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Like a pendulum, the latest food craze swings from one extreme to another. How will this year measure up to previous years? As consumers become more health conscious, food trends shift. According to The Hartman Group, we can look ahead to several changes in 2012. A few of those include:

  • Change in portion size. Smaller portion sizes emerge as customers, restaurants, and retailers move away from the idea that “Bigger is Better to Smaller is Beautiful.”
  • Emphasis on personalized nutrition. Look for increased interest in nutrigenomics (nutritional genetics) as customized diets replace the “one-size-fits-all” attitudes of past years. Expect processed food choices to shift toward higher quality foods.

A taste for real food beckons today’s consumers as the following trends increase and more outdated ones decrease.

  • Real butter replacing margarine.
  • Grass-fed meats displacing soy protein. Reports of side effects and advice from health professionals have caused soy to plunge into disfavor.
  • Healthy fats instead of fat-free.
  • Cage-free whole eggs emphasized more than egg whites.
  • Dairy from grass-fed cows instead of grain-fed. Milk from grass-fed Jersey, Guernsey, and Brown Swiss cows produce higher quality fat than those grain-fed which have higher levels of less healthy Omega 6 fatty acids.
  • Fresh produce touted over excessive supplements.
  • Stevia favored over artificial sweeteners.
  • Local, seasonal fruits replacing out-of-season exotic fruits with claims of higher antioxidant levels. Blueberries remain high on the list of preferred high-nutritional foods. Cherries continue to surface as a new favorite for athletes and health-conscious consumers. Expect to see a wider variety of local berries and tree fruits.

While consumers continue to follow older trends, healthier fares abound for 2012. Will you be in the mainstream of positive changes toward a healthier lifestyle?

For questions about any of these trends, contact me or see http://www.hartman-group.com/downloads/looking-ahead-2012-trends.pdf

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