the fruit, allows you to easily add this super fruit to smoothies, baked goods and more any time. The flavor is tartly sweet, just like the fruit itself.
Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN, is a nutrition and wellness expert, writer, mom of three and bestselling author. Her books include Feed the Belly,” “The CarbLovers Diet” and “Eating in Color Follow her on Instagram and check out her website.
Top Health Food Trends To Go Mainstream In 2019
Gone are the days when health foods belong to a niche group. As wellness and clean lifestyle grow in popularity, more health and general food trends are starting to merge.
In KIND’s latest trends report, Founder & CEO Daniel Lubetzky joins Senior Food Scientist Lena Halabi and almost 5,000 food and beverage experts—chefs, registered dietitians, team members in global markets such as Mexico, China and Brazil—in sharing the biggest health food trends next year.
Here are the highlights.
Infused water is no longer confined to fruits and vegetables. Beyond lemon or cucumber water plus the mainstreaming of coconut and maple water, people are looking for more new flavors, vitamins, minerals and prebiotics to their diet. In 2019, expect more unusual flavors and variations. Take cactus water, for instance, it’s generally lower in calories and sugar than traditional coconut water, and provides lots of betalain antioxidants for promoting skin revitalization, according to Jackie Newgent, RDN, culinary nutritionist and KIND Snacks spokesperson.
What’s in the water?
WHERE TO FIND IT: True Nopal Cactus Water; CBD-infused alkaline water (Flow); sparkling hydrogen-infused water (Hyvida)
Crazy for CBD
Cannabinoid, an extract from the cannabis plant, is one of the surest trends that will explode in 2019. Given it has no psychoactive effects (unlike THC), it has long been found in lotions and oils to help reduce inflammation and pain. While CBD has already made its way into coffee, cocktails and even olive oil in recent years, expect to see more of it in other products including yogurts, soups and even salad dressings.
Rise of CBD
WHERE TO FIND IT: MountJoy Sparkling CBD; Vegan and gluten-free CBD Chocolate chip cookie bites (Living Kitchen x Blue Ridge Hemp CBD Cookie Bites); CBD Extra virgin olive oil (Plant People); CBD-infused hemp matcha frozen yogurt (Yogland, London)
Take care of your gut
Emerging at the forefront of the health and wellness industry is the topic of digestive health. With a newfound appreciation for the microbiome—trillions of bacteria and other microbes that live in our intestinal tract—more products (think fiber, prebiotics and probiotics) are geared toward improving gut health. To make sure you get enough fiber to fuel beneficial bacteria, check the food labels and look for at least a 10%-daily value.
Keep your gut healthy
WHERE TO FIND IT: KIND Bars – Dark Chocolate Almond Mint: (25% of the daily value for fiber); GoodBelly probiotics bars; and Probiotic Chickpea Granola (Effi).
Embrace a plant-based lifestyle
As one of the hottest trends in recent years, going meatless is no longer limited to Mondays. In 2019, expect more meat-alternatives in the market, including plants, insects, lentils, soy, dairy-free protein alternatives going mainstream. Aside from the innovations highlighting nuts, extruded seeds, beans, water lentils and algae in snack bars, chips, meat-free burgers or sausages and dairy-free yogurts and cheeses, one of the most exciting developments is cell-based meat—namely meat and protein extracted from animals’ cells without killing the animal at all.
WHERE TO FIND IT: Just—the food innovator known for its plant-based eggs, cookies and mayo; Chirps cricket chips; cocktail bitters made with toasted crickets (Critter Bitters).
Clearly, it’s not just the health-conscious folks who read food labels closely nowadays. On the whole, people are looking for more details about the food they eat. In addition to the source and list of ingredients, consumers have higher expectations of companies in sharing specific information on the packaging. As companies are held accountable for information including marketing claims on the labels, the demand for transparency will shape companies’ cultures, hiring practices and inclusion measures in 2019.
Learn more about your food
WHERE TO FIND IT: SmartLabel offers several ways to find more details on a wide range of food and beverage, personal care plus household products, including scanning QR codes on packages and using their app; Porter Road— an online butcher shop that offers full transparency into their standards and processes.
