The 12 Biggest Food Fads In 2018
11 New Trends Taking Health Food From Cardboard To Crazy Good
1. So Old, They're New
Ancient grainsfrom the farthest-flung soils are the ones flying off the shelves the fastest. They're heartier and more versatile than rice, and we love their earthy, toothsome flavors. Bob's Red Mill reports that in the past 3 years, sales of ancient grains have soared. Millet, a gluten-free grain, has tripled in sales. Sales of the heirloom wheat KAMUT have grown more than 10-fold!
MORE:10 Gluten-Free Grains Worth Getting Familiar With
2. Butter Me Up
Another nearly ancient classic? Peanut butter. But the peanut's not the only nut worth crushing. Findingnew butterables wasn't a tough nut to crack for the can-do industry: The nut-and-seed-butter business has boomed 52% since 2011. Shelves are crowded with newcomers, and these are our favorites.
MaraNatha All Natural Coconut Butter (pictured above). One in four new products in the food-and-drink world is coconut based, and you'll see why when you add a velvety dollop of this to your next smoothie, or melt it and drizzle over fresh pineapple. (; maranathafoods.com)
3. Dairy-Aisle Upgrade
We're spooning 113% moreyogurtthan we did in 2001, and thankfully, our tastes have evolved beyond syrupy fake fruit. Yogurt looks less like poorly disguised dessert every day. Our newest obsessions all have 16 g of sugar or less. (Add some excitement to your go-to snack with these 8 tasty yogurt add-ins.)
So Delicious Unsweetened Vanilla Cultured Coconut Milk (pictured above). This plant-based, dairy-free cup gives you all the benefits of the classic, minus the moo. ( for 16 oz; sodeliciousdairyfree.com)
4. Raising the Bar
MORE:9 Clean Energy Bars You Have To Try
5. Salt's da Bomb!
Savory's in, and sales ofsalty snackshave shot up 28% since 2008. But shoppers are concerned about getting too much salt: Label readers check sodium more than any other nutrition fact. We hear you, shoppers. We stock ourPreventionchip drawer with snacks that satisfy with less than 110 mg of sodium per serving, like these.
Boulder Canyon Ancient Grains Sea Salt Snack Chips (pictured above). With seven grains and seeds, hearty easily trumps greasy. (.50–; bouldercanyonfoods.com)
6. What's Poppin'
Popcorn's become a force in the eat-clean world: It's light and minimalist and can actually be good for you. Sales have popped 16% from 2008 to 2013, and morepopcorn innovations happen in the United States than anywhere else. Is popcorn the perfect snack? Seems so, thanks to healthy takes like these.
SkinnyPop Original Popcorn (pictured above). The brand grew 274% in sales last year alone. Just three ingredients—who says simple doesn't sell? (; skinnypop.com)
7. Um, Is There Gluten in That?
Since 2011, the market foreverything wheatless has grown at a rate of 44%, reaching sales of .5 billion in 2013, finds Mintel. And those numbers are set to skyrocket soon, thanks to whoa-this-actually-tastes-good innovations in the GF world.
Banza Chickpea Pasta (pictured above). It isn't the first bean-based pasta, but it's one of the best we've tried: al dente in just 4 minutes, with 13 g of protein power. (; eatbanza.com)
MORE:10 Gluten-Free Portable Lunches
8. A Market Sweet Spot
9. Meet Maple Water
Water. The most elemental drink we humans know. Can ambitious, show-us-anything-and-we'll-make-it-healthier packaged-food companies improve on it? Of course they can. This is the era of "naturally functional foods"—2014's single biggest trend, according to New Nutrition Business—when whole foods are packaged in convenient, nothing-added forms. This year we're tappingmaple water, the springtime sap straight from maple trees. (Now, that's natural.)
10. Flavor Amnesty Now
The ethnic-food sector is expected to grow more than 20% over the next 3 years, and shoppers—4 in 10, finds a Mintel report on the topic—are asking for moreoptions in the freezer aisle. Finding lower-sodium gems is tough, but we're putting these new flavors on ice.
Have a glass of water at the ready...This year, peppers topped McCormick's Flavor Forecast report (the spice company's annual list of predictions), proving that products from crackers to condiments really are gettingmuch spicier.Even the trendy chipotle is mild by this year's standards: Tongue-burning peppers like the aji amarillo and habanero are taking its place in snacks both sweet and savory. In the spirit of feverish flavor, these foods set our hearts and taste buds aflame.
Video: Food Trends That Will Blow Up In 2018
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