FullTilt Rounds Up Bloggers' Top Food Trends for New Year
- by Maggie Mead
ORLANDO, FL - Staying on top of food trends can be hard work. Fads come and go, and there’s always the latest and greatest thing just on the horizon, and a new year means new trends. Luckily, FullTilt Marketing has, for the second year in a row, surveyed a selection of food bloggers the nation over for their unique insight on new and continuing food trends, and the how those trends impact consumers.
“When it comes to consumer trends, food bloggers offer a unique perspective,” stated Managing Partner Heidi McIntyre. “They are constantly monitoring the responses to their recipe posts, engaging with their followers, and keeping tabs on other food bloggers, which gives them an edge in understanding consumer preferences.”
From the continuing popularity of organics to street food, specialty diets, and locally-sourced foods, the bloggers ranked the most popular and prevalent food trends that pop up, or continue into the new year
Fresh, Whole, and Natural is the Name of the Game
As an overarching theme, demand this year was high for whole, fresh, non-processed foods, and the trend shows no sign of stopping. Bloggers commented on the sense of nostalgia leading cooks to get back to basics and make their dishes from scratch. This year, bloggers epressed nearly double the concerns over added ingredients and increased concern over GMOs, last year's number one concern. Bloggers reverted to concerns over sustainability, food waste, hormones, gluten, and social responsibility to guide their food decisions.
“It’s not surprising to see growing consumer awareness about the food they eat, especially related to where it’s from, who grew it/made it, and what’s in it,” commented Managing Partner Melinda Goodman in a press release. “Today’s consumer has access to more information than ever before and we are entering a new era of consciousness that has consumers considering a holistic view of health, wellness and even community and economic impact.”
Keep it Local
In the same vein, conversations about ‘how and where our food is grown’ still dominates among bloggers, trend makers, and consumers. Locally grown translates into sales, according to food industry research firm Packaged Facts. Packaged Facts sees local food sales increasing to $20 billion in 2019, set to outpace the country’s total food and beverage sales growth.
Diets Aren’t Just for the New Year
Coming in at second and third among blogger trends are specialty diets and healthy meals. 45 million Americans start a diet each year, reports Health & Science, and in most households at least one member sticks to a specialty diet. As a result, specialty diets like keto, paleo, and Whole 30 continue to hold mass appeal.
Ditch the Bowls, Bring on the Comfort Food
While 2018 saw smoothie, food, and poke bowls blowing up on social media feeds, 2019 is poised to bring in a new wave of basic comfort foods. DIY food projects like pickling and fermenting and homemade condiments are gaining popularity. Don’t expect the boring old staples, though, as global, international flavors like ramen, tikka masala, and curries are on the rise.
Bloggers Get Crafty With Their Foods
In a new category introduced this year, bloggers were asked about changes in their shopping habits, including not only what they buy, but where they shop. The majority reported more online shopping, with over a third shopping at more stores and more value formats. Moving away from larger national brands, 70 percent of the bloggers focused on purchasing an increased number of local, specialty, and craft brands, with half purchasing more private label products.
“Consumers of every type are fickle; including bloggers and their readers. As marketers it’s our job to continue to make educated guesses about what’s next, while also wooing consumers to choose what we tell them to,” remarked Goodman. “What is clear from the survey is consumers have an expectation to be better informed. 72 percent of bloggers told us that they felt brands were doing a better job of being more transparent, but those results came with a healthy dose of skepticism where bloggers shared comments that they also felt that transparency was cloaked in telling them what they wanted to hear, and they weren’t sure what information they could trust.”
Keeping up with trends may be intimidating, but this year’s fads aren’t hard to decipher. Consumers in increasing numbers are looking for safe, healthy foods that can come from anywhere, provided that source aligns with their values and offers value. Click here to read the full report.