Top 3 Health & Nutrition Trends for 2016
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calgary_HeraldIf you work in the health, fitness, food, grocery, agricultural or restaurant industry, nutrition trends are one of the key areas you need to keep up with.

Here are three of the top trends that you need to understand to continue to create solutions for your customers in 2016 and beyond:

1. Personalized & Philosophical

Grocery retailers and restaurants have seen a large increase in consumer demand for choice and customized food options. Not only is this trend stronger than ever in the food industry but health professionals also need to be prepared to individualize nutrition plans that speak to each person’s unique food philosophy.

While everyone seems to have an opinion about which diet is best, how a consumer defines health is extremely different. For some this will mean simple “real, clean or fresh” or more probiotics, healthy fats, non-dairy milks or ancient grains. Some will boast a plant-based vegan diet is best, while others advocate for the opposite (a higher protein paleo-style diet).

One size has never fit all for food preferences and now there is research to support the same to be true for how food impacts our body. Health, sport and weight management research has established there is not one way to achieve good health. Programs or companies that attempt to provide a one-size-fits-all plan or strategy are outdated. Personalized and customized is here to stay.

This is good news for all health and wellness industries since it offers plenty of opportunity and a variety of ways to engage consumers with different food philosophies and preferences. The challenge will be that you can’t speak to everyone and so your brand and offerings may repel as many people as you attract.

2. Simple & Small

grocery shopping cartLess is more and a new term has surfaced in the food industry called “healthification.” Shoppers want simple foods that are closer to nature, minimally processed and contain fewer ingredients. Gone are the days when food marketers think they can pull the wool over consumer eyes and pump food full of a long list of strange sounding ingredients and preservatives that your grandmother wouldn’t recognize.

According to the 2016 Global Food and Drink Trends document by leading market research firm Mintel, artificial ingredients are “public enemy No. 1.” Buzzwords will emphasize the notion of “free-from” (antibiotic-free, GMO-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, free-from artificial sweeteners and preservative-free).

Not only will companies that emphasize simple foods grow, so will those that downsize quantity. Supersized portions are out. Mindful meals and more snacking are in. It is not just millennials that are after snacks, according to the market research firm The NPD Group’s, The Future of Eating: Who’s Eating What in 2018?, better-for-you snack foods are growing in popularity since they are seen as a convenient solution to improve health.

The International Food and Information Council (IFIC) Food and Health Survey 2015 suggested that three-quarters of respondents would be likely to eat smaller portions as a key strategy to help manage their weight. Given that Statistics Canada reports that over 60 per cent of men and 46 per cent of adult women are overweight or obese, there is tremendous opportunity in the food, grocery and restaurant industry to innovate portion controlled options to help consumers successfully reduce weight. The challenge will be finding ways to fill up consumer eyes as consumers get used to the appearance of smaller amounts.

3. Stories & Sustainability

Consumers want a romance when it comes to their food. They want to know that there is a feel-good story behind who produces their food, how and why. They also want to be able to share and connect about this through social media. They are more skeptical about legacy big food companies, so expect more large manufacturers to acquire smaller healthier brands.

Transparency, eco-stewardship and care for the common good are not going away for food producers. Showing you care extends to sustainability. Sustainability is not only well received by consumers but is a necessary reality for food producers given rising bottom line costs and worries about a shortage of water and excess food waste.

The IFIC Food and Health Survey 2015 reported that over the last year 72 per cent have thought about how their food and beverages are farmed or produced and 64 per cent have thought about sustainability.

Buzzwords you can expect to see more of include natural, local, organic, hormone-free, antibiotic-free and eco-friendly. Also expect to see more notes on food highlighting recycled and compostable packaging.

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"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. They 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. Excellent teaching and motivation. 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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