2015 Food and Nutrition Trends: Simple, Fresh, and Local Print

calgary_HeraldEach calendar year marks the start of some new food and nutrition trends in the health and wellness industry.

The words simple, fresh and local might best describe how health conscious consumers are thinking about what they select in the grocery store, prepare at home, or look for on restaurant menus.

1.  Fresh food with simple ingredients

Findings from the 30,000 people surveyed in the recent Nielsen’s Global Survey of Snacking found that more consumers care about the absence of ingredients than the addition of them. Snacks with natural ingredients are rated very important by 45 percent and moderately important by 32 percent. Snackers are requesting no artificial colours and flavours, no genetically modified organisms, along with caffeine-free and gluten-free options.

Expect to see more fresh prepared snack items and whole foods offered in grocery store delis and cafeterias such as chopped ready-to-eat produce, heirloom vegetables and fruit, whole grains such as quinoa, and black rice as well as healthier meals to go. Restaurants will also be offering more ancient grains, root veggies, additional veggie options for sides, and healthier kids cuisine.

2.  Local and sustainable

More than ever, consumers are interested in finding out where their food comes from. The National Restaurant Association suggests locally sourced meats and seafood, locally grown produce, and environmentally sustainable foods are the top three food trends for 2015. Also making the list is reducing food waste, farm/estate branded items, artisan foods, and vegetarian cuisine.

More grocery stores and restaurants are also sourcing and creating “craft foods” which are similar to popular locally brewed craft beers. Expect to see more artisan breads and cheese, house cured-meats/charcuterie and house-made ice cream and pickles. Pickling, fermenting, fire roasting and smoking will be popular preparation methods.

3. Beverages with natural ingredients

Jugo Juice mighty kale photoInteresting smoothies, fresh pressed juices, and green veggie drinks are trending more than ever at home, in coffee shops, juice bars and restaurants. Being able to use simple, natural ingredients, and make healthy taste great, has been a tremendous success for the franchise Jugo Juice.  The fastest growing category of smoothies for Jugo Juice has been the unstoppable rise of vegetable smoothies. As Canadians seek out more nutritious offerings and healthier snacks, you can expect to see more green smoothies and fresh pressed juices using both whole fruits and vegetables.

Other beverages such as coconut water continue to be popular given they are sugar-free, low in calories, and contain natural electrolytes for active lifestyles.

After water, tea is the most consumed beverage in the world and continues to be more popular than ever. Starbucks is in the tea business as it now owns Teavana after observing the increased trend in tea drinking. The successful growth of DAVIDsTEA is also an indication health conscious consumers are ready for a change from coffee. Expect to see more premium loose tea, fermented kombucha tea, and green matcha tea in 2015.

4. Downsized meals and more snacking

Colossal plates and meals are gaining less and less appeal. Downsized meals, tapas, dim sum and share plates will continue to be popular restaurant options.

Today’s consumers favour snacking more frequently over large meals, especially if you are between the ages of 18-44 years according to Technomic, a food-service research firm. Consumer research group Nielsen also suggests that baby boomers are also moving from a three square meal approach to eating to grazing on foods good for health and longevity.

In the Nielsen Global Survey of snacking, more than three-quarters eat snacks often or sometimes to satisfy hunger between meals or to satisfy a craving. While indulgent snacks still rank as the top choices, consumers are snacking with a conscience. They are requesting low-sugar, low-fat, low-sodium, low-carb or low-calorie options, so expect to see more fresh prepared healthy snacks.

While health and wellness continue to be a trend and strong interest among Canadians, in many cases good intentions are not yet reality. The 2012 Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Consumer Report suggests that taste, price and convenience are the top influencers of food choices followed by nutrition. Grocery stores, food manufactures and restaurants have an ongoing challenge to come up with healthy food that is tasty, easy and affordable. It will be interesting to see who can supply this winning combination in the years to come.

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About Andrea Holwegner

CEO, Registered Dietitian, Counseling Practice Director & Professional Speaker

Andrea the «Chocoholic Nutritionist» is founder and CEO of Health Stand Nutrition Consulting Inc. since 2000. She is an online nutrition course creator, professional speaker and regular guest in the media. Andrea is the recipient of an award by the Dietitians of Canada: The Speaking of Food & Healthy Living Award for Excellence in Consumer Education....Read more

