Move over highly processed foods and empty calorie carbs and make room for plant-based protein and nutrition-packed grains. These are just some of the food items that registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) predict consumers will be seeking out as we enter the next decade of the 21st century.
We’ll likely be seeing more of a healthy revolution in 2020 and beyond, according to the annual Pollock Communications and Today’s Dietitian “What’s Trending in Nutrition” survey. With 1,259 RDNs responding, the “What’s Trending, in Nutrition” study reveals the hottest food and nutrition trends to look for in 2020 – including the increasingly-popular “keto” diet, fermented foods, non-dairy milk, and plant proteins – to name a few. This year green tea pushes out coconut products from the top 10 superfoods list, while a “healthy” label holds strong as a leading consumer purchase driver, surpassing cost and taste, yet again. All the data share a similar theme: a clean-label and healthy are in – highly-processed and sophisticated ingredients are out.
Top 10 Superfoods for 2020
Powerhouse foods that provide desirable benefits from boosting gut health to blunting inflammation bookend this year’s top 10 list, with fermented foods – like yogurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, tempeh, kimchi, and miso – at the #1 spot and flavonoid-rich green tea at #10. It’s no surprise, as consumers make gut health and reducing inflammation a priority in their quest for health and wellness. Non-dairy milk moves up on the list to the #8 spot, underscoring the growing popularity of plant-based swaps.
Here’s the full list of superfood predictions for 2020:
1. Fermented foods, like yogurt & kefir
4. Exotic fruit, like acai, golden berries
5. Ancient Grains
8. Non-dairy milk
10. Green tea
Top 10 Consumer Purchase Drivers
The survey results reveal consistency in the millennial-driven search for foods that fit their health and wellness lifestyles. When asked what motivates consumer food purchase decisions, the findings show what food manufacturers should focus on to win these customers. Convenience, cost, and taste have always been vital, but for two years in a row now, “healthy” is second only to convenience and tops cost and taste. Here’s a look at the list of top 10 purchase drivers for 2020:
“The 2020 survey results send a clear and consistent message. Consumers want to live healthier lives,” says Louise Pollock, President of Pollock Communications. “They have access to an incredible amount of health information, and they view food as a way to meet their health and wellness goals. Consumers are taking control of their health in ways they never did before, forcing the food industry to evolve and food companies to innovate in response to consumer demand.”
Keto is King – Deprivation Over Decadence
With the ketogenic (keto) diet reigning at the #1 spot again in 2020, this diet trend looks like it’s here to stay, followed by intermittent fasting and clean eating. While these diet trends may not be endorsed by all RDNs, it’s clear that consumers have no issue with elimination diets – scrapping foods they believe won’t help them meet their health, wellness, and weight loss goals. Moderation is making way for deprivation, and consumers have never felt better about it. They realize that what they eat affects how they think. RDNs agree that consumers will be significantly reducing carbohydrates, grains, and sugar in favor of vegetables, fat, and meat in the coming year.
Top 5 Nutrition Recommendations from RDNs
According to the survey, celebrities, friends/family, blogs, and social media are still the top sources of nutrition misinformation for consumers. Instead, consumers should follow the experts’ advice! RDNs give these five health and wellness eating tips for 2020:
- Eat more servings of vegetables per day
- Increase fiber intake
- Limit highly processed foo.ds or fast foods
- Limit foods with “added sugars.”
- Choose non-caloric drinks, like unsweetened tea and coffee
“Registered Dietitian Nutritionists are the most trusted diet experts in the nation, as they should be. They understand the science of food and how it influences whole-body health,” says Mara Honicker, publisher of Today’s Dietitian. “It’s no wonder that consumers look to them for guidance in making the right food choices, and we look to them for insights that will help shape food policy and the industry overall.”