2019 Lists of Food Trends & Forecasts: Part 1

Originally Published: January 3, 2019
Last Updated: February 4, 2021

Global Food Forums’ Annual List of Top 2019 Food Trends and Forecasts Lists: Part 1

Many trends directly related to our annual conferences: the Clean Label Conference, Protein Trends & Technologies Seminar, and Sweetener Systems Conference.

2019 Trends: Part I are gathered from the following organizations: CCD Helmsman, Datassential, FreshDirect, Innova Market Insights, Kroger’s, Mintel,  Pinterest,  Sterling Rice Group, Tyson, Whole Foods Market 

Also see other Top Food Trends Lists

Whole Foods Top 10 Trends 

Whole Foods Market’s global buyers and experts revealed the most anticipated and innovative food trends for 2019 in their fourth annual trends predictions announcement. 

1. Pacific Rim Flavors. Pacific Rim-inspired flavors include longganisa (a Filipino pork sausage), dried shrimp, cuttlefish and shrimp paste; tropical fruits, such as guava, dragon fruit and passionfruit; and jackfruit is a popular meat alternative used in place of items, such as barbecue pulled pork.  

2. Shelf-Stable Probiotics. Expect more innovative probiotic integration in food. New strains of probiotics, such as Bacillus coagulans GBI-30 and Bacillus coagulans MTCC 5856 are making more shelf-stable applications possible. Functional probiotic ingredients will also be added to products, such as granola, oatmeal, nut butters, soups and nutrition bars.   

3. Phat Fats. Fats are making a comeback with the keto, paleo, grain-free and even “pegan” (paleo + vegan) diets. New integrations of fat sources include keto-friendly nutrition bars crafted with MCT oil powder; coconut butter–filled chocolates; “fat bombs”; and a new wave of ready-to-drink vegan coffees inspired by butter coffees.  

4. Next Level Hemp. Hemp hearts, seeds and oils are nothing new— they’re in everything from waffle mix to dried pastas. But a new interest in the potential benefits stemming from other parts of hemp plants has many brands looking to explore the booming cannabis biz. 

5. Faux Meat Snacks. Eating more plants doesn’t mean forgoing meaty flavors and textures. Plant-based foods will continue to surprise and inspire — taking on the meat-based snacking world of jerkies and pork rinds. Mushrooms will play a key role in jerky, “pork” rinds and “bacon” snacks. 

6. Eco-Conscious Packaging. The number of brands switching to packaging with the environment in mind continues to grow. Like-minded brands in the OSC2 Compostable Packaging Collaborative have pooled their efforts to make advances in flexible product pouches. Expect to see an emphasis on reusing, with traditionally single-use packages going multi-use.  

7.Trailblazing Frozen Treats. Innovative bases, such as avocado, hummus, tahini and coconut water provide a fresh take on the vanilla ice cream. Specialty frozen aisles might offer plant-based frozen desserts and ice creams with savory swirls of artisanal cheese, as well as other low calorie, high protein novelties.  

8. Marine Munchies, Beyond Seaweed. Sea greens are showing up in dishes, such as seaweed butter and kelp noodles. Consumers are exploring varietals of algae and kelp with superfood properties. Puffed snacks made from water lily seeds, plant-based tuna alternatives with algae ingredients, crispy snackable salmon skins with omega-3s and kelp jerkies are other ocean-based foods. 

9. Snack Time, Upgraded. Portable snack packages will feature bites, such as prosciutto and aged mozzarella, and artisanal versions of classic snacks, such as cheese or peanut butter cracker sandwiches. Also included are new packaged snacks that take us back to our treat-loving childhoods, but with higher quality ingredients.  

10. Purchases That Empower. In 2019, thoughtful consideration behind purchases moves beyond (but doesn’t exclude) environmental stewardship and animal welfare, becoming more people-focused. Contributing toward social movements via purchasing goods and services with missions you believe in can make for big changes that extend far beyond the world of retail.

Tyson’s Top Six Food  Trends for 2019 

Tyson Foods created the Tyson Trendtellers Council that is made up of a dozen of its company’s top food thinkers and innovators.  

1. Personalized Foods to Promote Health and Beauty. Proactive wellness will involve greater personalization as advanced analytics allow people to customize food products in real-time. DNA testing is also now available for what may be the most personalized eating plan of all. 