A new year brings reflection, predictions, plans — and, hopefully, healthier shopping carts. (Well, at least until we notice all the Valentine’s Day candy lining the shelves.) And with every passing year, there are new food trends to try. (Remember when kale wasn’t even a thing?)
At the forefront of foodie trends is Whole Foods Market, with its annual list of food trend predictions for the year ahead. The list is curated by a culinary army of about 50 Whole Foods Market team members, according to a release, from buyers to product sourcing experts to local foragers. Translation: They’re the ones who said White Claw would be a thing long before your cousin insisted you try it over the holidays.
So whether your meal planning needs a reboot or you just want to be in the know about what you’ll be craving next, shop the food trends that are expected to be big in 2020.
Reaching for gluten-free flours to avoid gluten isn’t the point anymore — it’s now about choosing flours that offer extra protein or fiber, regardless of whether you can tolerate gluten or not. And while we’re all familiar with almond flour, the new kids on the baking block are items like cauliflower flour, tiger nut flour and other alternative flours.
BakeGood Cauliflower Flour Blend, 2 pounds ($14.99; amazon.com)
You’re familiar with things like cauliflower pizza crust and cauliflower crackers, but now you can buy cauliflower flour in bulk to make your own nutritious versions.
Roots Tiger Nut Flatbread Pizza Crust Mix ($12.85; amazon.com)
Tiger nuts aren’t actually nuts, they’re ancient root vegetables. The really interesting thing about fiber-packed tiger nut flour is that tiger nuts are a “resistant starch”— meaning they slow down digestion, keeping you fuller for longer.
Refrigerated ‘fresh’ snacks
Foods that need to go in the fridge often mean less preservatives and additives, which is why, for many healthy eaters, the snack aisle isn’t in the middle of the grocery store — it’s the coolers on the perimeter. From bars to soups, prepared snacks in single-serve sizes are moving away from bagged carbs and becoming more like something healthy that Mom packed for you.
Nona Lim Heat & Sip Cups Variety Pack ($38.99; amazon.com)
Made from scratch in small batches and with fresh ingredients, these soups and bone broths are shipped frozen and come in a wide variety of flavors.
Perfect Bar Original Refrigerated Protein Bar in Peanut Butter (24 Bars) ($64.56; amazon.com)
With about 17 grams of protein (but no whey or soy), these gluten-free, organic, non-GMO bars have a cookie-dough-like texture that many health nuts rave about. They’ll need to be stored in the fridge but can last up to a week once you take one out.
According to Whole Foods, many of today’s parents are inclined to introduce their kids to more adventurous foods. (Fun fact: Whole Foods says that by 2026, 80% of millennials will have children.) The foodie spirit swings both ways, too — kids are seeing their peers on cooking competitions and are having cafeteria conversations of their own about what’s what.
GimMe Snacks Organic Roasted Seaweed in Sea Salt (Pack of 20) ($14.79; amazon.com)
If you’ve ever bought a single pack, you know how easy it is to inhale these super-thin and tasty pieces of seaweed. Kids are gobbling them up, too — which is a far better choice than many other chips or crackers they want.
Serenity Kids Baby Food, Wild-Caught Coho Salmon with Organic Butternut Squash and Beets (6-pack) ($23.95; amazon.com)
You could say it’s a bit pricey for baby food. Or you could say it’s a small price to pay to start ’em young toward being adventurous eaters.
Depolarizing the meat debate
Meat versus fake meat — can’t we all just get along? We will in 2020, says Whole Foods. While plant-based meatless “meat” products have skyrocketed over the years, “real” meat lovers can finally calm down and enjoy their animal products while getting a dose of vegetables, too. Technically dubbed “blended meat,” these are products with both meat and meatless ingredients in them. Look for items like Applegate’s The Great Organic Blended Burger (available to Prime members through Prime Now) and Lika Plus’s Blended Burger on your next grocery store run.
West African foods
Lesser-known superfoods and earthy flavors are becoming more popular—and many of them are traditionally West African foods and ingredients. Food brands are finding inspiration from West Africa by using ingredients like moringa, tamarind, fonio, teff, millet, sorghum and more.
