Food Trends 2012

Every year many organizations come out with food trend lists – what they believe will be the hot new foods or food themes for the coming year. Sue Moores, our nutritionist, reviewed the lists and has her pick of the top healthy food trends for 2012.

Over-arching trends

  1. Real foods, wholesome foods, less processed foods. "Pure" becomes the new "natural."
  2. Home cooking. 
  3. Healthy foods for kids. 

What's hot on grocery store shelves

  • Products with an infusion of healthy ingredients (ingredients added to products to "healthify" them) + wholesome foods with easy prep. Examples: Frozen whole grains; salad dressing with whole fruits, healthy oils; bean chips.
  • Better beverages – not necessarily healthy beverages, but look for new or reformulated beverages advertising better (real food) ingredients.
  • Gluten-free and allergy sensitive foods. As more people look for foods without allergens or gluten, more products hit the shelves. Allergen-free foods such as gluten-free or soy-free do not indicate the healthfulness of a food.


  • Probiotics and prebiotics. A healthy digestive system and intestine influences several areas of health, including immunity. Probiotics are the "good" bacteria you can add to your diet. Prebiotics are the "food" good bacteria needs to multiply. Probiotics are found in many fermented foods such as sauerkraut and yogurt. Prebiotics are found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans.
  • Dark (assertive) greens such as kale, Swiss chard and collard greens. They are packed with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients beyond what other lettuces can offer.
  • Heirloom or heritage foods. Heirloom and heritage varieties of food are coming on strong. Looks for fruits, vegetables, grains, seeds and meats labeled as such.
  • Healthy fats vs. fat-free. In step with the trend for wholesome, pure and real foods (plus growing research on the health benefits of certain types of fat), "fat-free" is on the downslide. Healthy fats include: olive oil, nut and seed oils, avocado oil, and hemp oil. The jury's still out on coconut oil.

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