2, Transparent Food Takes Hold. Tracking food from farm to table will become a focus for big food in 2019 by using technologies, such as Blockchain. New bar code technology is enabling shoppers to scan products with their smartphones and see the farm the chicken came from or how far it traveled.  

3. Protein Goes Wild. There is a growing trend for new cuts of meat and “nose to tail” eating (where every part of the animal is being put to use) taking shape in the U.S. Demand for proteins, such as crickets and seaweed is expected to expand, as curiosity and willingness to explore grows.  

4. The Power of Smart Technology & Food. Smartphone, smart fridge, smart kitchen – what does all this “smart” thinking mean for your food? As the intersection of food, technology and people expands, food brands are seeking new ways of leveraging tech to better connect with buying audiences. 

5. Food as A Form Of Self Expression. Answering questions about how a product was made, where and under what conditions matters more than ever. Generation Z-ers are the largest consumers of clean eating, including organic and non-GMO foods.  

6. Fusion of Global Cuisines At Home. Global cuisines and out-of-the-box flavors, typically found in restaurants, are shifting home. These global thrill-seeking cuisines marry flavors, techniques and tastes from regional and ethnic cuisines to create something entirely new and delicious. Even kids’ taste buds are craving new, more modern flavors and cuisines. 

Datassential’s 2019 Flavors and Ingredients to Watch (Categorized by three cuisines)

Mexican Cuisine

Papalo: Like a more in-your-face version of cilantro, this heat-loving herb is starting to show up on more menus as hydroponic and aquaponic farms in urban areas start to grow it for high-end chefs.
Tajin: Tajin likely isn’t new to you if you grew up in a Mexican family or neighborhood, but this salty-sour-spicy seasoning grew over 800% on menus in the past four years, used on fruits, paletas, cocktails, and…
Sandia Loca: Literally translating to “crazy watermelon,” this eye-catching display of fruit, chamoy (pickled fruit sauce), and tajin is an Instagram favorite.

Asian Cuisine

Asian Whiskeys: Asian whiskey brands were some of the fastest-growing options on menus over the past year. While brown spirits like bourbon have been growing both in drinks and menu items (think bourbon-maple french toast and bourbon chocolate cake), they are starting to make way for their Asian counterparts. Cheese Tea: This drink has been making the leap from Asia to the US, featuring iced tea with a salty-sweet cheese foam topping. It may sound unique, but cheesecake flavors and Starbucks’ salted cream cold foam aren’t far removed. Katsu Sando: “Katsu sandos are everywhere, and we’re here for it,” declared Bon Appetit earlier this year. The simple combination of pork or Wagyu beef on Hokkaido milk bread has been showing up in major metropolitan areas in the US, often with eye-popping prices that get attention.

Middle Eastern Cuisine
Booza/Dondurma: Sometimes called Arabic ice cream, booza (known as dondurma in Turkey) has a stretchy, almost taffy-like texture that keeps it from melting in the hot sun – and makes it ten times as rich as gelato.
Gazoz: The original mocktail, this refreshing Israeli drink combines sparkling water and fruit syrups, but today’s vendors are giving it an upgrade with botanicals, flowers, herbs, and even fermented fruits.
Barberries: This sweet-tart dried berry is primarily used to cut through rich dishes in the Middle East, particularly in Persian cuisine, while in the US we’re seeing them used in salads and as a topping for yogurt and oatmeal.

Sterling-Rice Group 10 Leading Culinary & Food  Trends in 2019 

An elite foodie group composed of the internal SRG Culinary team and external Culinary Council—more than 175 food experts, sociologists, chefs, nutritionists, and other trend-spotters—gather clues from far and wide to piece together the food trends for the upcoming year.

1. Feed Your Mind. “Neurotrition” associates a strong connection between gut health and cognitive function. Product examples include: antioxidant-rich dark chocolate; spearmint; MCT (Medium Chain Triglycerides) oil and other “good fats”; adaptogenic herbs; and mushrooms designed to promote clarity.

2. About Face. “You are what you eat” has become essential to many consumers – signifying that a fortified and healthy gut means that your outward beauty and health is reflected by your inner health. Product examples include: collagen, seaweed, algae, Vitamin C and hyaluronic acid.

3. Fuggedabout Food. Some consumers, when faced with a choice about food options, overload. With a shortage of time, these consumers forget about food altogether and turn to periods of fasting. This category supports “food avoiders” with nutrient-dense snacks and meal replacements that provide satiety and nutrition without the hassle.

