What’s trending in Food?

What are new food trends and are they here to stay?

Short answer- yes! As we attend more trade shows and of course immerse ourselves is what’s going on in the world of food, the two areas that come to mind are Plant Based Proteins and Lactose Free products.

Plant Based Foods

Sure there will be the occasional LTO, new flavors and great packaging, but these two categories seem to be booming and aren’t going anywhere. In doing a little research, the sector for plant-based foods will make up 7.7% of the global protein market by 2030, as its value rises to more than $162 billion, up from just $29.4 billion in 2020, says Bloomberg Intelligence’s report, Plant-Based Foods Poised for Explosive Growth. “Food-related consumer habits often come and go as fads, but plant-based alternatives are here to stay – and grow,” said Jennifer Bartashus, senior consumer staples analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. “The expanding set of product options in the plant-based industry is contributing to plant alternatives becoming a long-term option for consumers around the world.”

With the continued rise in pricing as well as the rumors of more food shortages, consumers look to be open to trying new things that benefit the planet and their wallet!

A lot of the talk about plant based foods revolves around meat- as an alternative for those who are vegetarian or vegan but still need protein. But the truth is, there is SO much more out there outside of the meat category! The range is across the grocery store from burgers, chicken tenders through milk! Consumers have become more aware of protein benefits in supporting an active lifestyle. Post pandemic, consumers crave items that have clean labels, items created for ease of digestion, the need or desire to avoid allergens, vegetarian and vegan lifestyles friendly options, and concerns about sustainability. For these reasons and more plant proteins are coming into the spotlight.

What’s does Lactose Free mean?

As I mentioned, we aren’t only talking about meat, even cheese and milk! In addition to milk products being plant based, another key trend is lactose free products. With the rise of awareness of lactose intolerance, according to MarketsandMarkets, the lactose-free products market is estimated to be valued at USD 12.1 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 18.4 billion by 2025, recording a CAGR of 8.7 %, in terms of value. Moreover, what’s helping the spike of these lactose free items is the growing demand for reduced added sugar or no added sugar products  as well. However, the growth of the lactose-free products market is inhibited by factors, such as high cost of lactose-free products and stiff competition from plant-based alternatives.

Lactose-free dairy products contain an enzyme called lactase that helps in breaking down milk sugar galactose to avoid stomach problems such as abdominal cramping, gas, and bloating in people with lactose intolerance. Those that have the intolerance are finally able to enjoy many items and recipes now than ever before. Keep an eye out!