I recently attended the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE), the world’s largest annual meeting of food and nutrition professionals. Over 13,000 registered dietitian nutritionists, nutrition researchers, policy makers, health care providers, and industry leaders attend this four-day event. Adding to the excitement, the Academy was celebrating its 100th year anniversary.
Each day of FNCE is packed with research, educational presentations, lectures, debates, expert lead panel discussions, demonstrations, and a huge product expo. This year, the expo portion of the event drew more than 390 food and nutrition related exhibitors. It’s here that new products and innovations are launched and food trends come to life.
Here are the top 7 food trends spotted at FNCE 2017:
1. GUT HEALTH GALORE
Probiotics have been a hot topic for awhile with their ability to boost gut health, immunity, aid digestion, bust a craving, and enhance mood. Companies are giving us all sorts of new ways to get our good bugs. Examples:
a. Kevita Sparkling Probiotic Drink. Each 16-ounce sparkling drink has billions of live probiotics.
b. Farmhouse Culture Kraut Krisps. The first ingredient in these chips is sauerkraut (that’s surprising!) and they have 1 billion probiotics per serving.
c. GoodBelly StraightShots. Each shot is about 2.5 ounces of dairy-free oatmilk with 20 billion live and active probiotic cultures, no sugar added, and 30 calories.
d. Purely Elizabeth Probiotic Granola. The first granola to add GanedenBC30—a patented vegan strain of probiotics—shown to survive the baking process.
2. BEANS GET SNACKY
Beans are a healthy food loaded with plant-protein and fiber. Companies are finding snacky ways for us to get our bean on. Examples:
a. Enlightened Broad Bean Crisps. Each serving is 100 calories, 5 grams fiber, and 7 grams protein naturally coming from the broad bean.
b. Biena Dark Chocolate Covered Chickpeas. The crunchy chickpeas are covered with 55% dark chocolate and have 4g of protein and 4g of fiber per serving.
c. That's It Bean + Kale Veggie Bar. Each bar has 4 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber and is made with only five ingredients: Black beans, kale, organic tapioca, vegetable glycerin, sea salt.
3. HEALTH TRENDS IN A HURRY
Companies are making it easier than ever to be part of all the newest health crazes. Examples:
a. Daily Harvest Smoothies. Get cups of frozen smoothie ingredients delivered to your doorstep. All you need to do is add liquid and blend.
b. Quaker Overnight Oats. Just add milk and let it cold steep overnight for a convenient breakfast with 100% whole grain oats.
c. NOW Foods Q Cups. Just add hot water and let it sit for 5 minutes for naturally gluten-free, organic quinoa.
e. Cauli' flour Foods Pizza Crust. These 9” gluten-free pizza crusts are made from 4 simple ingredients: Cauliflower, cheese, eggs, and spices. Just add your favorite toppings and bake.
4. REAL PROTEIN FOODS
People just can’t get enough protein for its muscle building and satiety effects. Now, instead of protein powders and bars, protein is being celebrated in real, wholesome foods. Examples:
a. Eggland's Best Eggs. Eggland’s Best eggs have more nutrition than ordinary eggs because their hens eat a wholesome, all-vegetarian diet.
b. Muuna Cottage Cheese. Single serve creamy cottage cheese with real pieces of fruit on the bottom.
c. Siggi's 4% No Added Sugar Yogurt. Sugar is out, but fat is back. Siggi's 4% no added sugar yogurt comes in two flavors: peach + mango and banana + cinnamon.
5. BEVERAGES WITH BENEFITS
Healthy eaters also want to drink healthy. Cheers to a few new beverages…
a. DRINKmaple. Made from pure, refreshing water collected from Vermont maple trees in the spring. It contains 46 nutrients and only 30 calories per 12 ounces.
b. Steaz Cactus Water. Made with prickly pear, the fruit of the cactus, which has antioxidants and electrolytes.
c. Elmhurst Peanut/Walnut/Cashew/Hazelnut Milks. Their labels show how many nuts you are actually getting per glass and they don’t use thickeners, stabilizers, or emulsifiers.
6. BEAUTY BOOSTER POWDERS
Healthy eating gets a vanity check…
a. Vital Proteins Lavender Lemon Beauty Water. A blend of collagen, hyaluronic acid, probiotics, organic lemon, organic lavender, organic blueberry, and organic beet to enhance skin hydration, elasticity, and firmness.
b. Navitas Superfood Beauty Boost. A combination of flax, goji, maqui, acai, maca, and turmeric to help support skin, hair and nail health.
7. FAST PRODUCE
Eating your fruits & veggies just got easier…
a. Zupa Noma Superfood Soup. These ready-to-drink soups give you a fast 4 servings of veggies. Watch out juicing trend…#soupingisthenewjuicing.
b. Sunsweet Diced Prunes. Prunes are a classic health food good for digestion and bone health and now they are sold diced, with no sugar added. This makes them even easier to toss into oatmeal, yogurt, or a salad.
c. MadeGood Granola Bars. Each grab & go bar contains the nutrients of one full serving of vegetables from six different sources: Spinach, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, beets, shiitake mushrooms.
d. Kuli Kuli Moringa. Moringa tree leaves are turned into a green vegetable powder that provides 2 cups of concentrated leafy greens in one tablespoon.
Product research by: Jessica Dogert, RDN
No companies have paid to be on this list.
Disclosure of current clients: Eggland’s Best, NOW, Quaker, Sunsweet