The American Dietetic Association’s 2010 Food & Nutrition Conference offered a good glimpse of what’s hot and what’s not in health foods, and what will rule next year. Here are the top 10 health food trends for 2011.
Sodium overshadows trans-fat
With the 2010 dietary guidelines release forthcoming, manufacturers have been reformulating products with less sodium. Campbell’s soups with lower-sodium sea salt, Sargento’s line of cheese that’s 25 percent lower in sodium, and Subway’s initiative to further reduce the salt in the their subs were signs of more to come.
Gourmet gets a makeover
Imported food flown in from afar is so early-2000s. The new gourmet is anything in season, from the United States and grown humanely. Raisins brought sexy back stirred into delicate shortbread cookies and crab salad, while sustainable, domestic farm-raised barramundi fish garnered media attention.
Janet Helm, MS, RD, the blogger behind Nutrition Unplugged, says the two big buzzwords are “clean” and “conscious.” Foods manipulated to be fat-free, sugar-free and artificially colored have lost their luster and consumers will seek out foods with ingredients found in the pantry, not from a lab experiment.
Going green goes mainstream
Eating eco-friendly is no longer exclusive to tree huggers, and sales in this category are booming. Manufacturers shouted it from the rooftops as they strive to help save the planet when sourcing local, organic ingredients, using recycled packaging and establishing fair-trade practices.
Focusing on kids
Companies put their money where their mouth is by promoting healthier kids’ meals. Quick-service restaurants include more fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and less sugar; the American Dietetic Association unveiled its Kids Eat Right campaign; and the National School Beverage Guidelines made strides.