Many food manufacturers acknowledge Americans focus on healthier food choices. So they are coming up with a number of healthier food options. What will be some of the trends you will see in your grocery store in the coming months?
Whole grains - we know that whole grains are the healthier grains. But how many of us eat the ancient grains? Two ancient grains appearing in restaurants and on store shelves are quinoa and amaranth. You will be seeing more of these grains in veggie burgers, salads and soups. Although manufacturers will promote the protein content of these grains, most Americans get plenty of protein. These grains do provide fiber and many trace minerals which are lacking in white flour and non – whole grains food items.
Healthy spreads – you will see spreads promoted as “high-protein” spreads containing chia seeds, heart-healthy oils, and nuts.
Breakfast – we should know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Manufacturers will be offering whole grains mixed with low fat dairy products. You will also see many more high fiber options being promoted.
Popcorn – not the popcorn we get at movie theaters which is high in fat and sodium but air popped popcorn. Popcorn is whole grain and thus has the fiber and trace minerals provided by whole grain foods. However, when we load up our popcorn with fat and sodium, it negates its healthier benefits. So manufacturers will be pushing air popped popcorn and promoting popcorn's antioxidant benefits. I love popcorn and enjoy the low fat microwave popcorn, especially the 100 calorie single serving size.
Salt – we all know that we get too much sodium in our diets. I saw an interview of a CEO of a snack food company indicating they were experimenting with salt crystals on their chips. They were using a salt crystal designed to maximize the surface area so we could get our salty taste with less salt. They were also putting the salt on the outside of the chip and not throughout, again giving us the salty taste but with less sodium. More manufacturers will be promoting this in the coming months. Some will replace salt (sodium chloride) with potassium chloride which many people on low sodium diets already use as their salt substitute.
Watch for these trends in the coming months.
Health on the Shelf: Top Food Trends: Health and Nutrition Letter, Tufts University, May 2013.