Welcome to 2019, so what’s going to be hot in the specialty food and beverage world this year? Working in the food industry gives us an inside glimpse into what food trends may be staying center plate in the new year. So far, we are hoping that Functional Foods, Mocktails, Plant-Based Foods, Cannabis-Infused Foods, and Alternative Sugars will be trends that are here to stay. Here’s our last two trend toppers that we are looking forward to seeing more of in 2019. Happy New Year!
#6 Global meets Local.
Consumers will continue to be adventurous eaters in 2019. The expanded palette is something that we’ve been seeing for the past few years and doesn’t seem to be slowing down. African and Middle Eastern flavors continue to heat up consumer’s taste buds. In the new year, look for the combination of local favorites—like tomato jam—matched with global cuisine.
#7 Convenience with a Side of Tofu?
Consumers value convenience as one of the top tiers of what’s important to their buying and dining habits. But do you think you could utter this phrase in the new year, “I’d like ahi tuna on my salad… right after I finish filling my gas tank?” Finding trendy food in a gas station convenience store isn’t usually the case, but in 2019 that could start to change as more convenience stores try to meet consumer demand for healthy and flavorful food options. According to Food Business Magazine, gas station stores may start to experiment with current food trends on their menus to appeal to consumers looking for more healthy options on-the-go. Could we see meatless burgers on the menu at convenience stores? Perhaps, but we think that more mainstream items like veggie burgers or turkey burgers could show up in 2019.
According to the Specialty Food Association panel of food experts, bloggers and chefs, a few more trends will be popping up in the 2019. Look for “more comfort-food classics with unexpected ingredients,” “lard and cooking with real fat will get more respect,” and “people will be less afraid to dig in and cook.” In our book, those are all great trends to kick off a healthy New Year! Cheers to 2019!
Food Trends 2019 Blog References:
Food Business News, Food Service Trends at Convenience Stores, October 15, 2018
Our Food Trends 2019 list continues with our next three picks for food trends that may be staying center plate in the new year.
#3 Plant-Based Foods & Beverages.
The rise in plant-based foods in part can be credited to consumers interest in eating more whole foods, plants, looking for meat alternatives, and wanting foods that have transparency. Michael Pollen must have had his crystal ball out when he coined this phrase in 2009, “Eat food. Mostly plants. Not too much.” Big players in the plant-based industry like Beyond Meat, are dominating the meatless market at the moment but perhaps not for long. Lots of other companies—at Expo West there was an increase in alternative meat exhibitors—are experimenting with plant-based foods as well as beverages. Look for more brown rice milks and oat milks to make a splash in the market in 2019.
Another factor in the increase of plant-based products is thanks to Millennials. This group of digital native consumers is willing to try new foods and is often introduced to new food trends via their social channels. There has been a lot of buzz thanks to Instagram and Facebook about newcomers to the plant-based market. The benefit of this trend becoming front and center, is that food companies are working diligently to provide not just plant-based options, but ones that taste really good. We sampled Good Catch Food’s Fish-Free Tuna at a recent Fancy Food Show and were blown away by the texture and outstanding taste. This is one plant-made product that we are really looking forward to seeing more of.
Culinary cannabis has definitely been trend topping in 2018 and will most likely grow in popularity in 2019. Marijuana continues to make its way into mainstream America with now 30 states legalizing it for medical use and another nine states (and Washington, DC) have legalized it for recreational use for adults over the age of 21. However, it’s products that contain cannabis—but are non-psychoactive that are going to be even more popular in the new year as more consumers want to try foods with the health benefits provided by CBD. According to the Specialty Food Association’s article, 55% of consumers surveyed would be interested in trying cannabis in food and 33% would try it in non-alcoholic beverages.
#5 Alternative Sugars.
Americans are starting to come to terms with their sweet cravings and the exorbitant amount of sugar in most diets. Sweeteners like Agave and honey will continue to show up in products to help reduce sugar but maintain the sweetness. And these sweetening staples will also get a flavor kick. Look for unique flavor combinations, using global spices and even floral flavors to appeal to a broader audience.
Our final predictions for top food trends in 2019 include Global Cuisine Meets Local and Trendy Foods at the Gas Station.
