Sterling-Rice Group has identified the top ten natural and organic food trends that will influence mainstream grocery shelves soon.
With a breadth and depth of culinary experience, the brand strategy, innovation, and communications firm has counseled and created foods for several of the largest food companies in the world.
- Wholesome Foods Just for Men: Manly yogurt and jerky-fruit bars? Male-oriented health foods, with an emphasis on food-as-fuel, are on the rise.
- Higher-Order Benefits: Brands move away from functional benefits (like weight loss and immunity) and go loftier, promising clarity, calm, inner peace, and bliss.
- Greens Leave the Salad Bowl: Power-packed greens like kale and arugula are becoming familiar to the mainstream, so they are expanding their reach, bringing health benefits to teas, snacks, and sweets.
- Upscale Natural Ingredients Fortify Water: Waters get a boost with rare natural ingredients, such as birch tree juice, olive oil, and highly alkaline fulvic minerals, which add luxury to hydration.
- Unexpected Textures Redefine Beverages: Chewy drinks? Multisensory shoppers get a splash of excitement with chewy chia juice or syrupy flaxseed infusions.
- High-Tech Mock Meats: Meat consumption is declining and fake meats are becoming very convincing. Faux grilled chicken strips fool expert foodies, and meat is even being 3-D printed using real animal cells. Meat lovers can enjoy their savory protein without a trip to the butcher case.
- Clean, Allergen-Free Alternative Proteins: One in four people have a food sensitivity, so natural and organic brands are delivering new alternatives. The standout is pea protein, which is high quality and free of dairy, soy, and gluten.
- Indulgent and Interesting Nut Butters: Made-over classics, including everything from fruit to chocolate, espresso, and flavorful seeds and spices, have adults reaching for the jar just as often as kids.
- Bringing Positive Nutrition to Dessert: Functional and nutritious desserts make us wonder if we have to eat our dinner first. “Fully functional” cookies promote wellness and detoxification while frozen yogurt pops pack 20 grams of protein.
- South American Superfoods Add Nutritional Street Cred: Acai berries, goji berries, and chia seeds are South American superfoods, but look for more outstanding options like acerola cherries, Peruvian purple maize, and Chilean maqui fruit in juices and energy drinks.