by Marion Nestle

Currently browsing posts about: Food-trends

Dec 31 2018

Happy new year and food predictions for 2019!

It’s prediction season and NBC MACH asked for mine in science and tech.  Here it is, along with those of 18 others (I’m in impressive company).

My crystal ball shows a fairy godmother waving her magic wand, giving us adequate levels of food assistance for the poor, delicious and healthy school food for kids, honest food labels that everyone can understand, food so safe that nobody has to worry about it, wages for farm and restaurant workers that they can actually live on, and farmers growing food for people (not so much for animals or cars) in ways that protect and replenish soil and water, reduce greenhouse gases and provide them a decent living. Hey — a girl can dream. And do we ever need dreams — visions for a healthier and more sustainable food system — if we are to continue to thrive as a nation. I cannot get my head around the idea that anyone would object to ensuring that all children get fed the best possible food in schools, that animals should be raised humanely or that crops should be grown sustainably with the least possible harm to the environment. Our food system should protect and promote public health as its first priority. We can hope that 2019 will bring us some steps in thatdirection, but here’s my prediction: not this year. But let’s hold onto those hopes for when times get better.

Outside also asked for predictions.  Here’s what I said:

“Eat Less, Move More” Will Make a Comeback

I’m guessing that calories will be back as explanations for weight gain and dieting.  The arguments about “low-carb” versus “low-fat” go on and on and on, but get nowhere. Attempts to prove one or the other better for weight loss or maintenance remain unconvincing. Advice to eat less and move more still makes good sense. The trick is finding a way to do either—and preferably both—that is so easy to adhere to that it becomes second nature. Individuals have to figure that out on their own, and understanding calorie balance is not a bad way to begin.

If you like this sort of thing, here are some others:

Have a happy and delicious new year!

Jan 4 2018

The Hartman Group’s 2017 Year in Review

The Hartman Group has an infographic on the most prominent trends and insights in the culture of foods & beverages in 2017.  That was the year that was.

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Jan 3 2018

Food-Navigator-USA’s 10 trends to watch in 2018

Elaine Watson at Food Navigator-USA says we should be watching these ten trends in 2018.

  1. Cellular agriculture: cell-cultured meat, fish, etc.
  2. Plant-based innovation: chickpea proteins and the like
  3. GMO labeling (and non-GMO claims): rules for these are still pending
  4. Clean label 2.0: these encompass everything from additives to sustainability
  5. Health confusion (and is saturated fat really back?)
  6. Sugar under fire: reduce, replace
  7. Protein…still hot?
  8. Fermentation on fire; probiotics hit the mainstream
  9. The Amazon effect
  10. Big Food in a funk

She has interesting things to say about all of these.  Take a look and keep score as the year progresses.

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Feb 2 2017

USDA’s latest data on food trends

The USDA has just issued a report on trends in per capita food availability from 1970 to 2014.

Here’s my favorite figure:

The inner ring represents calories from those food groups in 1970. The outer ring includes data from 2014.

The bottom line: calories from all food groups increased, fats and oils and the meat group most of all, dairy and fruits and vegetables the least.

The sugar data are also interesting:

Total sugars (blue) peaked at about 1999 in parallel with high fructose corn syrup (orange).  Table sugar, sucrose, has been flat since the 1980s (green).

Eat your veggies!

Feb 19 2016

Food-Navigator USA’s collection on health & wellness

Health and wellness and terms like natural and organic help food manufacturers sell products.  Food-Navigator-USA.com offers this collection of its articles addressing the question, “What does health & wellness mean to consumers today? We ask what Americans now expect of the food industry, and which innovative firms are best placed to meet their evolving needs.”

  • Mushrooms: The go-to ingredient for 2016?: Mushrooms will feature more prominently in plant- and meat-based dishes in 2016, predicts the Mushroom Council, which says domestic production and value are at an all-time high, while ‘blended’ burgers, meatballs and tacos combining ground meat and chopped mushrooms are gaining significant traction in the foodservice market… Read
  • How ‘progressive consumers’ are redefining health and wellness… and is fat really back?: While cynics observe that biodynamic cane sugar is still sugar, and gourmet Himalayan pink salt is still good old sodium chloride, it’s a fact that trends which might seem to have niche appeal are increasingly heading to the mainstream, and that a small, but increasingly influential group of what Hartman Group calls ‘progressive consumers’ is now redefining food culture. .. Read
  • Marketing Health: Will the healthier option still be the pricier one?: Forget dieting or “cheat days.” Some food industry observers believe the general populace is more concerned for their holistic health, and the CPG industry is taking the hint. By 2020, opening a bag of chips guilt-free doesn’t have to mean splurging more at the “healthy food” part of store shelves… Read
  • C-stores offer growth opportunity for better-for-you brands: Convenience stores, often considered a destination for indulgent, unhealthy snacks, could offer a new growth opportunity for better-for-you brands as the channel’s core audience begins shifting slightly towards more health-conscious shoppers, according to research from the Hudson Institute and Natural Marketing Institute… Read