news & trends

Top 5 Food & Nutrition Trends from FNCE 2018

One of the best things about our job as food and nutrition experts is going to conferences to learn about new trends and share our learnings with YOU! This year’s Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE) in Washington DC did not disappoint! It’s the world’s largest food and nutrition event, attracting well over 10,000 delegates with hundreds of speakers and exhibitors. Here are our top takeaways from the event.

1. FODMAP Friendly. This was by far, the biggest trend at the show. FODMAP is an acronym for “Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides And Polyphenols”. These are different types of carbohydrates found naturally in everyday foods such as fruit, veggies, grains, beans and milk product. For some people, eating foods containing high amounts of these FODMAP carbohydrates may cause gas, bloating and other digestive symptoms. Dozens of products at FNCE sported a “FODMAP Friendly” logo, including Prego’s Sensitive Recipe pasta sauce (made without onions or garlic) and Lo-Fo flours.

fodmap friendly logo

Prego fodmap friendly

fodmap friendly foods

2. Protein Power. We’ve been following the protein trend for years now – not only how protein help to keep your muscles strong but also the power of protein across the lifecycle. This year’s FNCE show featured several protein packed products such as a peanut-based protein shake and a protein enriched pancake mix.

Peanut protein shake

Pancake protein

3. Probiotics. At last year’s FNCE event, exhibitors flaunted numerous probiotic products. This year, we saw even more innovations ranging from infused probiotic beverages to a combination protein/probiotic hot oatmeal.

probiotic drink

probiotic oatmeal with protein

4. Plant-based. Following this trend were plant-based beverages such as “sesame milk”, “banana milk” and yes, even plant-based maple water. When it comes to calcium, vitamin D and protein though, not all of these products are equivalent to cow’s milk or fortified soy beverage.

Sesame milk

banana milk

maple water

5. Snacking. Among the countless numbers of protein bars, we found snacks such as barley bars, flavoured chickpea snacks as well as single serve, shelf stable bean dips for on-the-go energy.

barley bars

chickpea snacks

Black bean portable dip snack

Which trend are you most excited about? We can help you leverage these trends in your business and communications. Contact us and let’s start a conversation!

2018 Food & Nutrition Trends

Trends 2018

Here’s a selection of trends predicted by food and nutrition experts around the world! We’ll share many more exciting new and influential trends at our 11th annual Nutrition for NON-Nutritionists course on April 18th. Join us to help your business leverage the insights on nutrition trends that will shape the future of eating.

1. Fermented Foods. In a recent survey of 2,500 dietitians fermented foods are predicted to be one of the top trends for 2018. A source of the good, probiotic bacteria, fermented foods include yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha, miso and natto. (Today’s Dietitian)

2. New and Improved Canada’s Food Guide.
It’s been a decade since the last national food guide. With the much anticipated launch of the new Food Guide this year, we can expect to see messaging around not just what to eat, but also how to eat. (Dietitians Sue Mah & Lucia Weiler)

3. Hello Leftovers, Goodbye Food Waste. Canadians will continue to think about how their food choices can reduce food waste. Consumer strategies include a revival in the use of leftovers, right-size portioning and GIY (Grow It Yourself). (Loblaw Food Council)

4. Mindful Choices. Today’s consumers are thoughtful, mindful and conscious about making responsible food choices. They want to understand what is in their food and how it was produced in order to make informed decisions for their health, sustainability and ethical issues. (Innova Market Insights)

5. Rising Food Prices. The price of vegetables and the price of food purchased at restaurants will each rise 4-6% this year. Climate patterns are driving vegetable prices up. The average family of four in Canada will pay $348 more this year on food to a total of $11,948, and 59% of that budget will be spent on dining out. (Canada’s Food Price Report 2018)

6. Micro-markets for Food. As consumers are learning more about food, they are looking for more specialized, individualized choices that align with their personal values whether it be nutritional profile (fat, sugar, sodium, calories), location of production or antibiotic use. This is driving the development of micro-markets for specialized products. (Food Focus 2018)

7. Technofoodology. By the year 2020, there will be 24 billion internet-connected devices installed globally – that’s about 3 devices for every human on earth! This IoT (Internet of Things) revolution is changing the way we purchase, receive and interact with our food. There will be continued expansion of resources including Alexa, Google Home, “click and collect” online grocery shopping, as well as delivery of restaurant meals and meal kits. (Business Insider, Supermarket Guru)