Nature Nate’s Popped Sorghum, 5 Ounces ($8.99; amazon.com)
Sorghum has a nutritional profile that’s similar to quinoa (think fiber and protein). Here, it’s popped and flavored with avocado oil and sea salt—that’s it.
Yolélé Fonio African Super Grain, 2.25 Pounds ($22.99, amazon.com)
Another gluten-free West African grain to try is fonio, which is in the millet family and similar in texture to couscous.
As more people identify soy as an allergen and not the answer to their dietary dreams, the king of the plant-based movement has been dethroned. Meat alternatives, condiments, protein powders and more are all employing replacement ingredients to maintain (and often improve) their texture, taste and nutritional profiles. See ya, soy.
Ocean’s Halo Organic Soy-Free Teriyaki Sauce, 2 Bottles ($15.99; amazon.com)
Level up your next stir-fry or chicken dish with this teriyaki sauce that’s also gluten-free.
Whether you’re “sober curious” or want to imbibe all night and not feel the hurt tomorrow, this trend comes in two forms: There are the alcohol-inspired-but-non-alcoholic beverages you can drink straight from the can or bottle, and then there are the products meant to be used in place of alcohol and with a mixer. The latter is newer to the scene, thanks to beverage makers using distilling methods usually reserved for alcohol. The result: Gin and tonics without the gin, martinis without the vodka and more.
Ritual Gin Alternative ($25; amazon.com)
Made with spices and distilled flavors like juniper, angelica root and lemongrass, this zero-proof gin is ideal when you want to feel a bit of that burn you usually get from alcohol.
Hoplark HopTea Mixed Pack, 12 16-Ounce Cans ($39; amazon.com)
This sparkling tea is usually about $2.50 per can at Whole Foods, and you can order a variety case online — or one specific flavor if you find one you love. Some have caffeine, some don’t, but they all have a bold dose of hops to recreate the taste you’re craving.
Superfood butters and spreads
Going beyond almond butter isn’t new — but that just means there’s even more expectation to get creative with spreads and butters. Whether your spread of choice is made of watermelon seeds or pili nuts, this trend is coupled with the higher standard of using only responsibly sourced palm oil or eliminating the ingredient’s use altogether.
FBOMB Nut Butter 10-Pack in Salted Chocolate Macadamia ($24.99; amazon.com)
These 1-ounce packets are packed with healthy fats and only 2 grams of sugar, making them a delicious snack to throw in your tote or gym bag for when you need a tasty and nutritious treat.
88 Acres Roasted Watermelon Seed Butter, 2 14-Ounce Jars ($26.99; amazon.com)
The subtle roasted flavor adds a nice twist to your morning oatmeal or smoothie. (Psst! This same brand also makes dark chocolate sunflower seed butter. Just sayin’.)
Syrups made from fruit sources or even starches are the latest way to add sweetness to everything from cookies to coffee to meat glazes. They’re usually more concentrated and offer an alternative to refined sugar in dishes and drinks.
D’vash Organic Sweet Potato Nectar, 16.6 Ounces ($12.99; amazon.com)
If you like the deep flavor of molasses or honey, this nectar is worth a try, drizzled over pancakes or used to marinate chicken.
Swerve Sweetener Bakers Bundle, Granular and Confectioners, 2 12-Ounce Packages ($14.99; amazon.com)
With nearly 2,000 ratings averaging 5 stars, this nonglycemic sugar replacement reportedly doesn’t have the aftertaste of other sugar alternatives. It’s also a one-for-one substitute for sugar, making it an extra-easy replacement.
Choosing brands that work with farmers and other partners that prioritize regenerative practices is one way to help the environment. Regenerative agriculture can mean a few things, but it typically refers to managing levels of carbon by improving biodiversity and restoring soil. Whole Foods items from companies currently using regenerative agricultural practices include White Oak Pastures grassfed ground beef, Zack’s Mighty Tortilla Chips and Cowgirl Creamery Mt. Tam cheese.
Note: The prices above reflect the retailer’s listed prices at the time of publication.