If you’re hip to the latest diet and nutrition trends, then you’re probably a believer in the two P’s: Protein and Probiotics. These nutritional factors have become increasingly popular among consumers over the last year. Protein is heralded for helping build muscle mass and control appetite cravings. Probiotics are essential to maintaining gut health and digestion.
As shoppers demand more protein and probiotics in their foods, marketers and manufacturers are rushing to keep pace. This movement has lead to the creation of new products and the re-invention of others, setting the pathway for new food trends in 2017.
Merriam-Webster defines a probiotic as “a microorganism that when consumed maintains or restores beneficial bacteria to the digestive tract.” With the growing awareness of digestive diseases and diet sensitivities, consumers are increasingly focused on improving their “gut health.”
Probiotics are naturally found in fermented foods, which contain live and active cultures. One of the most popular foods with naturally-occurring cultures is yogurt. Yogurt spikes annually in January, but content popularity has remained uncharacteristically high throughout 2017.
Leaders in the industry are already scrambling to release new probiotic-centric products. Frito-Lay recently filed a patent for new crispy yogurt chips. Kombucha, a fermented tea drink, is making waves in the beverage scene. PepsiCo recently added this probiotic-infused drink to it’s 2016 portfolio. Kombucha sales are projected to rise to $1.6 Billion industry-wide by 2020.
Protein in the traditional sense refers to red and white meats. However, a wave of more socially- and sustainability-focused consumers are turning to alternative sources. Searches for protein hit an all-time high in Q1 of 2017. Top keywords focus on vegetarian or vegan-friendly sources of protein, such as peanut butter, quinoa and plant-based powders.
Consumers are actively looking for easy-to-make recipes that increase their daily protein intake. Recipes for “protein balls” and “energy bites” have surged over the last year, encouraging brands - like Kellogg’s Special K - to introduce new, pre-made options.
Unconventional sources of protein are also on the rise. The snack food industry is seeing a spike in pea protein, with products like pea chips and crisps hitting the shelves. Bug-protein is crawling onto the scene as well, with cricket flour chips and snacks already available in stores.
DISCOVER MORE IN MUSE
The sudden interest in the topics listed above didn't become popular out of nowhere. Top influencers and Food & Drink bloggers have been incorporating these "new" nutritional food trends into content for some time now—which is why we (and the brands we work with) rely so heavily on our unique influencer data, which helps many of our clients discover the latest hot topic long before it's going viral on social media.
See below: From probiotic-rich "Buddha Bowls" and "Nice-Cream," to Quinoa Overnight Oats and Protein Pancakes, our influencer network is finding new, creative ways to engage their audience with delicious recipes while hitting on the latest trends.