Kroger on Oct. 23 released its top food trend predictions for 2019, curated by its team of Our Brands new product developers, chefs and innovators, focusing on flexible eating styles.
The retailer predicts that next year’s top five trends will be:
1. Regional flavors
Foods influenced by regions across the country are bringing flavor and fun to meals. From tried-and-true barbecue sauces to potato chips with a twist, inspiration is coming from Nashville hot chicken, Southern Appalachian pimento cheese and other geographies. America’s culinary heritage is as varied as it is delicious, says Kroger, and consumers will see a growing number of products influenced by local, regional and global tastes.
2. Plant-based foods
Consumers are finding it is easier than ever before to incorporate more plant-based fare into their daily diets. By electing to go meat or dairy free, whether for a meal, a Meatless Monday, Flexitarian Friday, or every day of the week, there will be more plant-based options available to shoppers. Last year, 31 percent of consumers participated in meat-free days once per week.
3. Eating styles
More consumers are purchasing better-for-you products and subscribing to different eating styles, from vegetarian to flexitarian to keto and paleo. A recent study reports 15 percent of the U.S. population identify as vegetarian or vegan.
4. Gut-healthy foods
Medical studies show that a healthy gut is the foundation of overall wellness, and more than ever before, consumers are seeking foods that support self-care and healthy immune systems. Consumers will find a growing number of products rich in probiotics—good bacteria—and flavor.
5. Low sugar and natural sweeteners
Many consumers are motivated to reduce or eliminate sugar and/or consume alternate natural sweeteners like honey and agave. In fact, 47 percent of consumers say they are working to minimize their sugar intake. New solutions and foods will continue to be added to grocery shelves to help consumers find products rich in nutrition and flavor and lean on sugar.