Grains and legumes will play starring roles in new product introductions this year, as food marketers seek to capitalize on interest in healthier eating. A new report from Packaged Facts, Food Formulation and Ingredient Trends: Health & Wellness, sees a push for protein-packed foods, better breakfasts and healthier snacking. Among the trends to look for:
- Quinoa, amaranth and other ancient grains will be incorporated in foods touting their protein content (though most Americans already get enough protein), such as veggie burgers, salads and entre soups.
- Beans, lentils and peas will also show up in more products, often transformed into chips and other forms.
- High-protein spreads with heart-healthy unsaturated and omega-3 fats will be made not only from nuts and familiar seeds but also exotic ingredients such as hemp and chia seeds (see the March Health & Nutrition Letter for more on chia seeds).
- Breakfast convenience foods will pair whole grains with low-fat dairy, while other breakfast offerings will boast higher fiber content.
- Besides additional portion-controlled choices, snack options promoted as healthier will include snacks made from sweet potatoes, kale and seaweed. (See our February Special Report on snacking.)
- Air-popped popcorn, already popped and packagedfor convenience, will be a growth area; expect to see marketers citing new findings about high antioxidant content in popcorn.
- Reduced-sodium foods will use salt crystals designed to maximize surface area and salty taste perception, as well as salt-substitute potassium chloride.