2016 hasn’t even started and (with the elections, Olympics, and Lady Gaga’s wedding) it’s already shaping up to be an action-packed year. Along with big events, we can be sure that this year will bring new food and nutrition trends. So what will America be snacking on as we watch the last presidential debates? Let’s take a look at some of the food and nutrition trends that will shape the next year.
1. [Blank] Water: 2015 saw new twists on “nature’s perfect drink”. The coconut water trend paved the way for countless new hydration options: birch, maple, and (who could forget) asparagus waters… just to name a few. We predict that the coming year will see new and “natural” takes on flavored water. Still thirsty for more info on this trend? Check out our science-based take on the alternative water craze.
2. Personalized nutrition: Attention registered dietitians everywhere: get ready to breathe a sigh of relief. Finally, we’ve begun to see a shift away from “one-size-fits-all” fad diets towards personalized nutrition. New research shows that our unique physiological factors and gut microbiomes might have more influence on our personalized nutrition needs and glucose response than we once thought. This research is just the tip of the iceberg, and we expect to see more research and media coverage on personalized nutrition in 2016.
3. Fermented Fare: What’s old is new again, as it often goes for food fads. Fringe foodies have long been singing the praises of fermented “health” foods and drinks (one word: kombucha), but our collective fascination with fermented foods has only grown in the past year. Some predict that this trend will continue to gain steam in 2016, not only with a focus on trendy fermented foods like kefir but also with twists on old classics like pickles and kimchi.
4. Waste not, want not: Food waste has been all over the news in 2015. With nearly 1.3 billion metric tons of food thrown away each year, food waste is a significant problem that has just recently reached a tipping point. The public has already begun to take note. We predict that 2016 will see a renewed focus on turning “trash to treasure”, with Americans being more open to eating “ugly” produce and developing creative new ways to prepare leftovers and packaged foods.
5. A world of new flavors: The mainstreaming of sriracha and harissa has opened the floodgates for other international flavors. Sumac and za’atar (a middle-eastern spice blend that contains sumac, sesame, oregano, and sesame seeds) have recently been popping up in restaurants and in grocery carts. Sambal and ghost pepper are also likely turn up the “heat” on this trend in 2016, as the adventurous palates of millennials continue to drive demand for international flavors.
Those are just some of the food and nutrition trends we expect to see in 2016. But whatever the next year brings, we are sure it will be tasty.