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What food industry experts forecast will be trending in 2017

December 8, 2016
Food & Drink

At the end of every year, food industry analysts all make their predictions about what will be the next hot product or trend in the coming year. We’re only a few days into December, but there are already numerous 2017 trend lists floating around. Here are some of the highlights from the top trends to watch.

Registered dietitian Toby Amidor believes pea powder will be the hottest trend in protein, according to his analysis of the 2016 Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo. He also predicts fermented vegetables will become more common in the mainstream, as will sweeteners that blend low-calorie options like stevia leaf extract with honey to balance sugar intake without sacrificing taste, reported Food Network (Nov. 13).

Innova Market Insights sees “Clean Supreme” as the big trend for 2017, which it defines as a recognition of the clean and clear label as the new global standard. Trending clean supply chain claims include “environmentally friendly,” which has shown a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 72% from 2011-2015, and animal welfare, which has grown at a CAGR of more than 45% per year during the same period.

Rounding out Innova’s top five trends are, “Disruptive Green” for plant-based milks, meat alternatives and vegan offerings; “Sweet Balance” for the industry-wide pressure to reduce added sugars while still creating an indulgent experience and presenting a clean label; “Kitchen Symphony” for greater choice and higher levels of authenticity in ethnic cuisines; and “Body in Tune” for consumer choices of personalizing nutrition, adapting to specific diets, or increasing protein and probiotics intake.

Baum + Whiteman sees health and environmental concerns spuring an increase in consumption of faux meats in 2017. The agency found that offerings from Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods will succeed where vegetarian burger alternatives could not, by mimicking the look, smell and taste of traditional burgers. The group also believes vegetable “butcher” shops will continue to open, offering meatless alternatives to salami, sausages, meatballs, roast beef and ribs, reported CTV News (Nov. 28).

Whole Foods Market forecasts wellness tonics will become popular in 2017, pushing beyond the popular juice craze. It also predicts a boost in products from byproducts, like leftover whey from strained Greek yogurt or spent grains from beer. Coconut will be the trendy ingredient of the year, moving from coconut oil and coconut water to more unexpected products like coconut flour tortillas, and coconut sugar aminos.

The retailer also believes unique condiments will be on the rise, such as black sesame tahini, habanero jam, ghee, and pomegranate molasses. Pastas will also get a makeover, made from alternative grains like quinoa, lentils and chickpeas. More traditional fresh-milled and seasonal pasta will also gain popularity.

Internationally, Mintel forecasts a “year of extremes,” with trends ranging from “ancient products,” including grains, recipes, practices and traditions, to the use of technology to create better-tasting, plant-enhanced foods. Mintel also predicts a rise in “slow” and “fast” claims for food, as well as products that will help consumers relax, sleep better and restore the body. U.K. retailer Waitrose predicts food trends in the U.K. will shift from cold-pressed juices and sushi to watermelon juice and Hawaiian poke. It also forecasts foodie meal kits will become popular, as well as occasional extreme indulgences, such as massive milkshakes dubbed “freakshakes,” vegetable yogurt, and perfume-inspired cocktails, reported The Guardian (Nov. 1).

Exotic global fare, unique coffee creations and more emphasis on Generation Z are the forecasted Canadian food trends for 2017, according to Technomic. Mainstream cuisines such as Chinese and Mexican will make way for specialties like Filipino noodles and soup, Pakistani kebabs and Iranian stew, while the third-wave coffee movement will bring about innovative products such as lemon coffees, coffee jelly, Indonesian avocado espressos and coffee with butter or salt.

By Jennette Zitelli

Source: The Food Institute

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