While packaged and processed foods aren’t usually seen as healthy, for 2018, they’ve been given a good-for-you makeover.
Dietitian Abby Langer shared her snack and food trend predictions for the new year with Self, and they’re full of surprises. After visiting the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo in Chicago in October, Abby said she discovered a whole bunch of grab-and-go foods that may help with a balanced diet.
‘It’s always fun to see what food trends are going to emerge in the coming year, especially ones that I know real people … will appreciate for making their lives easier and healthier,’ she said.
Mmm: Dietitian Abby Langer shared her top snack food trends for 2018 after visiting the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo, including this protein-rich probiotic muffins
Snack attack: Single serve salads and tuna pouches look set to be big news in 2018, thanks to their high protein content
HIGH PROTEIN PUNCH
Protein bars have dominated the healthy snack market for the past couple of years, but for 2018, Langer predicts Mighty Muffins will take over. With 20 grams of protein per single serve pack, she said that they’re the perfect ‘portable snack’.
Also capturing her attention were Starkist Tuna Creations and Selects E.V.O.O Wild-Caught Pink Salmon pouches.
‘They even come with their own fork, and are around 70 to 100 calories,’ she explained.
She also shared that Plant Powered Protein salad kits for Eat Smart were ‘incredibly popular’ at the show. ‘Each kit has plant-based protein toppings like edamame, nuts, and seeds, along with fresh salad greens and a delicious dressing, with 11 to 14 grams of protein and around 370 calories,’ she said.
Chewing the fat: She said vegans will love this plant-based jerky from Cocoburg
Munchies: Chips and popcorn have also been given a makeover for 2018, with probiotic-fortified tortilla chips and popped sorghum proving popular
‘Let’s face it, we all like to treat ourselves, and ‘better-for-you’ snack foods were a top trend at the show this year,’ Langer said. Plant-based treats in particular are big news for 2018.
Her favorites are vegan coconut jerky from Cocoburg (available in flavors like ginger teriyaki and chili lime), probiotic-fortified tortilla chips from Farmhouse Culture, and popped sorghum from Pop I.Q.
Describing it as ‘like little bits of popcorn sprinkled with cheddar and other flavors,’ sorghum is a gluten-free grain that has more protein and fiber than popcorn and is also low in calories.
Going nuts: Nuts continue to be a big trend for 2018 but will be seen in different forms like these peanut puffs by P-nuff
Buttering up: Added seeds and single serve pouches are big nut butter trends for 2018
NEW NUT BUTTERS
While the nut butter trend is nothing new, for 2018, Langer said companies are ‘taking nut and seed-based products to a new level by offering them in different concoctions..’
Her top picks include Bestsy’s Best, nut and seed butters that have healthy add-ins like flax, chia and cinnamon.
She also listed Yum Butter’s new squeeze pouches, made with fair trade ingredients and featuring flavors like chocolate espresso peanut butter.
Plus, P-nuff Crunch puffs made from peanuts and navy beans also made a bit impression. ‘They also have 5 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, and only 2 grams of sugar per 1-ounce serving. They tasted really good, too,’ she added.
Going for gold: Turmeric-based drinks are a big trend for 2018
Got milk? Pea protein milk and milk-infused coconut water are two new products to the market that look set to be popular in 2018
Good gut health will continue to be a popular health concern in 2018, and for Langer, standout probiotic drinks to aid digestion include Farmhouse Culture’s Gut Punch made from fermented vegetables.
Turmeric is also on the up with Gaia’s Golden Milk listed thanks to its ingredients which include turmeric, dates, herbs, and black pepper.
Pea-protein milk is also new for 2018, with Veggemo’s unsweetened, original, and vanilla flavors containing six grams of protein per serving.
And finally, CocoLibre coconut water was listed thanks to the 20 grams of grass-fed milk protein it contains per serving.
‘With flavors like cocoa, coffee, and unsweetened vanilla, coconut water lovers can now get a protein boost with their hydration,’ Langer said.