Natural Grocers polled its category managers, nutrition experts and editorial staff to uncover what trends to expect in nutrition and health for 2017. Here are the top 10 predictions.
1. Eating Healthy Also Means Eating Ethically
Whether it is ethical eggs or humane animal husbandry, consumer interest in how their food is produced
is at an all-time high. This is perhaps most evident by the passage of legislature in New Hampshire that bans the use of inhumane animal confinement methods. Even more telling, 78% of voters supported this law.
2. The Popularity of Organics Continues to Grow and Grow... and Grow
As more people, especially millennials, realize how pesticides and nutrition impact their health, they are demanding food that is healthier and more nutritious. This has translated into a robust organic industry that has experienced double-digit annual growth. One thing to keep in mind is that just because a grocery store sells organic, that does not mean it is committed to protecting the environment and promoting health. Look for stores that only sell organic produce, as this will reduce the risk of cross-contamination and ensure that farmers who do things the right way are being supported.
These non-alcoholic beverages are thoughtfully constructed, eye-catching and delicious. Recipes for how to make your own mocktails are popping up all over. Check out these recipes created by Karen Falbo, natural foods chef and director of nutrition education at Natural Grocers.
4. The Spice Turmeric is HOT
Turmeric, one of the most heavily researched supplement and dietary ingredient, is showing up all over. It's in juices
and tonics, used to color macaroni, and driving herbal supplement sales. This powerful free radical scavenger supports a healthy inflammatory response and cognitive function--two highly important aspects of health for the American population.
5. Noodles Have Been Replaced by Zoodles
Nutrient-dense vegetable noodles, such as zucchini noodles (zoodles), or sweet potato noodles, can be made
with a spiralizer and used to replace high-carbohydrate, nutrient poor processed grains in all your favorite dishes. Expand your horizons and add jicama, beets, daikon and more to your diet, all in the form of noodles, in your favorite dishes. From Pad Thai to spaghetti and meatballs, these dishes are versatile and delicious. The New York Times
bestseller Inspiralized, by Ali Maffucci, has all the details.
6. Minimize Food Waste
Almost half of the food in America is wasted. Not only can reducing food waste save the environment, it can save money, too.
7. Grassfed... Everything
While organic milk and milk from cows not given recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) have been popular for some time, quality grassfed dairy takes it a step further. When cows or goats only eat grasses and other forages, as nature intended, it translates into healthier milk from healthier cows, says Natural Grocers. And it's not just dairy; grassfed meat and even dietary supplements like whey protein are now being sourced from grassfed cattle.
8. Snack Attack Is Back
Snacking -- especially for millennials, has become the perfect opportunity to eat healthy. A recent demographic trend report in which 62% of millennials reported snacking throughout the day. More and more of these snacks are low in sugar, non-GMO and/or gluten-free: meat bars, hummus, vegetable dips and sardines will define this trend.
9. Fat Phobia is Ending
With recent scientific literature showing no clear association between saturated fat and the risk of heart disease, and a
society more open to embracing healthy fats, fat phobia is coming to an end. Fats from coconuts, olives and avocados are appearing in a variety of products and full-fat dairy is also making a comeback. This is a positive trend as fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins E and A are frequently missing from Americans' diets.
10. Easy Ways to Supplement the Diet
Everyone wants to have a nutrient-rich diet, not everyone is ready to embrace taking pills. That's where all the new and often less intimidating forms of dietary supplements come into play. Tasty fish oil liquid swirls, multivitamin gummies, superfood-rich smoothie mixes and collagen powders are all easy ways to supplement the diet, providing a nutrient-dense boost to a daily routine.
Founded in Colorado in 1955, Natural Grocers has more than 3,000 employees and operates 131 stores in 19 states.