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2018 food trends

The Way to a Consumers Heart (This Year)

Here are a few things food consumers will be looking for (or looking to avoid) this year.

Sugar

As in “less sugar.” Sugar seems to be the latest Big Bad on consumers’ watch lists. Most health experts agree we get way too much of it and the FDA will require “added sugars” to be listed on food labels when it latest guidelines take effect. But since we all still crave that sweet taste, look for natural sweeteners like honey, stevia, monk fruit and agave to continue to grow in popularity.

Clean and Transparent Labels

The fewer the ingredients, the better. Artificial colors and preservatives are out. Natural ingredients and minimal processing (like HPP) are in. And consumers are demanding transparency from labels. Anyone with access to Google will soon find out that “yeast extract” is a more natural sounding way of saying monosodium glutamate, but it’s still MSG. And no more messing around with serving sizes. Consumers expect serving sizes to reflect the amount of food they will actually eat.

Sustainability

Consumers will be looking for that magic word, as issues like responsible sourcing, fair trade and food waste become part of the zeitgeist. The carbon footprint of some foods might become an issue for some consumers. Orgainc farming practices and food products will remain important to many. Even fast-food giant McDonalds is getting into the act, implementing more sustainable packaging in its restaurants worldwide.

The Diet Trends of the Flexitarian

Paleo (heavy on the meat, light on the grains), vegan (heavy on the veg and grains, no meat), and ketogenic (heavy on the fats, light on the carbs), among other diets will continue to be popular trends with consumers. And while many won’t strictly adhere to the rules of a particular diet, you can expect many to increase the ratio of one segment, while lowering or cutting out another. Think Flexitarian.