8. Food Blockchain Revolution. Thanks to the Bitcoin, blockchain technology is taking off as a novel way for the agri-food business to record and disclose transactions in an open virtual space across the entire supply chain. From farmer to processor to packer to distributor to packaged goods maker to retailer to food service operator to exporter, blockchain technology brings a new level of transparency and information sharing. For example, in the event of a food safety recall, specific products can be traced easily and quickly. (Ketchum Food Forecast)

BONUS TREND:  Career & learning emerged as the second most important trend that enables business performance, up from fifth last year. As companies build the organization of the future, continuous learning is critical for business success. (Deloitte, 2017 Global Human Capital Trends) Our Nutrition for NON-Nutritionists course testimonials confirm the empowering discoveries they made to help their business performance:
Solid one-day program. Highlighted the latest nutritional trends that are affecting everything from product innovation and marketing to government relations.
It was a great day and hugely useful. Really impressed with the amount of information packed into the day. 
This course was packed with truly relevant information, and right away I was able to apply some of my new knowledge here at the agency.

We hope that you’ll join us for an inspired day of learning at our 11th annual Nutrition for NON-Nutritionists course!

Food and Nutrition Trends from FNCE 2017

Sue FNCE sign 1 CROP

We were thrilled to attend the centennial Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE) – the world’s largest annual nutrition meeting hosted in Chicago by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics! With over 13,000 attendees, FNCE did not disappoint! The Expo trade show featured hundreds of food and nutrition products. Here are the ones that caught our eye!

PREBIOTICS and PROBIOTICS

Gut health is a growing trend! Prebiotics and probiotics work together to keep the gut healthy. Prebiotics are non-digestible carbohydrates that actually act as food for probiotics. Probiotics are healthy bacteria that live in our colon where they help to maintain a balance between the “good” and “bad” bacteria. From crackers to drinks to powders, these innovative products are designed to keep your gut healthy.

Farmhouse Culture Gut Shots – probiotic beverages and foods made with fermented veggies. Slogan: We’re here to ferment a food revolution!

Farmhouse Culture Gut Shots – probiotic beverages and foods made with fermented veggies. Slogan: We’re here to ferment a food revolution!

Go Live Probiotic & Prebiotic Beverages – the probiotic is housed in a foil-blister cap which can be added to the beverage when you’re ready to drink. Slogan: Think outside the bottle, look inside the cap!

Go Live Probiotic & Prebiotic Beverages – the probiotic is housed in a foil-blister cap which can be added to the beverage when you’re ready to drink. Slogan: Think outside the bottle, look inside the cap!

Regular Girl – prebiotic fibre and probiotics for the women whose life is anything but regular. Can be sprinkled on food or in beverages. Slogans: Eat, drink and be regular! You go girl! Déjà poo!

Regular Girl – prebiotic fibre and probiotics for the women whose life is anything but regular. Can be sprinkled on food or in beverages. Slogans: Eat, drink and be regular! You go girl! Déjà poo!

PROTEIN

We’ve been watching the protein trend grow for the past decade now. Featured at the FNCE show were protein packed pancake mixes and protein enhanced beauty products.

FlapJacked Protein Pancake & Baking Mix – boasting 19 grams of protein per 60 g serving from whey protein isolate and pea protein.

FlapJacked Protein Pancake & Baking Mix – boasting 19 grams of protein per 60 g serving from whey protein isolate and pea protein.

Vital Proteins – from free range bone broth collagen to wild caught marine collagen to collagen beauty water…with the belief that collagen will support bone health, joint health, gut health and a glowing skin, nails and hair.

Vital Proteins – from free range bone broth collagen to wild caught marine collagen to collagen beauty water…with the belief that collagen will support bone health, joint health, gut health and a glowing skin, nails and hair.

PLANT-BASED BEVERAGES

Move over soy, almond and rice. Make way for new plant-based beverages made from nuts and pea protein.

Elmhurst Milked Peanuts – 2 new beverage options: straight up peanuts (made with 21 peanuts) or peanuts plus Dutch cocoa. Contains 8 g of protein per cup however not fortified with either calcium, vitamin D or vitamin B12.

Elmhurst Milked Peanuts – 2 new beverage options: straight up peanuts (made with 31 peanuts) or peanuts plus Dutch cocoa. Contains 8 g of protein per cup however not fortified with either calcium, vitamin D or vitamin B12.

Bolthouse Plant Protein Milk -  made with pea protein, contains 10 g protein per cup and fortified with calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B12.

Bolthouse Plant Protein Milk – made with pea protein, contains 10 g protein per cup and fortified with calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B12.