4. A Grain of Truth. Ancient grains, such as Foneo–the “new quinoa,” or Kernza–a product of the new organic regenerative farming movement, are expected to sprout their way into 2019. [Note: Per Wikipedia, Kernza is a trademarked name held by the Land Institute for the processed grains of intermediate wheatgrass.]

5. Bitter Is Sweet. Following in the path of kale and brussels sprouts, a whole new class of bitter vegetables, from broccoli rabe to dandelion greens, collards and endive, are on the rise. Also, spritzes of bitter aperitifs add to the rise in craft cocktail bitters.

6. Rooted and Ravishing. The plant revolution is here. Veg-centric options are replacing meaty, satiating bites. Vegetables, such as cassava, Japanese yams, parsnips, jicama and even the classic white potato are replacing center-of-the-plate stars to favorite snacks.

7. Lettuce Be Fresh. Lettuce in now in the spotlight and is seen as more than the salad staple. Lettuce is being juiced to form the basis for canned and bottled hydration beverages. Exotic varieties, such as celtuce and hydroponically grown lettuces, are also showing up as callouts on restaurant menus by variety and grower.

8. Butter Is the New Bacon. Butter takes center stage on Instagram with drool-worthy coffee, breakfast, donut and even burger offerings. It’s also popping up in the form of a butter bomb–the new chocolate truffle-style dessert for those on low-carb, high fat diets.

9. Data Mining Dining. Artificial Intelligence can be leveraged to foresee food and flavor trends happening in real time. Tech companies, such as Spoonshot, Foodpairing, Analytical Flavor Systems and FlavorWiki are employing technology to support new product and menu development that pinpoints ever-changing consumer preferences as they happen in real time.

10. Fermentation Without the Funk. Consumers are embracing fermentation products for their delicious, savory appeal. Products include Japanese koji used to quickly age meats to the cheesy, umami flavor of nutritional yeasts and the meat alternative of tempeh. All eyes are on fungal fermentation techniques that drive flavor forward.

Pinterest 100: The top food trends for 2019 

(Food: Trends #41 to #50) 

Pinterest determines an idea is trending is by looking at what people are searching for. If an idea gets an increasing number of searches for 6+ months, then it’s an official Pinterest trend.

41TheMighty Mushroom. Nutrient-packed mushrooms are springing up everywhere from coffee drinks to chocolate bars. (+64%)

42InspiredInfusions. A slice of ginger makes the water go down, and adds digestive and anti-inflammatory benefits, too. (+353%)

43MoveOver Almond Milk. Everyone’s new favorite dairy-alternative oat milk is delicious and environmentally friendly. Vegan too! (+186%)

44RecipesYou Knead. Bread baking is on the rise,  especially when it comes to fermented loaves like sourdough. (+413%)

45GoingPegan. Part paleo, part vegan, the pegan diet is taking root with people on the hunt for healthy habits. (+337%)

46AmazingGraze. Family-style grazing tables are a feast for the eyes, and an open invitation for everyone to dig in. (+1)

47DinTin Tin. Foil pack dinner recipes are perfect for busy cooks: Low-prep, low-mess, super flavorful. (+759% )

48Pin theOxtail. People are hungry for oxtail recipes they can try at home—especially if they’re slow cooker-friendly. (+209%)

49Jam onIt. A toast to homemade jam, from raspberry to blackberry to whatever-you-got-berry. (+829%)

50Pass theChocho. People won’t get bored of this versatile gourd. A superfood, chayote (“chocho”) complements all kinds of cuisines. (+76%)

Mintel – Three Global Food & Drink Trends for 2019

Mintel’s predictions this year are based upon insights provided by more than 90 Mintel analysts and thought leaders, representing expertise in food and drink industries across Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Americas.

1. Evergreen Consumption –Sustainability. Sustainability is predicted to evolve into a circular approach from farm to fork – a reference often used by food scientists to describe a food product’s life cycle. The goal is to maximize the value of resources until materials can be recycled or disposed of in an environmentally safe way.

2. Through the Ages – Health and Wellness. Consumers are interested in products that support health from the inside out, they want to feel and look young. Other targeted health-related issues include: brain, bone, joint, muscle, heart and even eye health; as well as reduced inflammation. Interest grows in “nootropics” – substances like L-theanine and B Vitamins that improve cognitive function, as well as choline, turmeric, and medicinal mushrooms. “Anti-aging” is out – “healthy aging” is in.

