Mocktails, zoodles and other “in” things


Private label retailers and manufacturers take note: National Grocers predicts that booze-free “mocktails” will trend in 2017, along with “zoodles” and the continued popularity of organics (no surprise there).

The Lakewood, Colo.-based grocer, which operates stores in several states, talked to a panel of the company’s category managers, nutrition experts, and editorial staff to find out what trends to expect in nutrition and health for the upcoming year. Here are their predictions for the top 10 nutrition trends for 2017.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

1. Eating healthy equals eating ethically.

Whether it is ethical eggs or humane animal husbandry, consumer interest in how their food was produced is at an all-time high. This is perhaps most evident by the passage of legislation in New Hampshire that banned the use of inhumane animal confinement.

2. The popularity of organics continues to grow and grow.

As more people, especially millennials, realize how pesticides and nutrition impact their health, they demand food that is healthier and more nutritious. This has translated into a robust organic industry that has experienced double-digit growth annually.

3. Mocktails.

These non-alcoholic beverages are thoughtfully constructed, eye-catching, and delicious, according to National Grocers’ panel.

4. The spice tumeric is hot.

Tumeric, one of the most heavily researched supplement and dietary ingredients, is showing up all over. It’s in juices and tonics, used to color macaroni, and driving herbal supplement sales.

5. Noodles have been replaced by "zoodles."

Nutrient-dense vegetable noodles, such as zucchini noodles (zoodles) or sweet potato noodles, can be made with a spiralizer and used to replace high-carbohydrate, nutrient-poor processed grains.

6. Minimize food waste.

Almost half of the food in America is wasted, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Save your chicken carcass and make a soup, roast your carrots with a little balsamic vinegar, and use the tops in your salad.

7. Grassfed.

While organic milk and milk from cows not given recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) have been popular for some time, quality grassfed dairy takes it a step further. When cows or goats only eat grasses and other forages, as nature intended, it translates into healthier milk from healthier cows. And it’s not just dairy; grassfed meat and even dietary supplements like whey protein are now being sourced from grassfed cattle.

8. Snack attack is back.

Snacking, especially for millennials, has become the perfect opportunity to eat healthy. This is especially important when you consider a recent demographic trend report in which 62 percent of millennials reported snacking throughout the day. More of these snacks are low in sugar, non-GMO and/or gluten-free: meat bars, hummus, vegetables dips, and sardines will define this trend.

9. Fat phobia is ending.

With recent scientific literature showing no clear association between saturated fat and the risk of heart disease, and a society more open to embracing healthy fats, fat phobia is coming to an end. Fats from coconuts, olives, and avocados are appearing in a variety of products and full-fat dairy is also making a comeback.

10. Easy ways to supplement the diet.

Most Americans will admit their diets aren’t perfect. That’s where dietary supplements can help fill in the gap. However, while everyone wants to have a nutrient-rich diet, not everyone is ready to embrace taking pills. That’s where all the new and often less intimidating forms of dietary supplements come into play. Tasty fish oil liquid swirls, multivitamin gummies, superfood-rich smoothie mixes, and collagen powders are all easy ways to supplement the diet, providing a nutrient-dense boost to your daily routine.

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