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Which 2018 Food Industry Trends Are Here to Stay?

December 20, 2018

Consumers are notoriously fickle, with fad foods emerging and then disappearing in the blink of an eye. But some food industry trends linger. What food industry trends from 2018 made the biggest splash, and will continue to resonate in 2019? We think three big trends with staying power are culinary indulgence, dairy-free and vegan, and healthy reduction.

Culinary Indulgence

Food indulgence and comfort foods are back in style. David Sprinkle, research director for Packaged Facts says, “We all have contradictory impulses on occasion, and over-the-top indulgences are always going to be here. It shouldn’t be a staple or your breakfast, but all-out indulgence always has a place.” As a result, chefs are actively looking to create Gold Standard recipes that capture culinary indulgence. The key to their success is authenticity, but doing so at a large scale can be a challenge. Fortunately, Edlong makes capturing culinary indulgence easier. Our vast library of flavors help chefs and product developers maintain the integrity of Gold Standard recipes even in the most demanding applications. As we wrote in an earlier blog post, “Achieving the Gold Standard vision in a commercially viable product, without the right tools and expertise, can be incredibly difficult—but at Edlong, we help our customers do it every day.” For example, our flavors can create the rich, authentic profile of commodity butter but at a reduced cost. We can even translate those Gold Standard desserts into perfectly delicious vegan desserts such as decadent vegan caramels or chocolate truffles by replacing the butter with dairy free natural butter flavor.

When consumers are satisfied, when their demands for culinary authenticity are met, their loyalty follows. Edlong flavors capture the rich, creamy sweetness that is the foundation of authentic and indulgent dairy taste. While food industry trends may shift, we believe the demand for indulgent authenticity is here to stay.

Dairy-Free & Vegan

As expected, the demand for dairy-free food and beverages, including those that are vegan, continues to explode. Back in January, 2018, the Vegan Society reported: “Demand for meat-free food increased by 987% in 2017 and going vegan was predicted to be the biggest food trend in 2018.” We expect vegan demand to be one of the food industry trends that extend through 2019. For example, the growth in non-dairy milk is expected to continue through 2022 and become a $3 billion category. Edlong is well positioned to participate in that growth. We have over 250 authentic, dairy-free flavors that help deliver dairy flavor, richness and mouthfeel to vegan choices.

One of the barriers to developing dairy-free and vegan foods has always been taste, but Edlong dairy flavors mask the often bitter off-notes of plant-based proteins. Our flavor scientists tap into their years of expertise to deliver the optimal taste and texture to dairy-free products. A great example is our vegan ice cream. We start with our vegan base of all plant-based ingredients, and use natural, dairy-free Edlong flavors to build back the mouthfeel and sweetness of ice cream, including one of our favorites: Toasted Coconut Caramel.

Healthy Reduction

Consumers still want rich, decadent flavors but they are also focused on making healthier food choices. In other words, culinary indulgence isn’t enough. For many consumers, they want “permissible indulgence.” Edlong gives chefs and food developers the tools to create products featuring healthy reduction, without reducing their taste. Our unique Edlong® Sweet Spot flavor technology improves sweetness and mouthfeel while being labeled as Natural Flavor. Edlong® Sweet Spot makes foods sweeter, creamier and more delicious … while at the same time allowing for less or no added sugar, fat and sodium. A recent Gallup poll reported that 51% of all adults are actively trying to avoid sugar in their diet, 50% are avoiding fat and 42% are avoiding salt. According to the Hartman Group’s Health + Wellness 2017 report, half of all consumers say they are more engaged in their health and wellness. We look for the demand for healthy reduction to continue to swell, and continue to be food industry trends in 2019.

Past and Future Food Industry Trends

As we head into the new year, more and more food developers will try to predict the latest food trends that will appeal to consumers. We believe the best predictor of 2019 however, is by looking at those food industry trends that grew in 2018 but haven’t yet reached their peak. At Edlong, we help chefs satisfy new and continuing food industry trends again, and again.