Unpacking the Food Trends of 2018

At the start of every year we see a deluge of articles about food trends. If you feel overwhelmed by the abundance of information, you’re not alone. It can be difficult to peel back the media hype and find something we can really sink our teeth into.

Reducing food waste was a value goal for co-founders Neal and Louisa to create Arctic® apples, but another was a want to see us all eat more apples. In the trends for 2018, we were curious if these values made the cut.

Here are a few of the trends within those many food trend lists – and apples make an appearance.

Trend: eat fruits & vegetables

It’s not surprising to see eating more fruits and vegetables as part of several food trends for 2018. As a society we’re on a collective health kick; at least, we try. And we agree that it’s a challenge to find time and ways to keep fruits and vegetables top of mind when life gets busy.

The BBC identifies veganism as a trend for 2018, and as apple growers we can get behind that. Looking for a burger every now and then? There’s still a place for it on the table. The option for plant-based eating has widened: something called flexitarianism, defined as “a plant-based diet with the occasional inclusion of meat”, is new and on the rise.

Trend: sustainability & less waste

One of the trends we love to see for 2018 is the increased talk of sustainability and what that means beyond using recyclable packaging. In a recent Food Dive article, Cathy Seigner identifies the increased importance of reducing food waste as something on trend this year.

Part of the reason we went the nonbrowning apple path was to reduce the risk of apples becoming waste before they get to the grocery store shelves. It’s good to see 2018 food trends include restaurants reducing food waste – like this one with zero waste. The industry itself identifies food waste reduction as the #4 top concept trend for 2018, with environmental sustainability at #6. Thanks for joining the party.

Trend: science-based foods

A trend close to our hearts. Science and food go together like peanut butter and jelly, from the first plant breeding to the latest in molecular gastronomy. An increase in appetite for plant-based meats and alternatives is part of the new trend of designer foods, one that can positively contribute to the future of food security. A nonbrowning apple? Already a science fact.

Our Prediction: more (and better) conversations

With consumers asking for more information, the conversations around food production changes and opens. This is our collective food future and we all benefit from engaging in meaningful dialogue.

As apple growers we keep an ear to news in the grocery world. The Packer identified produce as this year’s growth section in stores. The op-ed is a good read from the retail perspective, and author Tim York makes a call to growers and producers that should be of particular interest to us shoppers.

“Let’s reframe agriculture as a continuum of food production designed to meet the diversity of food demands for now and the future.” ~ Tim York, CEO, Salinas

Good words we take to heart as we follow the path set by Neal and Louisa on the way to responsibly growing sustainable food.

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About Jeannette LeBlanc

Jeannette LeBlanc is the Digital Marketing Specialist for Okanagan Specialty Fruits, and lives in the sunny Okanagan Valley. She has a keen interest in sustainable food systems and the people working on responsible ways to help feed the planet.