If you have not decided yet what will be your food trend for 2016, here there are some clues.

When the year ends, a lot of studies appear and predict annual trends in every sector. In the food industry, lists are published on what will be in style next season, have turn into a tradition. Knowing trends is fundamental because it allows us to know what kinds of food will be part of the consumers’ diet, the key to develop new products, the technology needed in processes, etc.

Using like reference some studies by specialized consultants in market research and analysis, as Mintel (Global Food Report and Drink Market in 2016), Innova Market Insights, The Special Food Association, and the products introduced last October in Anuga Fair, it is possible to anticipate healthy tendencies for 2016.

Undoubtedly, this year, there is no excuse for not consuming vegetables because we can find them in all types of products like tea, yogurt, ice cream, etc.

Our concern for health, sustainability and animal welfare causes us to eat less meat, and we are becoming a kind of part-time vegetarians, which has been called ‘flexitarians’ (until now, we say flexitarian to refer to the people who be vegetarian until a jamón serrano appears on the table). This will involve the technological development of products in order to recall the texture of the meat, the search for alternative proteins and more respectful processes.

According to experts, this is an ideal moment for takeoff of organic food, to be considered by consumers as a common property for the planet. We demand ‘real food’, that is food without preservatives, artificial flavors or additives, produced using traditional techniques. In this sense, the ‘Clean Label’, a tendency of 2015, has turned into the ‘Clear Label’, that is we want that the label would be as clear as possible. In addition, we are interested in knowing the food origin, who makes them, how food is prepared, its properties, etc. Throughout 2016, we let ourselves be captivated by foods with message (‘food telling’).

This year, initiatives will grow in order to seek to convert waste into products with higher value added, and there will be more alternatives to transform these products which are ready to expire.

On the other hand, we are being witnesses the increase of allergen free products, especially without gluten. Nowadays, there are a lot of people who consume foods without gluten, in spite of not suffering celiac disease, only because they think that these kinds of products are healthier. Keeping it in mind, the food industry has had no choice to respond to a consumer demanding for quality products, sustainable production and wider choice in this field. It is increasingly common for brands to develop products under the slogan ‘triple free’, that is these products which obey several requests at the same time, for example, food without gluten, sugar and lactose.

During 2016, the image of snacks will change, and it will occupy positions as an option for healthy food specially for breakfast and lunch. Consumers know that all the nutrients are not equal, so they will choose products with healthy fats, fiber and protein sources (specially peas and quinoa). It is expected that the moringa be the next ‘superfood’, the broccoli be the fashionable vegetables and millet grain the last alternative.

Gradually we will be immersed in an increasingly personalized nutrition in order to choose these products that are good for our lifestyle. Marketing departments feel that millennians, muppies or foodies will be the future. The milleannians look for natural food, produced in a sustainable way; muppies want all kind of food that give them the nutrients needed to face the physical exercises; finally, foodies rely on private label products. Defrauding these groups can have serious consequences because their opinions will spread like wildfire through social networks.


In 2016, easy or pre-cooked products will have a great success, and better if they are individual packages (single dose), because there are a lot of people who live alone or in smaller families.

The countdown has begun and CARTIF goes on to innovate in healthy eating. We wish this year would be a very innovative year.

María Morillo Cabello
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