Top 5 Organic Food Trends for 2014

Written by Max Goldberg on January 7, 2014. Follow Max on Twitter: @livingmaxwell.

As we head into 2014, I see these organic foods becoming much more popular in the marketplace.

Here are my Top 5 Organic Food Trends for 2014.

NUT AND SEED MILKS

feel-food-nyc-black-sesame-seed-milk

I can’t understand why no one has capitalized on this yet, but a huge gap in the market exists for nut/seed milks and smoothies. I predict that 2014 will be the year that some smart players take advantage of this opportunity.

These are drinks that I make all of the time at home but finding an organic one at a store is very, very difficult.

An organic, non-dairy, chocolate milk made with Brazil nuts and raw cacao powder would be a massive hit. Consumers will be clamoring for products such as these and soon they’ll be on supermarket shelves.

MEDICINAL MUSHROOMS

reishi-mushrooms

I firmly believe that the people will increasingly be looking at food as medicine, rather than as something that merely fills a hungry stomach.

And one specific food that fits into this theme are medicinal mushrooms. Research has shown that mushrooms have anti-cancer properties, boost the immune system, and improve overall nutrition.

Medicinal mushrooms such as chaga, reishi (above), cordyceps, and others will be incorporated into drinks, raw foods, and chocolate.

PRESSED JUICE AT HOTELS, RESTAURANTS, BARS, AND NIGHTCLUBS

three-green-juices-restaurants

It is well-known how popular pressed organic juice has become over the last 12-18 months. While competition is definitely increasing and saturation may be occurring in some markets, especially in parts of Manhattan, demand is not slowing down at all.

Yet, this strong consumer demand for pressed organic juice does not end at 4PM nor is it restricted to juice bars. Healthy consumers do not take vacations from being healthy, and we want healthy options wherever we go and whatever time of day it is. And for those individuals who do drink alcohol, they don’t want a cocktail made with pesticide-laden, poor quality juice from a can.

Savvy hospitality entrepreneurs and executives are beginning to understand this, and that is why I believe we’ll be seeing pressed organic juice at restaurants, bars, hotels, and nightclubs. It has already started in a very small way here in New York City, but this trend will grow across the country, particularly in Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

Aside from being a new profit center, it will also serve as a key differentiator.

I look forward to the day when my Pressed Organic Juice Directory is filled with tons of hotels, restaurants, and nightclubs.

INNOVATION IN YOGURT

Very quietly, the organic yogurt category has gotten a lot more interesting as of late. And with Whole Foods kicking Chobani off of its shelves, there will now be more room for new organic and non-GMO brands.

Innovation in the yogurt space will continue and that means more types of yogurt from all over Europe, more grass-fed varieties, more glass bottles (yes, yogurt in glass bottles), more goat’s milk yogurt, and more compelling flavors and products.

Consumers will benefit from the increase and diversity of offerings.

BLACK SESAME SEEDS

black-sesame-seeds

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know that I go crazy over black sesame seeds.

Yet, I seem to be in the minority, and it isn’t often that I see them used at restaurants or in organic food products.

That will start to change this year as more people begin to appreciate the tremendous nutritional value that black sesame seeds provide and how they improve the flavor profile of a dish. Black sesame seeds are a great source of magnesium, calcium, and zinc, and in Chinese medicine it is believed that they help to purify the kidney and liver.

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12 Comments

  1. You are spot on with this!

    Written by Katie on January 7, 2014 @ 12:06 pm
  2. Love these…specifically the green juice at restaurants, night clubs, hotels! Just more available in general would be great!

    I also love the nut and seed milks. So many times I am out and about and want to have some granola and milk and all they have are non-dairy milks with a bunch of preservatives and additives. It would be great to have more raw nut and seed milks available.

    A trend I would like to see:

    Gluten free breads/Sandwiches/tortillas made from Garbanzo Bean Flour..they hold together so well.

    Also, Max have you seen heard of Drink Rau? They do a chocolate milk type drink…it’s pretty good, I really like the peppermint. http://www.drinkrau.com/

    Thanks for sharing!