Veggemo – veggie-based  non-dairy beverage made from pea protein. Fortified with calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B12, but only 3-4 g protein per cup.

Veggemo – veggie-based non-dairy beverage made from pea protein. Fortified with calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B12, but only 3-4 g protein per cup.

Spotlight on Metabolic Syndrome – Highlights from the Canadian Nutrition Society Conference

CNS 2016 conf snag it cropped 4

Metabolic Syndrome is a dangerous health condition affecting 1 in 5 Canadians. Despite it’s prevalence, little is known about metabolic syndrome. At the Canadian Nutrition Society’s 2016 Conference, experts shed light on this growing public health crisis.

Metabolic Syndrome was only identified about 20 years ago and is not a disease itself but a group of health conditions that includes high blood pressure, diabetes, high blood cholesterol levels, and excess abdominal fat. People with metabolic syndrome are also more likely to have chronic inflammation, another sign of health in danger.

Lucia & Penny K-E CNS lowe resolution

Lucia Weiler, RD & Dr. Penny Kris-Etherton, distinguished Professor of Nutrition

Here are the key takeaway messages from the conference:

  • Dr Penny Kris-Etherton, Pennsylvania State University shared, “The power of a healthy diet is remarkable in lowering metabolic syndrome risk.” A high quality diet that especially includes more fruit and vegetable intake reduces risk of metabolic syndrome. Best results are achieved with concurrent weight loss, but changing to a healthy diet improves metabolic syndrome even without weight loss.
  • Dr. Wendy Ward, Brock University explained that diabetes weakens bone structure and increases the risk of bone fractures in people with metabolic syndrome.
  • Gut bacteria contribute to positive health. Dr Comelli, University of Toronto recommended we should aim to have a diverse gut microbiome that resembles a diverse rainforest not a barren desert.
  • Dr. Angelo Tremblay, Laval University agreed and stated that “Yogurt is the best player of the dairy food team” because it is nutrient dense and provides probiotics to boost good gut bacteria.
  • Dr. Benoit Lamarche, Laval University reviewed the new research on saturated fatty acids and its impact on heart disease. He stressed the importance to identify the source of dietary saturated fat and to advise individuals to enjoy whole, unprocessed foods more often to help reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Lamarche praised the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s position statement on Saturated Fat, Heart Disease and Stroke.
  • Dr. Khursheed Jeejeebhoy, University of Toronto and the father of clinical nutrition in Canada introduced a Metabolic Syndrome CHANGE program and offered these 3 tips for for dietary change:
    1. Advise people they have Metabolic Syndrome
    2. Explain to them it is a life threatening condition
    3. Engage patients and provide them with personalized tools for change best suited to them
  • Finally, Jennifer Sygo, Registered Dietitian closed the conference by sharing practical tips for helping clients make meaningful nutirition and lifestyle changes to achieve their personal health goals. There is no magic diet – rather, the best diet for weight loss is the one that works for you and you can stick to it. Dietitians provide credible, evidence-based information, and translate the science into the context of the whole diet for consumers to understand.

Top Trends for 2014

From protein and probiotics to tea and cooking, we’ve got the scoop on the top 10 hottest trends for 2014.

