5 natural food trends coming to stores near you
Published Friday, March 14, 2014 10:09AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, March 14, 2014 10:13AM EDT
The Natural Products Expo, the biggest showcase of the $275-billion natural foods industry, recently wrapped up in Baltimore, with vendors showing off the latest in vegan, organic and all things healthy.
Andrea Donsky, a holistic nutritionist, was at the show and noticed a number of trends among the new products. Here are her picks for the trendiest natural foods she expects will take over health food and grocery store shelves over the next few months.
1. Sprouted products: Foods containing sprouted grains or legumes were everywhere at the expo, Donsky says. Sprouted grains are popular because the sprouting process, which causes the grain, seed or bean to break open and send out shoots, releasing nutrients. Donsky says sprouted grains and legumes are easier to digest and release more vitamins and minerals. At the expo, Donsky saw everything from sprouted grain breads to tortilla chips to quinoa chia burgers.
2. Natural kids’ snacks: Donsky says she saw a lot of seaweed snacks, which are surprisingly popular among children. She also really liked the organic granola balls from Canada’s MadeGood, which are high-fibre, contain nutrients from 6 vegetable sources, and are peanut-free so they can be taken to schools.
3. High-protein snacks: Legumes are taking over high-protein snacks, Donsky says noting the many products at the expo featuring chickpeas and other beans. She particularly liked the Tapaz 2 Go snack, which featured red pepper hummus and lentil crackers.
4. Non-GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) labels: With many natural food lovers trying to avoid foods containing ingredients that have been genetically engineered, food makers have been responding. While the Non-GMO label isn’t new, Donsky says she saw it everywhere, making it the hottest trend at the show.
5. Weird and wonderful: In Donsky’s opinion, the coolest Item at the expo was an organic and vegan chocolate margarine called Melt that can be spread on bread, crackers or even used in place of icing. Melt also makes a honey margarine but Donsky expects it’s the cocoa-laced version that will be the biggest hit with consumers.