2019’s Top Food & Drink Trends You will Witness
Have you ever heard of Watermelon seed butter? You will this year.
While the idea of food trends might seem ridiculous—nothing is ever really new, and food is food—hopping on board the trend train can be a great way to vary your diet, try new things, and keep healthy eating interesting and fun.
Keep in mind: Many of these trends highlight foods that have been popular staples in other cultures for centuries—they may be new to you, but they definitely existed elsewhere long before Instagram.
Now, prepare for some major grocery inspo—these are all the biggest food trends coming for you in 2019.
1. Nut butter will step aside for seed butter.
Peanut butter is a classic, and alternative nut butters like almond and cashew have been buzzy for years. And, while seed butters like sunflower seed butter and tahini are nothing new—in fact, tahini has been a staple in Middle Eastern cuisine for centuries—expect to start seeing them everywhere in 2019.
“Keep an eye out for sunflower, pumpkin, and watermelon seed butters, which share the same good fat profile of nut butters, but may offer an alternative for those with nut allergies,” reads the KIND 2019 Healthy Snacking Trend Report. Experts are on board with this trend, but Miho Hatanaka, R.D. recommends steering clear of brands with added sugars and instead sticking to those made with just seeds and sea salt.
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2. “Ugly” food will shine.
Although ‘ugly’ fruits provide the same health benefits, food companies have long been in the habit of trashing ingredients that aren’t pretty enough to sell – but conscious consumers are catching wind. The battle against food waste isn’t new—more campaigns are encouraging the use of food scraps and “ugly” produce in restaurants, and plenty of farmers and merchants outside of the big supermarket chains have never been shy about selling misshapen goods. But it’ll gain even more momentum in 2019.
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3. Harissa, the new spice sheriff in pantry.
No need to get rid of your poultry seasoning and ground cumin, but plan to make room for flavor-packed seasonings like harissa, berbere, dukkah, and ras el hanout, all of which are heavily used in African cuisine.
Harissa—a slightly spicy paste made with red pepper, tomato, chili, and a few other spices and aromatics—is easy to swap for tomato paste in almost any recipe, and packs a similar nutritional punch.
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4. Added sugar will get another demerit.
Manufacturers won’t technically need to list added sugars separately from naturally occurring ones on packaging until January 2020, according to the FDA. But predictions are that you’ll see the “added sugar” line to pop up on most nutrition labels next year.
Experts are mostly in favor of this. Naturally occurring sugars from fruits and vegetables come with fiber, which slows digestion and provides steady energy without a blood sugar spike and crash. Likewise, the sugars found in dairy come packaged with satisfying protein and fat. Added sugars (think: cane sugar and corn syrup) don’t add nutritional value, which is why the USDA dietary guidelines recommend limiting them to less than 10 percent of your total daily calories.
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5. Coconut water will have competition.
For years, coconut water has been marketed to great success as a hydration miracle, hangover cure, and all-around delicious alternative to regular old water. In 2019, look out for other alternative waters to take over the beverage case.
The competition comes from two in particular: Maple water, which contains less than half of the sugar of coconut water, as well as Cactus water, which is promoted for skin revitalization.
While these slightly sweet waters won’t hurt you, the Academy of Nutrition Dietetics says to be wary of their lofty claims. They won’t do a better job of hydrating you than regular old H20, and they have sugar without any fiber, so drinking too much could lead to a blood sugar spike.
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6. Probiotics will be on your shelf, not just in your fridge.
Research on gut health is growing, in large part because scientists are hopeful that a better understanding of the human microbiome can lead to improved public health. For years, probiotics have been touted as a great way to increase healthy bacteria in the gut—fermented foods like kimchi and yogurt, plus refrigerated pills and formulas have been the go-to delivery method for these bacteria.
This year, expect probiotics to show up in shelf-stable products. “Wellness-focused brands are making it easier to get more probiotics in your day by adding functional probiotic ingredients to your pantry staples through products like granola, oatmeal, nut butters, soups and nutrition bars,” says the latest 2019 trend report from Whole Foods.
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7. Jackfruit will be the new go-to meat substitute.
“Jackfruit is a popular meat alternative already being used in place of items like barbecue pulled pork,” according to the Whole Foods trend report. The fruit is native to Southeast Asia, and is also grown in parts of Africa and South America. Americans have been using it as a meat substitute for a few years now (thanks to a stringy texture that mimics pulled pork or beef), but 2019 will be the year that pulled jackfruit really takes off.
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