“It’s all about health, convenience, and quality,” explains Nature’s Fare Markets’ Director of Purchasing & Vendor Relations, Roland Siegmund, summing up health food trends for 2018.
“People are looking for quality versus quantity—in everything. Because we are researching where our food comes from, and how it’s produced (and realizing the high cost of factory farming—for animals, our health, and the environment), we’re looking for ethically produced, high-nutrition products delivered in the freshest, most convenient way possible.”
Plant-based dairy and meat alternatives are the fastest growing category in food, as dairy sales decline and we eat less meat. Look for even more alternative options on the shelf, joining non-dairy desserts, cheeses, and beverages.
Beauty Inside & Out
More people now know that what they put on their skin and hair is absorbed into the body, so they are looking for clean, organic products with good-for-you ingredients. What’s on the rise?
- Coconut oil (as ever!)
- Clean toothpaste—with charcoal!
- Natural deodorant
Driven by an aging population, we’re flocking to fish oils, guarana, and other brain-boosting botanicals.
Food waste is on our radars, so more people are composting or encouraging their communities to offer food disposal bins. We’re choosing more ‘ugly’ produce, restaurants are looking for ways to share their waste, and food producers are looking for ways to create new products from what they discard. At Nature’s Fare, we are bringing in a new inventory control system so that we only buy what we need, when we need it. And yes, we send all our food waste to the compost heap.
Biodynamic farming is the next level to support whole animal-plant ecosystems. Superior nutrition and kind to the land, this is regenerative farming the way it used to be.
Probiotics prevail in fortified and fermented foods, supplements, and ‘gut shots’ (flavoured sauerkraut juice?)—even brew-your-own kefir water. Anything to grow those good bacteria.
This is about food as medicine. Expect more nutritionally dense options to add to food (like goji powder for smoothies), and cross-over supplements that incorporate beneficial foods. Chocolate bars with turmeric, anyone? Look for more:
- Adaptogens Natural compounds that help the adrenal system to adapt its function to strengthen our body’s response to stress, anxiety, and fatigue. They include eleuthero root, rhodiola, gingko biloba, ashwagandha, panax ginseng, astragalus, and licorice root.
- Mushrooms With exotic names like cordyceps, chaga, lion’s mane, and reishi. Whether fresh, powdered, in supplements, in granola bars or tea, immune-boosting fungi are flying high.
- Collagen for health and beauty – beneficial for connective tissue and joints, skin, and hair. Look for frozen and stand-alone powdered bone broth, and added to protein powders.
- Protein in everything—including cookies and ice cream.
- MCT oil for mental clarity and sustained energy. Add to coffee and tea, or find in ready-to-drink beverages in different flavours.
- Horseradish capsules—anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory. It’s an immune system and metabolic booster, diuretic, and is good for bronchial support.
- Charcoal to detoxify—find it in juices, shots, cosmetics, and personal care.
Sprouted grains, legumes, even tofu—nutritionally enhanced, and easier to digest—are on the rise in breads, crackers, pastas, and cookies.
No Sugar Tonight
Expect to hear more about zero-calorie monk fruit. Known as luo han guo in Southeast Asia, monk fruit has no aftertaste, and is safe for diabetics. Up to 200 times sweeter than sugar, a little goes a long way. Look for it as a stand-alone sweetener, and in a wide variety of products.
Fluffy & Fido
Grain-free, organic, raw fruits and veggies…pet food’s come a long way, and kibble just doesn’t cut it. We’re even making our own.
Up & Coming…
- Tiger nuts Actually little tubers, these naturally sweet, gluten- and allergy-free goodies are high in fibre, vitamins, and minerals. With a coconut taste, drop them in a smoothie or munch by the handful for a nutritious slow-release of energy.
- Tree sap From birch and maple, it’s used as syrup, water, or sweetener.
- Chickpeas Crispy-crunchy, sweet, or savoury, these high-protein, fibre-rich legumes boast as much folate as three cups of spinach. You can ditch the chips: buy ready-made or toast your own.
- Watermelon High in fibre, silica (near the rind), and electrolytes—and an aphrodisiac (!), eat it raw or cold press into juice.
- Jackfruit High in fibre, rich in antioxidant vitamins and minerals (C, A, B-complex, zinc, calcium, potassium, and others) jackfruit is a fabulous addition to juices and smoothies—and a great meat substitute (with a pulled pork texture that takes savoury seasonings well), it can be diced, shredded, or chopped. Jackfruit is the largest tree-borne fruit, and can weigh up to 100 lb.
Article was published in The Good Life magazine.