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by Jo Power |

Food Navigator is one of the world’s leading resources for the food industry. They’ve been analysing and reporting on the industry for nearly 20 years and in that time, they’ve maintained an informative, unbiased and insightful journalistic approach. To mark the new year, Food Navigator’s Ellen Watson recently reported on ten food trends to watch in 2018. We’ve dissected each one to give you a snapshot of what you might want to look out for as you make food-related choices.

“Cellular agriculture: cell-cultured meat, fish, etc.”

According to New Harvest, cellular agriculture is the production of agricultural goods from cell cultures. Milk, for example, obviously comes from a cow. But a cellularly identical substance can be made by inserting yeast into a gene that has the exact same genetic structure as casein, the protein found in milk. The end result is a substance that is identical to milk on a cellular level even though it came from a cell culture rather than an animal.

“Plant-based innovation: chickpea proteins and the like”

This is all about taking a creative approach to nutritional science to give people new ways to meet their nutritional ways more sustainably and efficiently. For example, fulfilling dietary needs for protein with plants is far more environmentally sustainable than meeting those needs with meet. We love this one because Activated Nutrients are 100% plant-based and eco-responsibility is one of the main reasons we chose to develop our formulations with plants.

“GMO labeling (and non-GMO claims): rules for these are still pending”

This is a particularly hot topic in the USA, where there’s active legislation around the topic as we speak. In July 2017, the USDA announced that they would be proposing new regulations around GMO labelling requirements. The regulatory body slotted the final release date for July 2018, the first draft of the guidelines should be released soon.

“Clean label 2.0: these encompass everything from additives to sustainability”

We covered this in a previous post, but it’s still a hot topic. The clean label movement has gone beyond the obvious no-no ingredients like artificial ingredients to question whether natural flavours and preservatives have a place in everyday products. The idea is that anything truly non-essential to the product should be eliminated for the product to be 100% clean.

“Health confusion (and is saturated fat really back?)”

Food Navigator predicts that the shift to organic, holistic and conscious lifestyles will continue. That’s a great thing, but they also predict that more public confusion will inevitably be a part of that. As the public interest in health, diet and wellness grows, so will the revenue opportunities for companies. The result is a barrage of claims, buzz words and information that can make it hard for the average person to really understand what’s science-backed and what’s marketing hype.

“Sugar under fire: reduce, replace”

This one has been going on for awhile. Between the Soda Tax, countless documentaries and endless research, it’s become general knowledge that for decades, our diets have been flooded with sugar. Food Navigator predicts a continuation of this trend in 2018, which we’re all for! It’s important to keep in mind that some alternatives to cane sugar are essentially just as detrimental, so do your research and read labels!

“Protein…still hot?”

This is more of a speculation than a prediction. The last year saw a spike in protein-based health products and according to Food Navigator, the trend may continue in 2018. Based on feedback from customers that take our Daily Protein and our own market research, we predict longevity for organic, plant-based protein supplements while there may be downturn in the notoriously environmentally unsustainable whey (dairy) protein market.

“Fermentation on fire; probiotics hit the mainstream”

This one hits the nail on the head. Research around the importance of gut bacteria to general health is incredibly compelling and companies are applying that research to all kinds of products. We can’t say too much, but we’re working on something in this area that we think you’re going to love… watch this space!

“The Amazon effect”

The Amazon effect is, essentially, the growing public expectation to get products and food on-demand. In relation to food, Food Navigator explains that it’s not out of the question to think that in the next 20 years, supermarkets could disappear as the norm shifts to meal purchasing over ingredients purchasing.

“Big Food in a funk”

The era of huge food product companies might be over. They had a good run, but the public seems to be favouring smaller companies with niche focuses of late. Food Navigator explains that the existing big companies are adapting to the change by diversifying with niche product lines. So, while the big players will probably stick around, it’s likely that we won’t see any new giants pop up anytime soon.