Success stories

"I am a psychologist in private practice and it is very important to me that my clients have the best care with other health care professionals. For that reason Health Stand Nutrition is my only source for exceptional Dietitians. Andrea and her team provide highly knowledgeable, compassionate, and real world support to my clients who require assistance with food lifestyle. I trust my clients to them and you would be in excellent hands making them part of your health care team."
Adele Fox, Psychologist
“This is the first time I feel satisfied; my cravings have diminished dramatically and I have a whole new relationship with food. I am eating guilt-free for the first time in my life. My energy has also dramatically increased and I feel great!
Rhonda Jenkins, Nutrition Counseling Client
“The Dieticians at Health Stand Nutrition help you to take action on the science behind eating well by making it practical, understandable, and fun. Their office is cozy and not at all clinical or intimidating. I felt like I was sitting down with a really smart, caring friend who wanted to help me make the best choices for my lifestyle and food preferences. Andrea and her team really are the best in the business.”
Marty Avery, Nutrition Counseling Client
“I have come to think of the program as a one stop shopping excursion for everything one needs to know about creating a joyous relationship with food and our bodies. In a single word, the course has gifted me with freedom from the punishing rigidity of disordered eating, old stories that never were true, and body dysmorphia that did nothing but make me lose sight of a body that has done everything I've asked, despite my careless dismissal of her needs. Now when I look in the mirror I find myself shifting from harsh criticism to gentle gratitude.”
Lynn Haley, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
“I spent 3 hours when first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I learned more from my Dietitian about food in those 3 hours than I had learned in all the years of my life. I also love the newsletter, there is always something to learn.”
Peter Whitehead, Nutrition Counseling Client
“I didn’t realize how strong my “diet mentality” was, and all the rules I had in my head about food. I was in a cycle of reward/punish/binge/cringe. I booked with your business very reluctantly, on the repeated advice of my doctor, to get my slowly rising cholesterol levels in check. I thought I knew everything about food, and my behaviour with food, but I was definitely re-schooled. My weight is creeping down, I feel good about my diet, exercise, body image, and lifestyle.”
Amy Floyd, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Thanks Andrea for an amazing presentation, I have heard all positive remarks from attendees and the evaluations show the same sentiment. It is really gratifying when a speaker does their “homework” and weaves in our profession’s day to day challenges within their content, you did an awesome job of this! You truly took the “die” out of Dietician! Your information on healthy eating and simplifying how we can work towards this as we are all so busy really hit the mark. Andrea connects very well with her audience; she is energetic, funny, and very approachable.”
Carole Ann LaGrange, Transfusion Medicine Safety Officer

Event Planner for Laboratory Diagnostic Imaging Annual Event

I am a family physician who sees patients with a myriad of eating concerns – from wanting to know how to plan healthy meals for active families, to weight loss, to eating disorders, and so on. I cannot recommend the Health Stand team highly enough. I have worked with (and been to!) other Dieticians in the past and too often find that they just ask for food logs and make suggestions that are easily obtained online or in books. The Dieticians at Health Stand offer much more than just telling clients what they “should be eating.” In contrast, the team really does more of a counselling practice, and they work hard to help their clients learn more about why their eating habits may be off track and not optimal for them, as well as helping people to effect change at a deep level that, most importantly, is sustainable for lifetime health.”
Dr. Deb Putnam, Family Physician

Nutrition Counseling Client & Referring Physician

“I am a busy mom, with kids in high level sports, working full-time downtown, and running our home acreage outside the City. I now have the knowledge and tools I need to plan for and manage the chaos of meal planning.”
Gillian Gray, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
“As a construction company, we select speakers who can relate to our industry and its employees. Andrea’s message was delivered with humor and empathy. She makes people feel as though they can make changes without leaving behind every favorite food. Andrea focused her presentation on healthy eating as a way to keep energy high throughout the day. This message and the way it was delivered resonated with our predominantly male, blue collar culture. I would highly recommend Andrea as a speaker for groups such as ours. She will get your message across without alienating anyone in your audience – which is a huge hurdle when trying to introduce a wellness program in the workplace!”
Stephanie Wood, HR and Safety Manager

Fisher Construction Group, Burlington, WA

I found my Dietitian warm, funny, and skilled at teaching nutrition concepts without the overwhelm. The general approach of each session was to mix science with emotion, which was exceedingly effective in helping me shift my perspective on food from one of anxiety to one of joy and curiosity.”
Erin Kronstedt, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Excellent presentation! What a refreshing change to have a speaker inspire rather than “lecture” about nutrition. Your captivating stories, tips and overall approach to healthy eating uplifts and puts people at ease. It was great to hear we don’t need to strive to be perfect eaters, and that small changes really can make a difference in how we feel and in our health. Thanks to Andrea, we have solutions to our everyday nutrition challenges that can actually work in real life!”
Tina Tamagi, Human Resources

ARC Resources Ltd.

“Had I not joined this course I would have struggled with no focus, low energy, and mindless eating. Andrea is an excellent teacher and motivator. This is not just a course, it is a nutrition club with mentorship, support, and connections with other people with similar situations.”
Lorri Lawrence, Pursuit of Healthiness online course participant

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