Loblaw Announces Canadian Food Trends for 2018
- by Lillie Apostolos
TORANTO, CANADA – As the new year approaches, what trends are on the horizon? Loblaw foresees retro-inspired meals, freak shakes, cook-and-cut sheet meals, and other interesting foods becoming popular in the Canadian home-fronts. The company’s Taste the New Next details the retailer’s predictions for Canadian food trends in 2018.
“With the announcement of the Loblaw 2018 Canadian Food Trends, we hope to encourage Canadians to think differently about what they are eating and where their food comes from,” said Greg Ramier, Executive Vice President of the Market Division, in a recent press release. “We hope our food trends list will inspire Canadians to try new things and discover new family favorites.”
An eclectic group of Canadian experts make up the Loblaw Food Council, which includes professional chefs, registered dietitians, academics, and Loblaw food experts. In the summer of 2017, the group met to review internal and industry data to predict what consumers will be buying—and biting—into this coming year.
Loblaw’s trends are the following:
Closing the Food Loop
With a grow-it-yourself mindset blossoming, this trend is focused on lessening food waste. For those without a green thumb, the retailer expects consumers will be looking for ways to cater portion sizes to their needs and reuse leftovers in new ways.
“Many Canadians are having conversations about how to reduce food waste in their households. Using leftovers to make new and exciting meals throughout the week is one simple thing we can all do at home to help make this challenging issue delicious,” said Chef Ned Bell, a Loblaw Food Council member.
Nothing is off limits in the 2018 Canadian diet. Freak shakes with incredible treats for toppings, morning cakes for breakfast, and full fat options in items like yogurt will be top sellers, according to the retailer.
“In an increasingly virtual world, Canadians are seeking food experiences that are novel, sensory, and nostalgic. The faster the world changes, the more Canadians yearn for themes and variations of the familiar,” said Sanjay Khanna, Futurist and Loblaw Food Council member.
Canadians are looking for ways to use everything they take home from their grocers. An aspect of this is the dual-purpose ingredient trend, which seeks to find new ways to use remaining products they purchased for another recipe. Consumers are also looking to the past for inspiration by rediscovering dishes of yesteryear and repurposing it with a 2018 twist.
“Canadians are looking to evoke a sense of nostalgia when it comes to their meals, but now benefit from unexpected ingredients and cooking tools that can help modernize these retro classics. For me, it’s about maintaining the great taste that you remember from when you were a kid, but reinventing it to make it a healthier and balanced meal,” said Kathy Jollimore, Chef, food stylist, food writer, and Loblaw Food Council member.
Consumers will be looking for new ways to get nutritious meals. Canada’s Food Guide will spark consumers’ interest in finding proper guidance for their nutrition endeavors; the Food Council expects that consumers will be more likely to join discussions on what nutrition actually means, what they should actually be eating, and how they can gain credible insight into the nutrition world.
Another aspect of this is the focus on gut health. Pre- and Probiotics, fermented foods, and other items focused on the gut’s health will become increasingly popular. On top of the gut’s spotlight, consumers will also hone in on reduced sugar intake.
“Canadians have taken a vested interest in what we put in our bodies, including the food choices we make. Gut health is the biggest trend I’m seeing right now. Probiotics are here to stay,” said Sue Mah, Registered Dietician and Loblaw Food Council member.
Cooking on the Clock
Canadian consumers are looking for accessibility and something they can take with them on the time-crunch go. Morning cook-and-cut sheet meals, as well as protein items like chicken and seafood, will be all the rage this coming year, as consumers look to meal-prepping for an a.m. jumpstart. Meal kits are another outlet that Canadians are looking to for value and customization to make life easier in their day-to-day happenings.
“Canadians think they don’t have enough time to cook, but the fact is, every meal doesn’t have to be Instagram-worthy. Breakfast, for example, can be as simple as scrambled eggs in a wrap, which takes less than five minutes. I want to challenge Canadians’ assumptions that they don’t have time to cook. Cooking can be fast AND really delicious,” said Claire Tansey, writer, chef, and Loblaw Food Council member.
As 2018 quickly approaches, these insider tips from Loblaw offer valuable insight into consumers’ mentalities and needs. The Food Council's ideas can be seen online, in-store, and in kitchens throughout 2018.
How will these trends take shape and settle in with New Year’s resolutions? AndNowUKnow will continue to report on their reflection in our industry.