3. Elevated Convenience. Convenience will be elevated to new heights. While speed is a factor, “healthy” also plays a role. Fresh grab-and-go foods and beverages are expected to be in demand. The i-Generation will continue influencing the quality of meals. “Foodie-inspired flavors” will be reflected in meal solutions, from snacks to “speed scratch solutions.” Consumers will also be influenced by global cuisine. Advances in technology will continue giving consumers fast food solutions. 

FreshDirect’s top 10 food trends for 2019

1. Bringing Fresh into Shelf-Stable.Shelf-stable products, which are traditionally highly processed, areevolving to be fresher and more direct to the source. Innovative, fresh and sustainable takes on shelf-stable staples in 2019. Some shelf-stable foods are evolving to become so fresh that they require refrigerated.

2. CBD-Infused Foodsin 2.Cannabidiol (CBD), an ingredient from the cannabis plant, is non-psychoactive, but is said to offer relief from pain, anxiety and depression, while having anti-inflammatory properties. In 2019, CBD will break into the food category in full force. They will first surge in the functional-wellness drink category, then food products.

3. High-Quality Canned Fish.Artisanal, high-quality canned fishis convenient, and the canned format gives consumers the ability to try rare and flavorful species from all over the world. Grocers will start carrying a breadth of high-quality canned fishes, ranging by source, species, and flavor profiles.

4. Oats.Nut milk is out, while oat milk is storming in.Oat milk is more sustainable, not as water intensive as other non-dairy milks, more abundant and inexpensive. Oat milk will continue evolving into new dairy-alternative products, such as oat-based yogurts and cheeses.

5. Premium Spice Packets.2019will see a surge on innovative portion-controlled spice packets and simmer sauces. Customers will be able to have any cuisine as an all-in-one pan meal.

6. Organic 2.0.In 2019, there will be more tech-enabled local organic offerings developed by vertical farming,bio-dynamic processes and growing methods.

7. Cauliflower Power.Kale isout and cauliflower is in. Customers want more plant-based foods in their diets. Cauliflower is a lower carb vegetable that holds up like a grain and absorbs flavor easily. It can unnoticeably replace starches in many staples, including pizza crust, rice, crackers and pretzels, among others.

8. Evolution of Kid Snacks.2019 will bring innovations in thekid snacks category, which will shift in two ways: 1. More nutritional plays on traditional kids’ favorites; 2. Adult staples will have more child-friendly flavors and textures, with a shift towards more nutritious and clean ingredients.

9. Spreading Local.Vertical farming will enable new innovations, such astropical items sourced locally, as well as out-of-season strains and varietals. There will also be a resurgence of sourcing hyper-local fish species, such as ocean perch, tilefish, porgy, and blackfish.

10. Better-For-You Beverages.Consumers are starting to lean into better-for-youbeverages, especially in the alcohol category. New trends will include natural wines; ciders; more penetration in beverages with lower alcohol volume, such as session IPAs; non-alcoholic spirits, such as Seedlip; and digestive, well-enhancement alcoholic beverages such as Kombrewcha.

CCD Helmsman 2019 Food Trends that Matter 

CCD Helmsman has organized trends into three stages of maturity. “On the Horizon” trends are just gaining attention. “Coming into View” are already proliferating. “In View” trends are well established in some places but may have edgier examples.

“On the Horizon” Trends

1. Aussie Influence. Australia’s love of real, delicious food and relaxed culinary culture has already trickled across our borders with more to happily come in 2019.

2. Meet “Fruit Meat”. Fruits are joining vegetables as creative meat substitutes, being smoked, grilled, shredded and seasoned for snacks, sandwiches and even (tomatoe!) sushi.

3. Mushroom Rx. Mushrooms add a functional boost to new beverages, crunchy snacks, bars and meat blends, extending nutritional support to favorite everyday foods. 

 “Coming into View” Trends

1. Abra-Cassava. Meet the South American tuber being magically transformed into gluten-free goods, Brazilian foods and crunchy Southeast Asian chips.

2. Coffee Cascara Brews. Coffee fruit tea (yep, infusions of upcycled dried coffee cherry husks) continues to innovate refreshing, functional and alcoholic beverages.

