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Food and nutrition trends for 2017

Happy New Year!!

So what's going to be popular this year in terms of food and nutrition? Here’s my suggestions on what may be trending in 2017.

Plant power up

Plant protein and plant based foods have been increasing in popularity in recent times and this is likely to continue into 2017. Vegetarian and vegan meals and eateries will play a big part this year. As a vegan diet involves cutting out whole food groups (meat and dairy) careful attention should be given to the daily diet. A vegan diet should include five or more portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables; meals based on wholegrain starchy foods; include some beans, pulses and protein alternatives and include some dairy alternative foods each day. Key nutrients for vegans to pay particular attention to are protein, iron and vitamin B12, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D.

Google trends – search term ‘vegan’ used from 2011 – 2016

Fibre and gut health

I think it’s time for fibre to be put in the spotlight. In the UK, the average daily fibre intake for adults is just 60% (18g) of the recommended 30g. Wholegrain and added fibre products are likely to become more popular in 2017. Inulin and oligofructose fibres are not digested in the small intestine. As these fibres have a naturally sweet taste, they can be used as sugar-replacer in products such as cereal bars, ice-cream and baked goods. They can also help increase the beneficial bacteria in the gut due to their prebiotic effect. So low sugar, added fibre products are likely to feature more on supermarket shelves.

Ancient and grains for modern palates

Ancient grains saw some resurgence in 2016 with the launch of ancient grain breakfast cereals and snack products that included for example Spelt, Kamut and Quinoa. There are a variety of grains and seeds eagerly awaiting attention and 2017 could see Teff, Hemp, Sorghum featuring in more products, especially as they are gluten-free (see a list here). In Scotland, 2017 has been designated the year of history, heritage and archaeology, a year that will celebrate the country’s unique history and heritage. The perfect time Scotland’s ancient grain – Beremeal to be resurrected!

Savoury in place of sweet

Savoury flavours will take the place of sweet in a variety of foods – yoghurts, nutrition bars and snack packs. Signs of this are already appearing with vegetable yoghurt flavours such as carrot, sweet potato and beetroot yoghurts. This could help reduce sugar intakes, especially if consumers seek out more savoury snacks to curb hunger.

Game on for Venison

Venison has been a favourite of mine for a long time (See previous post about venison). It’s such a flavoursome and nutrient dense meat and extremely lean. UK venison sales are rising by 25% each year. In July this year, the first specialist venison abattoir in Scotland was opened in Fife, which will enable a year round supply of 100% Scottish venison. As more deer farms start up in Scotland, more venison products will become available in supermarkets as consumer demand continues to grow for this nutritious and simple to cook meat.

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