Ask Leah! The Ingles Dietitian

Sponsored: 2016 Food Predictions

ingles dietitianEach year I like to predict how food fads and taste trends will show up on the shelves at Ingles. Here are my predictions for 2016. 

1. The year of the POUCH This year the theme in packaging seems to be all about the pouch. These shelf stable pouches can be found in produce, the grocery aisle with fruit and in the baby food section. Mostly the pouches are full of blended fruit mixture but some also contain vegetables, quinoa, Greek yogurt or grains. Since the pouches are easy to pack and shelf stable they are good for travel, a snack, or in lunches.

Prediction: There will be a plethora of pouches!

Tip: These pouches can be pricey so be sure and weigh the cost over buying whole fruit or vegetables. Pick pouches with no added sugar.

2. Great Grains - Last year it was all about quinoa, but it seems like the grains for 2016 are going to be hemp and sorghum. Hemp is showing up in many hot and cold cereals ( see Nature's Path) and sorghum ( also known as milo) seems poised to become popular in the United States as well as chefs embrace it for its versatility and lower cost than quinoa. 

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Prediction: Expect to see more hemp and sorghum products.

Tip: Be open to trying new grains! 

3. "Clean" labels -  Increasingly brands are striving to shorten their ingredient lists and make ingredients more understandable to the average consumer. While this may seem to be a good thing we are also seeing vitamin and mineral enrichment packages disappear in an effort to shorten a lengthy ingredient list and this may not be a benefit.  

Prediction: More companies will proclaim they have "cleaned up" ingredient lists by dropping additives or colorings.

Tip: Be aware that a "clean" ingredient list may mean vitamins and minerals have been dropped and the price per serving may also increase. 

4. Plenty of Protein  Thanks to the Paleo diet, the emphasis is still on protein. We've seen protein added to cereals, meal replacement and snack bars, and even water. Jerky, long a staple for hunters, has surged in popularity, whether it is turkey or beef or even trout (see Sunburst Trout).  

Prediction: Expect to see even more products that typically would have little or no protein released with protein added to them like oats, pasta and even juices. 

Tip: Be aware that a "clean" ingredient list may mean vitamins and minerals have been dropped and the price per serving may also increase.  

Leah McGrath, RDN, LDN

Ingles Markets Corporate Dietitian




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