  1. Protein Power – New science is underscoring the beneficial effect of dietary protein on weight management and muscle health. For example, eating a high protein breakfast not only leads to increased feeling of fullness but also reduces evening snacking. Also, a protein source at each meal and snack helps to maintain energy and muscle strength especially after exercise and as we age. In light of this, current protein recommendations may be under review with respect to the amount and distribution of dietary protein, including considerations for meal based rather than specific daily recommendations.
  2. Anti-wheat Sentiment – Although scientific evidence is lacking for wheat – or gluten-elimination diets for weight loss or health (unless it is associated with a clinical disorder or disease) consumers will continue to seek this popular diet. According to an NDP survey 28% of adults claimed to be cutting down or avoiding gluten completely.
  3. Supermarket Savvy – Supermarket Dietitians are increasingly visible at grocery stores which is an exciting trend for consumers. Registered Dietitians are the food and nutrition experts who are uniquely positioned to assist Canadians to shop smarter, cook healthier, and make healthier food choices. Some experts predict that supermarkets could become a new form of the culinary centre. Many stores already offer cooking demos or “community cooking centers” that allow shoppers to come together and learn from one another.
  4. Back to Basics with Cooking – The 2014 Nutrition Month Campaign – Simply Cook and Enjoy! – is dedicated to serving up practical advice on cooking and food skills from dietitians, the food and nutrition experts. Health Canada’s Healthy Eating Awareness and Education Initiative for 2014 concentrates on Healthy Eating and Healthy weights by focusing on food skills, portion sizes and calories. Industry experts say that a deeper understanding of how Canadians prepare and consume meals helps manufacturers and retailers provide mealtime solutions in the kitchen.
  5. Pro Biotic Power & Fermented Foods – Studies suggest that probiotics (live bacteria in food) may help lessen diarrhea, improve symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Consumers may be interested in foods other than yogurt that contain probiotics such as fermented foods like kefir milk, sauerkraut and kimchi. Also watch for more news on the gut – brain connection.
  6. Sugar & Sugar Substitutes – Media and consumers are intent on added sugar as another food trend. An IFIC survey reported that 58% of Americans are trying to limit or avoid sugar. Helping consumers understand the role of naturally occurring sugar, added sugar and sugar substitutes is important so they can make informed food and nutrition choices.
  7. Local & Eco-conscious – Sustainable food systems, local and eco-friendly foods are important to many Canadians who believe that a sustainable eating pattern contributes to their own health as well as the health of the planet. Food researchers say roughly one-third of food produced for humans around the globe is lost or wasted each year – 1.3 billion tons of it. Increased awareness of this problem is expected in 2014 with home and restaurant food preparers attempting to reduce food waste. Look for ways to promote sustainability in the kitchen, understand the issues of organics, local food systems, food choices, and carbon footprint.
  8. Government & Industry Compliance – Canada’s regulatory landscape continues to evolve and as a result industry’s relationship with regulators is also changing. Health Canada recognizes that a safe food supply is a major contributing factor to the health of Canadians. Food industry is also committed to providing safe food and wants to make sure consumers are happy with their products and continue to purchase them. Maintaining healthy and happy consumers is a challenge government and industry must face by working together.
  9. Tea is Hot – Canadian Tea consumption is expected to rise by 40%. Flavoured teas are catching on too. Expect to hear more about the health benefits of tea flavonoids related to heart health, brain health and weight management. Furthermore, tea is not just for sipping anymore, this natural ingredient is making its way into rubs, broths and marinades.
  10. The Age of (Mis)information & Social Media – Consumers continue to have an appetite for food and nutrition information which will only grow in 2014. Bloggers will continue to write about nutrition and health, there will be more and better food photography – watch for it on Pintrest and Instagram. With the boom of social media and the interest in health and nutrition, Canadians will continue to need advice from food and nutrition experts like dietitians to cut through the clutter.

Canadian Digestive Health – November 5, 2013

We attended the annual Canadian Digestive Health Foundation Summit for health professionals to get the latest updates on this exiting area of research. There is so much to learn about the human microbiome which is the collection of microbes – bacteria, viruses, and single-cell eukaryotes – that inhabits the human body. Did you know that microbes in your body outnumber your human cells by a ratio of ten to one? Research is mounting on this newly recognized inner body ecosystem of microorganisms that appear to impact much more than just your digestive tract.

Bacteria establish themselves in the body early in life and once they’ve ‘moved in’ they tend to stay for the duration of a person’s life. You may wonder what these 8 million microbial genes are doing in our body. In a fascinating overview we heard researchers describe the diversity of microbial communities which inhabit the human gut and the unique ways in which they interact with our body and other bacteria. For example, our microbiomes have a role in energy metabolism, including fat, carbohydrate and protein breakdown. Bacteria influence gut health, help protect you from food-borne illnesses and play an important role in immune function. An exciting area of research is understanding the differing composition of gut bacteria in obese vs lean people and how microbes influence how much energy we burn and how much fat we store. Not only is a healthy and diverse bacterial flora linked to good gut health but now researchers are starting to understand the gut – brain interaction as well.??Keeping your gut flora healthy with a diverse ‘friendly ‘ bacteria may help keep out disease-causing microbes and make you less susceptible to gastrointestinal infections and bowel ailments such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Watch for more news on this topic as scientists work to understand the role or probiotics in the prevention and treatment of human diseases.

In the meantime, consider our top tips for optimizing your gut flora:

  • Choose foods that contain probiotics (live friendly bacteria) such as fermented dairy (yogurt, kefir) and fermented vegetables.
  • Include prebiotics that are a source of fibre such as whole grains, fruit, vegetables, beans and legumes.
  • Practice a healthy lifestyle and exercise regularly.