What's trending in nutrition? One thousand dietitians have their say

6 May 2022

Superfood ingredients that boost immune health and gut health, as well as newer functional ingredients such as CBD and collagen, are growing nutrition trends to watch, according to a survey that questioned over one thousand US dietitians. 

This survey - the 10th annual What’s Trending in Nutrition survey by Pollock Communications and Today’s Dietitian - solicited feedback from 1,173 Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) and found that in addition to these overarching trends, the top five superfoods that consumers will seek out are: fermented foods, blueberries, chia and hemp seeds, exotic fruit and avocados. While these particular superfoods have consistently made consumer trend lists due to their immune- and gut-boosting benefits, they will continue to be in vogue as consumers embrace food as medicine to help prevent disease.

What's trending in nutrition? One thousand dietitians have their say

Health through functional foods: CBD, collagen & hemp

“In addition, there will likely be an increased interest in functional foods containing ingredients that provide health benefits beyond their nutrient profile,” Louise Pollock, president of Pollock Communications said in a press release.  

Statements like 'healthy' and 'natural' on labels reflect consumers’ continued interest in looking at food as functional medicine. 'Healthy' first made the top-three list in 2019, as consumers began to better understand the connection between food and overall well-being, according to the survey.

However, while immunity-supporting food will continue to attract attention, consumers are increasingly widening their radar to identify new ingredients that can deliver better health. The dieticians surveyed predicted that consumers will be looking for newer functional ingredients such as CBD, collagen and hemp in 2022. 

Although health is at the forefront of shoppers’ decision-making matrices, foods that promote comfort are also driving purchases. Ninety-five percent of the dieticians surveyed said that the pandemic and the resulting increase in people working from home has led to a growing desire for comfort foods that people are fulfilling through snacking. 

Post-Covid e-commerce gains ground 

In tandem with the evolutions in the foods that people are eating is an evolution in how people are getting those items. E-commerce has existed for years, but the pandemic accelerated its proliferation into the mainstream.

In May of 2021 Frito -Lay found its online sales were up 73% compared to last year, and the American snack company predicted e-commerce snack sales to double by 2025. According to dieticians, this rapid rise in online retail is nowhere near abating.

The vast majority (90%) of those surveyed by Pollock Communications pointed to “online food shopping as the biggest trend from the pandemic that they believe will continue.

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