Tyson Foods is biggest U.S. food company. To stay on top, it recognizes that it needs to stay abreast of the latest food trends. So earlier this year it formed the Trendtellers Council and packed it full of food leaders and innovators. That council has now delivered its first list of projected food trends.
The council predicts these will be the biggest and hottest trends for 2019:
- Personalized foods to promote health and beauty
- Transparent food takes hold
- More protein in more forms
- The power of smart technology and food
- Food as a form of self-expression
- Fusion of global cuisines at home
So what do these mean and how can agriculture capitalize? I’ll explain…
Personalized foods to promote health and beauty
This is essentially the idea that we eat certain foods to reach certain goals. The council suggests that perhaps a certain snack could be consumed with your morning coffee to really get your brain to “crackle with energy.” Instead of just eliminating unnecessary ingredients, we add “superfoods” to give us a boost.
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a “superfood.” And there is no scientific evidence suggesting that your DNA can help you personalize your diet for the best you. But agriculture can benefit by doing a better job promoting our products based on this insight. Milk should be marketed as a great source for lots of protein and essential nutrients. Beef isn’t just for dinner, it helps fuel your workouts. How does your product help people accomplish their goals?
Transparent food takes hold
Yes, we know all know that consumers want more information about their food. They want to know where it was grown, how it was grown, how it was harvested, and how it landed on their plates. And while much of this seems trivial to farmers, its a reminder that this trend isn’t going any where soon.
That means ag-vocating is more important than ever. Someone is going to tell the story of agriculture. If it isn’t farmers, it probably won’t be the narrative we like. So we need to continue to open up and let consumers get to know us.
More protein in more forms
Consumers want protein, protein, and more protein. Public demand for meat continues to rise, reaching record highs in 2018. And new trends like insect protein and cell-based meats are also expected to take off.
Animal farmers are obviously in a great spot to take advantage of this trend. And other farmers should consider whether they could benefit from raising sources of protein.
The power of smart technology and food
This might be the most cutting-edge trend on the list. As everything in our world becomes “smart,” we can expect our food to follow suit. The council predicts more recipe apps that can work directly with your appliances and walk you through preparing new dishes.
Although the trend is removed from the farm, farmers can still take note. Consumers are interested in the intersection of food and technology. Production agriculture has adopted lots of technology. And the public has always reacted with interest when we tell them about it. So we should keep doing that!
Food as a form of self-expression
This is probably the hardest thing for agriculture. As discussed on A User’s Guide to Cheating Death, the natural fallacy takes hold because people see food as a form of self-expression. That’s why organic and non-GMO foods are forms of identity. It makes people feel really good about their choices and who they are.
But farmers can take advantage of this too. I purchase Land O’Lakes products because the company has always supported family farmers. I don’t buy groceries with The Non-GMO Project labels because the label is toxic. We need to make supporting good brands that don’t use fear as fashionable as possible!
Fusion of global cuisine at home
In a nutshell: more flavors and options at home. Consumers want something interesting, including options from around the world. And they’re willing to pay for it. Millennials specifically embrace this trend because its food as an experience.
This one is exciting because it means farmers can venture out to try new crops and take some risks. If they find the right flavor profiles, maybe it pays off.
What do you think? Did the council get it right? Are they nuts? Do you identify with any of these trends?