The Food Trends That Will Shape The Way We Eat In 2019
Updated: Jan 16
It's the most wonderful time of the year! No, not Christmas. Not yet, anyway. It's time to predict the food trends that will be shaping what we eat in 2019. While some see the ubiquitous food trends lists that dominate this time of year as a bit of a fad, for others they're a vital marketing resource. Grocery retailers and food brands have the customer data required to serve up the right products and content at the right time, but knowing what's trending in food adds an extra layer that can help re-engage or acquire new customers.
It's safe to say that health and special diets have dominated food trends over the last number of year. From gluten-free to vegan, more and more people are considering the consequences of what they choose to eat. In late 2017 we predicted that plant-based food was the trend to watch in 2018, and it's clear veganism went mainstream this year. Is this set to continue into 2019? What should grocery retailers and food brands be focusing on in order to engage customers through new product choices and recipes? Here are our predictions:
From plant-based to lab-grown
Following a plant-based diet is certainly on the rise. The Vegan Society estimates that 1.16% of the population of Great Britain is vegan, up from 0.46% in 2016. Still, meat-eaters make up the majority. With scientists recommending that we eat less meat in order to protect the planet, lab-grown meats may be the way to convince meat-lovers to say no to steak every once in a while. While companies like JUST aimed to release their first cultured (lab-grown) meat product by the end of 2018, regulatory issues mean that this may well be a slower process than anticipated. Once these regulatory hurdles are cleared, we expect lab-grown meat to trend in 2019. Of course, the likes of Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods already make it possible for consumers to swap out their beef burgers for a plant-based alternative. Even White Castle is getting in on the act, selling Impossible Sliders in all locations. It might seem that plant-based meats have already gone mainstream, but we suspect that 2019 will be an even bigger year for this trend as more and more meat-eaters aim to cut down on their meat consumption.
Cauliflower as junk food?
Move over cauliflower rice and even cauliflower steak - cauliflower wings are here to steal your thunder. These alternatives to chicken wings aren't new but expect to see them making more of an impact on restaurant menus and food blogs for the same reasons plant-based meats are trending. The continued move toward a flexitarian diet will mean more inventive ways to substitute meat for vegetables in order to create alternatives to much-loved junk food classics. Carrot hot dog, anyone? How about sweet potato pizza?
Okay, this one isn't a food but how we source our food is changing. For some, this means hyper-local. For others, it means the convenience of online grocery. Online grocery adoption has lagged behind other sectors when it comes to e-commerce, but it's slowly on the increase. Major grocery retailers such as Kroger and Walmart have invested heavily in online grocery this year, and since 44% of US consumers were expected to shop online for groceries this Thanksgiving, both sides seem ready for a surge in popularity in 2019.
Good gut health
Health-based trends were big in 2018, and they will continue into 2019, with foods for good gut health gaining even more prominence. If it can be fermented, it will be. Fermented foods such as kimchi and sauerkraut are not new to consumers, but we expect that more people will experiment with making their own fermented foods at home. Interestingly, Whole Foods Market is predicting that the benefits of fermented foods will be making their way into products such as granola, oatmeal and nut butters in 2019. For content marketers in the food space, it might not be a bad idea to investigate adding recipes that make use of fermented foods to your collection.
This one has been predicted for a couple of years now, and it's safe to say that insects as food haven't exactly taken the grocery store aisles by storm just yet. Still, they appear on Benchmark's food trends list for 2019. Perhaps they'll make an impact on restaurant menus, but we suspect that the real trend here is that bugs will continue to not trend. Not yet, anyway.
We wrote about food trends and why they matter last year, and our conversations with customers in 2018 indicate that they are more important than ever. CPG brands in search of recipe content that will inspire their customers want to know what's trending and how to leverage this knowledge to foster loyalty amongst their customers. Our forthcoming insights platform will enable grocery retailers and food brands to do just that on a very targeted basis, but for now, it's time to start planning your plant-based recipe content for 2019, because this trend is here to stay.