    Written by sarah on January 7, 2014 @ 12:08 pm
  3. Totally with you on the black sesame seeds! I sprinkle them on everything!

    The raw nut and seed milks would be great to see. I’ve been making my own bc the stores are full of “mylks” with tons of preservatives, non-food stuffs and chemicals…. No thank you!

    Written by merle on January 7, 2014 @ 6:41 pm
  4. Thank you Max for your passion, fearlessness and for keeping us informed about our food and the food industry .
    I hope to see more education when it comes to our health and well being.
    Good food, healthy bodies, minds and spirits.
    Happy 2014

    Written by Shellie on January 9, 2014 @ 12:50 am
  5. Love it, this is great news! Black sesame seeds my favourite, some of my friends do not believe in organic foods, they tell me there is no difference in taste or quality…I have given up trying to explain why we should be eating organic. I have also noticed that Costco in US is adding a lot more organic foods which is great news but still lacking in Canada, I wonder why?

    Written by Kristina on January 10, 2014 @ 12:27 pm
  6. Thanks for your feedback, everyone!!!

    @Sarah – No, I hadn’t heard of Drink Rau but that is exactly the idea of what I am talking about. Thanks for letting me know about them.

    @Kristina – I don’t know why Canada is different from the U.S., in terms of organic selection. It could be a different buyer for each country and/or they may want to source more of their products from Canada. Not 100% sure but it doesn’t make a ton of sense.

    Written by Max Goldberg on January 10, 2014 @ 12:52 pm
  7. I’ve been making and using all of these items for 4 years or longer and teaching my students. The challenge I think with the nut milks/smoothies is shelf life. I ran a company that did this and they only lasted 4-7 days!
    I’d love to be able to go buy an organic nut milk or smoothie especially when I travel! I hope that these foods that have been popular with raw food and vegans will catch on in the mainstream now b/c they are healthful and delicious.

    Written by Lauren on January 10, 2014 @ 8:15 pm
  8. I was at an event at Marriott in San Francisco and along with lots of wine they had delicious fresh pressed juices with wonderful combinations! This was so nice to have along with the refreshing infused waters.
    My cookbook has nut milk, and infused water recipes with much more.

    Written by Lauren on January 10, 2014 @ 8:17 pm
  9. Tractor trailer loads of bees are being drawn out of heathy upstate NY dairy farm beescapes, trucked cross country to pollinate massive almond groves. Research the % of bees that are being pulled out of their habitats to service almond consumption. Stars are from 75 to 90% US bees. 26 yogurt plants in NY are getting mikj from.NY dairy farms. By the way, food experts determined NYC has a three day supply of food with longer and longer supply chains.

    Written by Lorraine Lewandrowski on January 19, 2014 @ 1:06 pm
  10. The nut and seed milks look so good. I’ve been drinking almond milk instead of cow’s milk every day since whole cow’s milk contains a lot more calories and fat than almond milk, making almond milk the better choice for those on a diet. Cow’s milk also contains saturated fat and cholesterol; almond milk is free of both saturated fat and cholesterol, making it a healthier choice, especially for those with heart problems. The only thing that cow’s milk has more than almond milk is protein, but almond milk contains high levels of a high range of vitamins. I also like juice, but I drink smoothie instead to get both the fiber and nutrition.

    Written by Ha Nguyen on January 20, 2014 @ 3:41 pm
  11. […] I predicted in my Top 5 Organic Food Trends for 2014, yogurt is an area where we will be seeing a lot of innovation this […]

    Pingback by Wednesdays at Whole Foods - Meet The Soapman, Shining Bright on February 5, 2014 @ 11:45 am
  12. Hey Max,

    Thanks for the useful post. I always try to find natural food which is helpful for our body. Here you provide good lists of Organic food. I am especially impressed with the innovation in Yogurt.

    Written by Anna Jane on April 2, 2014 @ 8:48 am

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