USA, New York. New consumer insights reveal that the Covid-19 pandemic has altered the way Americans are eating. Carbs are back, snacking is up and home cooks are experimenting with more partially plant-based, where meat or poultry may be blended with veggies, nuts or whole grains.
These are a few of the nutrition mega trends discussed among national nutrition media, food industry executives and trend forecasters at the Nutrition News Update conference presented by Appetite for Health. Other top trends include flexible or blended plant-based meals, immune-boosting recipes and increased demand for wholesome carbohydrates from whole grains like oats, ancient grains like sorghum and whole grain-based cereal.
Another mega nutrition trend highlighted at the meeting is the shift to more of a flexible, plant-based diet where individuals may blend veggies, like chopped fresh mushrooms, nuts or whole grains into ground meat or poultry dishes to reduce their overall consumption of animal-based products. "Look for more 'blended' plant-forward burgers, meatballs and other products on supermarket shelves in the near future," predicted Katherine Brooking, M.S., R.D., co-founder of Appetite for Health. "These products appeal to more of the "flexitarian" eaters rather than strict vegetarians who seek 100% plant-based alternatives to meat-based products."
As consumers take fewer trips to grocery stores due to the pandemic, they now purchase more frozen foods and pantry staples to make home-cooked meals. In addition to health and wellness, shoppers are also prioritizing local and sustainable choices whenever possible. Food and beverage brands that have a good story to tell about sustainability, climate, animal welfare, nutrition and social responsibility will likely be the winners during this pandemic period that has exposed many issues in the global food supply chain.