3. Nutrition of the Sea. Access to nutritious, sustainable seafood gets easier with adventurous seafood snacks and new convenience meals, some even fish-tree. 

 In View” Trends

1. The Veg Spread. Going beyond the dip, brightly colored and bold flavored smears and swoops of vegetable spreads are brightening sandwiches, salads and meals.

2. Plant Cheese Choices. The ever-growing number of plant-based cheeses regale conscientious eaters with milk-free choices that are big on flavor and style.

3. Egg Power. High-protein, low-carb eggs venture beyond breakfast in handy snack chips and bars, snack packs with seasonings and creative warmed dishes.

Innova Market Insights Top 10 Food Trends for 2019 This is from Innova Market Insights’ Top Ten Trends Report 2019. For details on the full report, email contact@innovami.com,

1. Discovery: The Adventurous Consumer. The food and beverage industry is increasingly focusing on satisfying the adventurous consumer, with consumers moving out of their comfort zones to explore bolder flavors and multisensory food experiences.

2. The Plant Kingdom.  The plant-based market shows no signs of slowing down and companies and brands are greening up their portfolios to attract mainstream consumers who want to add more plant-based options to their diets.

3. Alternatives to All. Health remains the number one reason to buy food alternatives. The search for alternative proteins has resulted in rising use of black beans, lentils, peas, rice, nuts and seeds, chickpea and even insects as protein ingredients for foods. There is also development in new sources such as duckweed/water lentils.

4. Green Appeal. The industry is increasingly committing to answering customer expectations around sustainability. This includes waste reduction through upcycled ingredients and post-consumer recycling, as well as improved biodegradability and new technology, such as compostable capsules and vegetable inks.

5. Snacking: The Definitive Occasion. Snacking is no longer the optional extra, but the definitive occasion. It is a central focus of innovation across all food and beverage categories, with 10 percent average annual growth of global food and beverage launches tracked with a snacking claim over the past five years (CAGR, 2013-2017).

6. Eating for Me. Consumers are choosing their fuel more carefully with foods that are specifically adapted to their needs.

7. A Fresh Look at Fiber. Consumers are still mainly consuming fiber for digestive health, but newly discovered health benefits are driving applications too.

8. I Feel Good. There is growing interest in the role that nutrition can play in supporting emotional and mental well-being

9. Small Player Mindset. The growing significance of small innovators in general is a global phenomenon. Their role as thought leaders has driven multi-national companies and legacy brands to invest in them— and learn from them.

10. Connected to the Plate. Food & beverages are the heart of many social connections. Technological advances are key enablers for consumers to get closer to their food, literally, but also in terms of transparency, knowledge and chat/sharing on social media.

Kroger’s Top Five Food Trends for 2019

Kroger’s top food trend predictions for 2019 is curated by its “Our Brands new product developers, chefs and innovators, focusing on flexible eating styles.”

1. Regional Flavors. Foods influenced by regions across the country are bringing flavor and fun to any meal. From tried-and-true barbecue sauces and flavorful potato chips with a twist – inspiration is coming from Nashville hot chicken,

2. Plant-Based Foods.  Our consumers are finding it is easier than ever before to incorporate more plant-based fare into their daily diets. By choosing to go meat or dairy free, whether for a meal, a Meatless Monday, Flexitarian Friday, or every day of the week, there will be more plant-based options available to power through the day.

3. Eating Styles. More of our consumers are purchasing better-for-you products and subscribing to different eating styles, from vegetarian to flexitarian to keto and paleo.

4. Gut Healthy Foods. Medical studies show that a healthy gut is the foundation of overall wellness, and more than ever before, consumers are seeking foods that support self-care and healthy immune systems.

5. Low Sugar and Natural Sweeteners. Many of our consumers are motivated to reduce or eliminate sugar and/or consume alternate natural sweeteners like honey and agave.


2018 Food Trends lists
2017 Food Trends lists
2016 Food Trends lists
2015 Food Trends lists

Slideshows of Innovative New Products & Ingredients

2019 Innovative New Protein Products & Trends

2018 Innovative & Interesting Sweetener Products (gallery)
2018 Innovative & Interesting Protein-centric Products (gallery)

2017 Innovative & Interesting Sweetener Products 
2017 Innovative & Interesting Protein-centric Products (gallery)