As 2018 gets into full swing, it’s time to consider new food and beverage trends that Los Angeles consumers will be focusing on this year. Jenny Zegler, Global Food and Drink Analyst at Mintel, shared that “Mintel foresees opportunities for manufacturers and retailers to help consumers regain trust in food and drink and to relieve stress through balanced diets, as well as memorable eating and drinking experiences.” While each of these trends have been around for awhile, they are now at the forefront of Los Angeles consumer demands.
Shoppers, as a whole, have become distrustful of manufacturers. As a result, food and beverage companies now disclose information about how, where, when, and by whom a food or beverage is grown, harvested, made, and/or sold. To convey this information to consumers, manufacturers include it on product packaging. The following list defines a few of the terms consumers are looking for when deciding whether or not to purchase an item.
- Organic: “certified organic foods are grown and processed according to federal guidelines addressing, among many factors, soil quality, animal raising practices, pest and weed control, and use of additives.” (from the USDA article, “Organic 101: What the USDA Organic Label Means”)
- Raised without Hormones: animals were raised with no extra hormones given
- Raised without Antibiotics: no antibiotics were used for animal health maintenance
- GMO-Free: products were grown or made without any genetically modified organisms (GMOs)
- Sustainable:”production of food, fiber, or other plant or animal products using farming techniques that protect the environment, public health, human communities, and animal welfare” (from http://www.sustainabletable.org/246/sustainable-agriculture-the-basics)
- Fair Trade: a “model of sustainable, ethical trade that puts people and planet first.” (from https://www.fairtradecertified.org/why-fair-trade)
The experience of eating and drinking new foods and beverages can offer the opportunity to enjoy new sensations. To create a new experience, snacks and beverages are being made with new flavors, textures, and scents. Floral flavors including lavender, rose, and hibiscus have been found in teas, lattes, and sparkling water. Puffed and popped snacks made from chickpeas, cauliflower, corn, potato, or quinoa, and crunchy snacks made with peas, jicama or fruit have made their way onto snack shelves as well as into Los Angeles vending machines. New beverages include an increase in sparkling drink choices and flavors, and beverages with fruit bits or pulp.
Los Angeles consumers realize that each person needs a self-care routine that is as unique as they are. Besides sleep and exercise, diet plays a large role in self-care. According to Jenny Zegler,”individual definitions of self-care and balance will reinforce the need for a variety of formats, formulations and portion sizes of food and drink that present consumers with positive solutions—and treats—that can be incorporated into their customised and flexible definitions of health and wellness. Going forward, more consumers will be looking for ingredients, products, and combinations of food and drink that provide nutrition, physical, or emotional benefits that advance their priorities for self-care.”
The following are a few ways to practice self-care via healthy food choices:
- be mindful when making food and beverage choices and while eating
- choose a varied combination of fruits and veggies to make your meal or snack as colorful as possible
- use new herbs and spices to create a unique sensory experience
- enjoy yogurt with nuts and seeds to help take care of your gi tract
- consume enough healthy fats
- include nuts and seeds for the health benefits as well as for the crunch and textures
Whether at home or at work, Los Angeles consumers will seek out transparency, sensory input and self-care in their food and beverage choices. As employers, it is important to offer sought-after choices in the office break room, increasing the likelihood that employees stay on site to enjoy a gourmet coffee, healthy snack, or a refreshing sparkling water. For more information about adding new snack, food, and beverage choices, contact First Class Vending at 800-515-8363. We’d love to help you customize a solution that meets your employees’ needs.