From the rise of flexitarians and more compostable packaging to fermented foods and faux meats, Janene Draper predicts the food influences and trends set to take off this year.
- The increasing number of vegans and vegetarians is a huge worldwide change, with more consumers trending towards a flexitarian diet. We are seeing the move from the traditional “meat and three veg” to the vegetables being the star of the show and the meat being a small side.
- Overall wellness continues to be important with digestive health gaining lots of attention. This will see an increase in the availability of natural probiotics found in fermented foods such as kimchi and sauerkraut.
- Plant-based proteins are on the rise, and there will be more innovative products like New Zealand’s Sunfed Chicken.
- We will see the rise of the mushroom, in both variety and quantities sold, as it provides the “meaty” texture so desired on those meat-free days.
- Consumers are changing to a better choice of carbs, replacing them with foods like cauliflower couscous and spiralized zucchini.
- The recent legalisation of hemp to be used as an ingredient in NZ, a much-misunderstood food ingredient, will see this superfood incorporated into oils, plant-based milks and protein bars.
- The environmental and social impacts of food packaging continues to be important. New forms of compostable packaging will reduce plastic use and there will continue to be better recycling processes. With people thinking about the world that we leave for future generations, waste reduction and “conscious consuming” will continue to be a hot topic.
- Convenience food continues to grow, with people wanting a quick fix, “heat and eats” and prepared salads… but with a homemade-feel and quality ingredients.