I can’t believe it’s December. Between a cross country move, a new job, several journeys ‘back East’, a trip to Australia, and the usual day-to-day stuff, this year has truly flown by at a startling speed. No one told me that adult life would move at such a furious pace (or be filled with so many frequent flyer miles)!
With the first window of my (chocolate) advent calendar already open, I find myself thinking about what’s in-store for 2016.
Seeking some professional inspo, I dug into the latest advances and emerging trends in food and nutrition. Here’s what I think we can expect to see more of food-wise next year:
1. Probiotics in new places.
We have only just begun to unravel the complexity of the gut microbiome, and its role in everything from autoimmune disease to mood disorders. Expect probiotics ('good bacteria') to expand beyond yogurt and supplements, and appear in a wider variety of foods next year, including granola/muesli bars and juice.
2. Increasingly personalized food delivery options.
By now you’ve probably heard of Blue Apron, Sprig, Plate Joy and a variety of other food delivery services. Some provide ingredients and recipes, while others deliver ready-made ‘home-cooked’ meals to your door. The competition in this market is hot, and increasingly health-focused; expect meal delivery servings to accommodate a growing number of dietary restrictions and food preferences in 2016.
Lauded for being an environmentally-friendly source of protein, crickets and other creepy crawlies are popping up in protein bars, cookies, and other snack foods. Crickets have the most traction at the moment, with companies like Exo and Bitty harnessing the power of this complete and sustainable source of protein. (For SF-dwellers: Don Bugito insect snacks can be found at the Ferry Terminal if you want sample some six-legged creatures). Expect more experimentation with insect-protein in 2016.
4. Dairy-free cheese.
Dairy-free milk options have expanded over the last couple of years, with soy, almond, coconut, and rice milk now commonplace on supermarket shelves. Well now the dairy free movement is spilling into cheese. Companies like Kite-Hill are forging the way for high-quality, plant-based cheese products that taste just like the real deal.
5. Sprouted grains.
Previously limited to natural food stores and raw food devotees, sprouted grains are starting appear in many mainstream breads, cereal and pasta products. Sprouted grains are particularly helpful for vegetarians and vegans because reduced phytic acid levels make important nutrients like zinc and iron more available. Expect to see 'sprouted' on more grain products in 2016.