How Consumer Habits Shape the 2016 Food Trends

Global EAT - How Consumer Habits Shape the 2016 Food Trends
Consumers are increasingly engaged with the foods they purchase, says Smith. (Nikao Media)

Canadians like trying new products, especially millennials whose tastes are driving product innovation in the food industry. Find out what’s hot in the 2016 food trends?

Canadians like trying new products, with the highest interest among younger shoppers, 85% of millennials and 69% seniors, according to the 2015 BrandSpark Canadian Shopper Study.

On food choices, the study found Canadians are attempting to choose healthier food options and realize the importance of diet in enhancing their overall health.

The findings were echoed by Shannon Smith, Nutrition Operations Manager of Choices Market – a leading B.C. independent grocer. According to Smith, consumers are increasingly engaged with the foods they purchase. Quality and healthy convenient foods that offer interesting, innovative flavours are in demand. Smith added that millennials are especially adventurous with their tastes, and this drives product innovation in the food industry.

What’s Hot for 2016?

So what food trends are expected on grocery store shelves this year? Retailers like Smith will get first-hand insight at Grocery & Specialty Food West show, taking place at Vancouver Convention Centre this April 4th and 5th.

Here are the top five trends to expect at this year’s show:

  • Unique and innovative taste combinations with creative flavours like rose hip jam, mint or cappuccino honey, blackberry ginger ale, and Canadian whiskey smoked meat.
  • Kosher certified products for better nutrition and health benefits.
  • Innovative bean-based products to meet growing demand for affordable protein. The UN General Assembly declared 2016 the International Year of the Pulses.
  • Milk alternatives have gone past lactose-free and soy alternatives to now feature a variety of plant-based options like oat milk, rice milk, almond milk, and coconut milk.
  • Packaging makeovers with some favourite brands and products coming up with new looks, more product information on their labels, and modified packaging size to accommodate the changing Canadian household size.

Grocery & Specialty Food West is the only annual grocery expo in Western Canada to continually provide grocers exclusive access to food distributors and industry suppliers.