6 Food Trends for 2016

Just like all trends, food trends come and go. Some tend to stick around for a while, while others disappear into the abyss in no time at all.

As we’re in the beginning of 2016 and looking ahead to the New Year, I see some new foods trending, new cooking methods making headway and the logistics of obtaining healthy food changing the way we eat. Below are some of the popular food trends I believe you’ll surely see gaining in popularity this year.

Lower Carb Choices

This isn’t your 90’s low carb trend! Consumers know excessive carbohydrates in the form of breads and pastas aren’t healthy, and are searching out healthier but similar options. Currently on the rise are spiraled vegetables. These seemingly take the place of pasta in some dishes. Similarly, consumers are looking at healthy grains in place of plain ole’ rice or pasta, and they even like it mixed in their breads and buns… think 9 grain breads and quinoa buns. By replacing the old carbohydrates with nuts, grains and vegetables, labels become cleaner and more attractive to the health conscious crowd.

Healthy Delivery

One thing is for sure, Americans like to get things delivered! And while food delivery was previously trapped with unhealthy pre-packaged meals, now many new companies -- and well-established family-owned companies -- are delivering healthy foods right to one’s door. And this is coming in many forms—grocery delivery, healthy recipe delivery and even freshly prepared meal delivery (sound familiar?). Similarly, we will start to see many restaurants cook and prepare healthy meals, then deliver the food making “dining out” irrelevant. And these orders are coming via apps that make ordering healthy food a cinch.

Fast Food Makeovers

Unhealthy fast food restaurants continue to see a decline in popularity as Americans become more health conscious. We all love food that is fast and delicious, but unfortunately this often comes in the form of a high calorie, high sodium meal. But as consumers gravitate to “better” quick-service restaurants, the industry is transforming. More fast food companies are offering concepts with fresher menus and more contemporary designs, which exploits a price threshold between fast food and fast casual. “Build-your-own” menus are springing up across the industry, and many more are realizing this trend.

Seaweed is the New Green

Kale is out, and the new green in town is seaweed. Not only is it environmentally friendly and plentiful, but seaweed is also packed with fiber, antioxidants, iodine and good fats, making it the new “it” green vegetable. Dried seaweed strips make a delicious snack that is crunchy and healthy, which is why these are gaining popularity. Additionally, seaweed is jam packed with umami, that pleasant savory flavor. Due to its versatility, flavor, and sustainability, we are likely to see seaweed everywhere this coming year.

Artisan Ice Cream

Every year seems to bring a new type of dairy food to the forefront. Greek yogurt has reached its popularity peak, and this year, it’s one of our favorite dairy forms, ice cream! But this isn’t your plain vanilla or chocolate. No – it’s artisan ice cream and it’s gaining popularity and it won’t be going anywhere for a while. Funky twists on the classic creamy dessert are to have devoted fan followings, thanks in no small part to their unique, seasonal flavors. Creameries are pushing the limit with wild creations that appeal to adventurous eaters, foodies and food bloggers alike — from sriracha to summer corn to prosciutto.

Fermented Everything

The word is out… eating fermented foods is hugely beneficial to the health of your gut. And as we learn that gut health is crucial to overall health and disease prevention, the funky, earthy flavors of fermentation will be big this year. People are stocking up on artisan pickles and kimchi, as they are delicious condiments on just about everything from sandwiches to savory pancakes. In addition to lending dishes a unique, acidic flavor, when food is fermented, the sugars and carbohydrates are broken down by healthy bacteria, resulting in that pungent burst of flavor. That’s why food devotees and nutritionists alike are jumping on the fermentation bandwagon.

While these foods and food trends gain popularity this year, it is always important to remember that the basics of eating healthy will never change. Easily enough, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and healthy whole grains should provide most of your daily calories, and balanced meals and healthy eating will always remain popular regardless of what is trendy!

When it comes to healthy, balanced meals, Seattle Sutton has 30 years of experience in assisting clients in reaching their weight loss goals. From traditional meals to vegetarian options, Seattle Sutton has it all!