The new year is sure to see some new trends in the way people eat. Topping the list for disruptive innovation expected in 2019 — local foods. That’s the projection by the U.S. Food Market Outlook report from Packaged Facts.

The report called local the evolution of organic purchasing. The concept is that locally grown food . . . especially vegetables . . . are fresher because of their proximity to where they are sold. While the report specifically focused on innovation of local fruit and vegetable production in greenhouses, it’s impact on dairy could be well-noted in the farm-to-table movement and the expansion of on-farm processing.

The second disruptive innovation predicted by the report was an interest in greater authenticity that will drive further innovation. This plays into consumers’ interest and commitment to restaurant quality meals that can be served at home. The report indicated the importance of this factor, especially in the frozen meal arena. Customers are looking for foods that have the “restaurant quality” and “chef-inspired” factors with the ease of microwave dinners.

Impacts on ice cream

New food players are also poised to disrupt food markets this coming year. The report highlighted the ice cream market in its report, emphasizing the movement of Halo Top over the last few years. Its product has pushed competitors like Ben & Jerry’s and Breyers to launch products with protein, low calories, and less sugar. Halo Top’s emphasis on “healthy ice cream” should be of note to dairy producers as a third of their advertised flavors are dairy-free.

The final disruptive food factor outlined in the Packaged Facts report has been the changing cultural focus to improve gut health. This carries good news for dairy producers as yogurt and kefir are two of the more popular gut health food products. Popular trends for foods such as kombucha (fermented tea) and kimchi (fermented vegetables) have certainly also caught on with consumers interested in improving their gut health.

While the crystal ball can never be clear, dairy can both celebrate and keep a close eye on these predicted disrupters for 2019.

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(c) Hoard's Dairyman Intel 2019
March 25, 2019
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