We love a good food trend list at Skillet Creative. As we close in on the end of 2018, the food trend predictions start pouring in for 2019. Working in the specialty food and beverage industry gives us an inside glimpse into what trends may be staying center plate in the new year. Here’s our take on the food trends that we hope are going to be here to stay.
#1 Functional Foods.
There has always been a direct link between what you eat and your health, but it seems that now many Americans are not only keeping an eye on what they eat but how that food can benefit their overall well-being. In 2019, a trend-topper will be foods that are functional as well as nutritious. We think you’ll see foods in the new year being added to shopping carts that can sustain you longer, aid in digestion, give you extra energy, as well as provide key nutrients.
Ever since ingredient attention shifted to more gluten-free products a few years ago, consumers are focusing more on products that aid in digestion. Gut-healthy foods will be making headlines in 2019 as kombuchas, probiotics, goat’s milk products (look for Skillet client Grazing Goat Dairy drinkable yogurts), and apple cider vinegars become more prominent in mainstream grocery stores.
#2 Hold the Alcohol with Creative Mocktails.
This might be the category where two trends can meet: mocktail + functional foods. In 2019 consumers will take their beloved kombucha—good for gut-health—and start to mix it with fresh ingredients for festive events. Sparkling Cranberry Kombucha Mocktail or Kombucha Mojitos.
Creative cocktail syrups are also helping to make mocktails even more appealing to consumers. Look for Elderflower Tonic (from the Jack Rudy Cocktail Co.) or Pink & Black (by Owl’s Brew) which combines Darjeeling tea, hibiscus, lemon peel, strawberry, and agave into one. Add a bit of lemon juice and club soda and you’re ready to celebrate.
What’s next on our Food Trends 2019 list? Plant-Based Foods, Cannabis-Infused Foods and Alternative Sugars. Look for more information on those trend toppers on December 20.
Check out the hot sauce line up for Hot Ones Season 7 and you’ll find Skillet Creative client, Butterfly Bakery’s Maple Wood Smoked Onion Hot Sauce. Super popular and James Beard Award-winning online magazine, First We Feast focuses on food, drink and pop culture. One of their most watched YouTube series, Hot Ones includes a wide range of celebrities being interviewed by host Sean Evans while they eat progressively spicier chicken wings. The show’s tagline sums it up nicely, “The show with hot questions, and even hotter wings.”
Skillet Client, Butterfly Bakery’s Hot Sauces Featured in Season 7 of Hot Ones.
Evans says the season 7 line up is the “NBA draft of hot sauces,” as he describes each hot sauce and their unique flavor attributes. Calling Butterfly Bakery’s hot sauce one of the most interesting flavor profiles ever on the show thanks to maple wood smoke onions.
Butterfly Bakery came to Skillet Creative a few years ago to evolve their hot sauce labels. Owner Claire Georges questioned if the vertical orientation of their old labels was working or if that layout was challenging for consumers and less effective on the shelf.
In addition, Georges wanted to find a better way to incorporate into the labels the flavor partnerships with other local producers and brewers. Each hot sauce is made in small batches, so developing a system to communicate the handmade element on the labels was also key when redesigning.
Skillet Creative created two concepts for consideration, one that included an evolved version of the vertical format and a second option that changed the orientation and placed the unique collaborations and small-batch elements on the front. Georges felt the second layout was the best option, so we continued to fine tune that label and carry it across the entire hot sauce line.
As Hot Ones host, Sean Evans pointed out, “this is a farm-to-table label.” Soon after the hot sauce label was updated, the design was also applied to Georges’ other products including her line of mustards.
As the company and product line continued to grow, Skillet helped Butterfly Bakery to a badge that could quickly communicate the full product offerings, including granola, cookies, mustard, and the hot sauces.
Skillet Creative designed a badge that Butterfly Bakery uses on unique gift merchandise such as this cool pint glass.
Georges had intentions of pairing the hot sauces with a pint glass or bottle opener for gift merchandise. We can only imagine that being featured on Hot Ones Season 7 will create more demand not only for Butterfly Bakery’s hot sauces but also their cool schwag. Way to go Claire!
If you are considering evolving your label or creating new merchandise for your brand, let’s connect. We’d love to learn about your company and your vision for growth.