Top Five Food Trends for Spring 2018

Over the past few years, the food industry has seen a huge shift in flavor and ingredient trends. Foods and textures that once consumed the nation, deep-fried foods, sugary drinks, and salty snacks, are now deemed unhealthy and thus, avoided like the plague. With plant-protein based dishes, all-natural beverages, and locally-sourced snack foods on the rise, we can see that trends have definitely shifted to align with the nation’s health food craze. Here, we have compiled a short list of five upcoming flavor and ingredient trends we are predicting to see in the spring of 2018.

1. Cold Brew Coffee & Beyond!

Most Americans, about 83%, drink coffee every day. Last year we saw everything from rainbow lattes, unicorn Frappuccino’s, and glitter in our beloved cup of Joe, to cold brew, nitrogen infused coffee, and even coffee-inspired cocktails. With spring right around the corner, it is hard to imagine what else could be in store for the coffee world. Hot cold brew is becoming more popular, popping up in corner stores and larger chains alike. “Hot” cold brew may sound like an oxymoron, but the cold brew process actually uses cold water, rather than hot, to brew the coffee, which cuts down on the acidity to provide a smoother flavor, and is easier to make in larger quantities. Cold brew is also popular with those who are health conscious. People are adding nut and seed milk to their favorite beverage, as well as superfoods like chia, turmeric, protein powder, maca, and flax seeds. By making your coffee nutrient-dense, that little pick me up can really provide you with the extra boost you need to get through the day.

 2. Soups > Juice

Juicing is way past its prime. Juice cleanses are still a very popular fab, but results from studies are showing that while yes, cleansing is good, the juice cleanses can cause an unhealthy increase in blood sugar. So while you may be losing water weight, you are putting your body at risk for other potential health issues. “Souping” is proving to be the latest and greatest trend because it’s a quick and easy way to get a multitude of vegetables and vitamins into your system. A group of researchers took the same exact foods, put one portion on a plate, and then took the other portion and blended it with a hot liquid to create a soup. Those who were given the hot soup serving reported staying fuller for longer. This is because their stomachs emptied more slowly. So put down that juice, and go grab yourself a warm, comforting cup of soup.

3. Plant Proteins

Being vegan or vegetarian has become the cultural norm, when just a decade ago, it was almost unheard of to not eat meat. The maj Learn More

Panera Bread Eliminates 150 ‘Unacceptable Ingredients’

Earlier this month, Panera Bread Co. announced that they are removing 150 ingredients from its food offerings. On May 5 released a lengthy list of ingredients that will be removed from or will never appear in its menu items, claiming to be the first national restaurant chain to do so. The company also announced its own clean- label salad dressings. (more…)

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Food Manufacturing Jobs Forecast

Fierce competition has led food manufacturing plants to invest in technologically advanced machinery to become more productive. The new machines have been applied to tasks as varied as packaging, inspection, and inventory control, but the processing of animal products remains a labor-intensive activity that is resistant to automation efforts. As a result, employment will decrease for some machine operators, such as packaging and filling machine operators and tenders, while employment growth is expected for industrial engineers and industrial machinery mechanics, who are responsible for the design or repair and maintenance of new equipment.

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5 Food Industry Trends for 2015

According to Todd Allsup, VP, Food & Beverage Facility Services, Stellar Group, Inc., there are five trends in the food industry that we should see in 2015.  Stellar is an worldwide architecture, engineering, construction and mechanical services firm that creates food and beverage processing plants, refrigerated warehouses, distribution centers and other food industry systems.

Here is a quick summary:

1. Innovations to Lower Food Costs

Pressures are rising for food manufacturers to lower their product costs. They are trying to find New products, new ideas that can help maintain profitability, and modifications to product categories. Food manufacturers are also on the hunt for more cost-effective means of manufacturing, standardizing equipment and exploring automation to minimize labor costs.

2. Healthier Foods

There’s been increasing interest in organic and natural foods by the public. For manufacturers this means reevaluating equipment types and how materials are processed. The handling is different for these products, impacting how lines are set up and operated. If a bakery is gluten free, for example, the processing is entirely different than if you were to use standard ingredients due to concerns over ingredient separation and cross contamination.

3.Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency has been popular mainly due to a shift by consumers who are concerned with the environment and what they’re putting into their bodies. By reducing energy consumption, food manufacturers are reducing costs and increasing profits.

4. China Market

With its large and rapidly growing middle class, China now represents a major new market for large food and beverage companies. Because U.S. companies have respected reputations regarding food safety and product quality, Chinese consumers are willing to pay premiums for their products. Many multinational companies are now capitalizing on this opportunity to move into the Chinese market.

5. Refrigeration Strategy

Due to its damage to the atmosphere, food manufacturers must phase out R-22 refrigerants and move toward natural options such as CO2 by the year 2020. Right now, food manufacturers are making plans for the shift. There are new technologies and developments emerging around refrigeration and distribution such as skid-mounted refrigeration systems that use CO2 instead of ammonia.

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