Sterling-Rice Group, a Boulder, Colo-based brand strategy firm, has compiled the 2016 Natural Nine, a list of trends that will inspire menus and mainstream packaged goods in the coming months. They are:
1. Shape-shifting jackfruit – Dubbed the meat alternative du jour, this fiber-rich fruit with a meaty texture will be prepared in savory sauces for tacos, sandwiches and wraps.
2. Avo-to-go – Avocado will become available in more convenient forms such as portable dips, mini meals and salad dressings.
3. Purple potatoes – Antioxidant rich heirloom purple potatoes and Peruvian purple maize are on the rise and showing up in everything from breakfast cereal to chips.
4. Meal cups – An update of the cup of ramen, today’s meal cups boast nutritional ingredients and can be consumed as a mini-meal, day or night.
5. Better baking – Consumers will see baking products making organic, natural, non-GMO and Fiar Trade Certified claims.
6. Fermented products – Fermented, probiotic-rich foods will expand beyond yogurt and kombucha. Consumers will add more cultured products with starter kits and new flavor profiles.
7. Chickpeas – Green chickpeas are the base of new convenience meals, hummus dips and vegan mayo.
8. Texture-rich snacks – Snacks like sun-ripened olives coated in crunch will offer a brand-new bite and sophisticated flavor.
9. Against the grain – Grain-free wraps made with almonds, coconuts and even vegetables will pop up.
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