SRA Eats: What’s Cooking in 2019? 6 Food & Nutrition Trends to Watch

December 4, 2018

SRA Eats: What’s Cooking in 2019? 6 Food & Nutrition Trends to Watch

From gut health to gluten-free, food and nutrition trends are a moving target.  Marketers must stay ahead of evolving consumer perception and behavior patterns and emerging nutrition science research. While some food fads are short-lived, others are long-lasting, and many are impacted by the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which are poised to change in 2020.

As we look ahead to 2019, here’s what the SRA team is seeing when it comes to the latest food and nutrition trends:

  1. Protein, Protein, Protein – Protein is poised to take a front seat and become the next leading trend in diet regimes in the coming year. Although the US Dietary Guidelines recommend 10% to 35% of your daily calories come from protein — there are no optimal protein levels. Still protein is an important nutrient and one you need every day. While protein drinks, powders, and bars have been popular for a few years now, expect to see additional protein added to snack foods like chips, puffs and cookies as well as staples like pasta. The variety of proteins available have also increased to include plant-based proteins such as nuts, legumes and peas.
  2. Promoting Prebiotics and Probiotics – When it comes to this trend, trust your gut. Consumers have a growing awareness of how gut health can impact other areas of the body, especially the brain. As a result, cereals, snacks, yogurts and beverages have been quick to jump on the bandwagon, adding prebiotic and probiotic ingredients.
  3. Thinking Outside the Carton – Alternative milk-type drinks, such as oat-based beverages, nut milks (think cashew, almond, peanut or hazelnut milk) sesame seed milk, and banana milk are growing in popularity. While common as a beverage, these milks are also increasingly used in frozen treats such as ice creams and desserts.
  4. The Next Generation: Allergen-free Foods – Inspired by the gluten-free trend and an increase in food allergies, allergen-free foods are becoming more in-demand. These foods are typically free from a number of ingredients including gluten, nuts, dairy, eggs, wheat, soy and sesame and the category is widening.
  5. Plant-Powered – As overall wellness continues to drive many food and diet choices, more and more vegetarian and vegan items are entering the market. This is particularly apparent in the ice cream category where dairy-free ice cream made from ingredients like bananas, coconut, tofu and cashews abound.  Other vegan/vegetarian products appearing on shelves incorporate vegan cheeses or plant-based meat alternatives. Going beyond tofu steaks, the next generation of meat alternatives are designed to appeal to meat lovers. What’s more, the plant-powered movement has evolved into the younger set with new types of products like cauliflower nuggets specifically designed for babies and kids.
  6. Nuts about Nuts (and Seeds) – Peanut butters have always been a nutritious and popular staple especially for those looking to add protein to their diet, but now cashews, hazelnut, almond and seed butters (sunflower, sesame, and pumpkin) as well as products with Chia seeds have joined the ranks. Often made from interesting blends of several nuts and seeds, these new wave products bring the ordinary peanut butter and jelly sandwich to new heights.

For more information on SRA Communications, these trends, or other insights from our nutrition communications team, please visit