Last month, I was trendspotting in Chicago at IFT18. Chicago is such a beautiful city in the summer. IFT’s Annual Event & Food Expo has over 1200 exhibitors, 23,000 attendees and 100 sessions bringing together food professionals from around the globe.  There were thousands of new ingredients and products representing all segments of the science of food, innovations and trends. Let’s explore my top five food and beverage trends from IFT18.

The Top Five Trends

Beauty – Skin Health Bioactives

Skin health came in a variety of forms at IFT. From collagen being a popular ingredient for energy focused foods and beverages including smoothies to the addition of aloe as a new bioactive ingredient in liquid and powder forms. The idea is to consume these ingredients on a daily basis to achieve “beauty from within”. The research to establish the optimum dose response relationship for these ingredients is still emerging and is one to keep an eye on.

 

Organic

IFT quotes sales of organic foods and drinks reached $45.2 billion in 2017, +6.4%, per the Organic Trade Association. Packaged Facts reports that 46% of adults are seeking out non-GM foods; 39% are trying to include more plant-based foods in their diet, per Nielsen. In my book The Need for Seeds: How to Make Seed an Everyday Food in your Healthy Lifestyle, I recommend organic seeds as they become a daily habit.

 

Package Labels – Clean & Natural

Mintel offered excellent trend sessions on the IFT18 exhibit floor. I attended many of the sessions and clean label remains high interest among some consumers. Bakery/sweet foods, meats, and other fresh categories, as well as salad dressing, pizza, and beverages, are among the up-and-coming clean label categories. MSG, sulfites, nitrate/nitrites, phosphate, gelatin, and carrageenan are among the emerging clean label concerns, per Mintel.

 

Plant Based Beverages

Dairy-free, plant-based beverages continue to grow for a variety of consumers. I’ve been a fan of matcha for years and it’s obvious it is becoming more common with the addition of flavours and sweeteners for both cold and hot beverages. It is seen a healthy and cutting edge ingredient for familiar brands wanting to extend their lines to meet this consumer market.

 

Texture

You know I love crunch! I’m always adding seeds, nuts, and crispy fruits and veggies to my meals and snacks. In both my December Bakers Journal column, and Grow with Nutrition blog – Food and Beverage Trends for 2018, I discussed texture. At IFT18, Mintel confirmed texture is a definite trend in all categories. Worldwide, companies are adding crunch and crispness to a variety of foods and beverages to give consumers multisensory experiences when they eat.

Thank you for joining me for my Trendspotting in Chicago at IFT18. I’d love to speak at your upcoming event to share more exciting food trends.
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