Everyone loves food, and food trends have been continually evolving over the years. There is always a new fad or diet that everyone is trying out, and sometimes it can be hard to keep up.
The experts over at Food Technology gathered data from a range of different industry resources and came up with the following 10 trends that are taking the world by storm this year:
1. Fresh and Refrigerated Foods
The first trend of the year sees shoppers buying more and more fresh ingredients – research shows that nearly 9 in 10 adults feel that fresh food is healthier and 80% believe it is tastier. Shoppers are now buying 10% more fresh food than this time three years ago, and nearly half of shoppers are cooking more of their meals from scratch.
2. Eating for a Specific Lifestyle
New eating patterns, a dramatic change in lifestyle, and different demographics means the marketing and packaging of products is being reinvented and new food products are being purchased. Around 50% of people eat on their own, even if they live in a multiperson household, and food is often eaten on the same day it is purchased.
3. Reasonable Snacking
The number of in-between meal snacks grew from on average two per person per day five years ago to three last year, and consumers are now snacking more throughout the day. One in five people buy snacks to boost their energy or improve their mood, and half of consumers look for snacks that contain more than just basic nutrition.
4. Discovering New Cuisines
Last year the Food Marketing Institute identified “discovery” as a “must have” food attribute, where manufacturers and retailers should be looking to create a more sophisticated food experience. Pickling, fermenting, fire-roasting, and smoking are the hot food prep trends dominating 2015 so far. Ethnic fusion food tops the list for hot cuisines/flavours this year.
5. Exclusion Diets
People are experimenting with different styles of eating more and more, and last year a third of adults tried a special diet. Vegetarian tops the list of trendy appetizers in 2015, and 17% of adults try and follow a meat free diet. Food restrictions, allergies, and intolerances have a big influence on food choice for 10% of consumers, and food allergies in children are on the rise.
There is lots of opportunity in the world of food when it comes to the first meal of the day. Last year breakfast was eaten around 5 times a week and 10% of all breakfast foods were consumed within an hour of being bought. Ethnic flavours are becoming more popular at breakfast time too, with consumers trying chipotle, chutney, manchego cheese, and Cotija.
7. Rethinking Natural
In 2014, 29% more consumers bought more local produce, 28% bought more organic produce, and 30% made a big effort to eat less processed food. Natural sweeteners are currently a big trend in the food industry, with root-to-stalk cooking see a large jump in popularity.
8. Whole Food Nutrition
Gluten free diets have brought attention to potential digestive issues and boosted the popularity of alternative whole grains. Non-wheat noodles and pasta are at the top of the list when it comes to trendy side dishes this year. Fibre/wholegrain were the most sought after food ingredients last year, and non-wheat flours are a huge new trend, followed closely by ethnic flours such as fufu, teff, and cassava.
9. “Cook-Less” Meals
More than a quarter of people say they are making more of their meals in under 20 minutes compared to this time five years ago. Half of shoppers are now preparing more nutritious meals, with 25% of people choosing to steam or stir-fry their food. One in five households overspend on fresh convenience foods, and packaged salads, cooking greens and freshly cut fruit have grown in popularity.
10. Diet Watching
More than half of adults are watching their waistlines, with 66 million of them trying to lose weight. There is a growing interest in meal replacement offerings, and half of consumers make an effort to consume more protein as part of their diet.