As I do at the beginning of each year, I give my prediction for what will be the big organic food trends for the following 12 months.
Here are my top organic food trends for 2016.
Moringa is one of the most nutritious foods on the planet, and it has approximately 7x more Vitamin C than oranges, 4x more calcium than milk, 4x more Vitamin A than carrots, and 3x more potassium than bananas.
Kuli Kuli has been making good inroads into the market, and two new moringa companies will be launched this year by industry veterans: Brad Gruno (Brad’s Raw Chips) is starting Radishtree, and Eric Schnell (Steaz, MetaBrand), Marci Zaroff (Under the Canopy), and Jeremiah McElwee (Thrive Market, Whole Foods Market) are starting Leaf of Life.
While moringa is incredibly nutritious, the taste is not great. As such, moringa will need to be incorporated into foods such as crackers, cereals, protein powders, popcorn, chips, or pre-made drinks, in order for it to receive mainstream acceptance.
When this happens, and I believe it will, moringa will really take off. Its time has come.
NON-SHELF STABLE, MEAL REPLACEMENT DRINKS
With both Orgain and Organic Valley having had tremendous success with their shelf stable meal replacement drinks, the market for this product has already been validated. People want to drink their meals.
Given that there is a clear movement towards “fresh” and the increasing popularity of smoothies, I believe the next step in this product category is non-shelf stable, meal replacement drinks.
For many pressed organic juice companies who already have nut or seed milk drinks, this will be a relatively easy transition as it may merely entail a switch in packaging and a slight modification in ingredients.
I have already sampled products of new companies who will be entering the market in 2016, and I really like what I am seeing.
This is going to be a big opportunity and will take off very, very quickly with consumers. It’s an easy sell.
PROBIOTIC ENHANCED FOODS
It has been estimated that anywhere from 57% to 90% of the human body’s cells are bacteria – not our own cells.
If this is the case, it is essential that we make sure this bacteria remains healthy, and one way to do this is to consume probiotics. That is why probiotics could be one of the most important health trends of this century.
Plan on seeing A LOT more probiotic enhanced food and drinks. They will soon be everywhere.
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
Apple cider vinegar has been used for centuries as a health remedy and it contains acetic acid, which has tremendous anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties.
Because it is so good for our health and immune system, products such as Fire Cider and CideRode Switchel have built businesses around this one very potent ingredient.
I see many other companies finding a way to utilize apple cider vinegar into their existing product lines this year.
I am going out on a limb here, but I discovered something at the Seed Festival in Miami a few months ago that has the potential to be real big.
A company in Florida called Suavva has spent the last 11 years figuring out a way extract the fruit, or pulp, from a cacao pod in a commercially viable way.
Given that the pulp only represents 5% of the cacao pod and extracting the pulp is a very difficult process, there is a good reason why cacao fruit (right) is not as ubiquitous as cacao powder, nibs or butter.
Suavva seems to have figured it and already has its own smoothie drink on the market. Organic certification is expected to be completed this year.
What is particularly noteworthy is that Suavva claims that laboratory studies have shown that the same dose of cacao fruit is 6x more effective than the same dose of curcumin in reducing inflammation. Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric.
Cacao fruit can be used in sorbets or can be used a replacement for bananas or pineapples in smoothies. It has a sweet and pleasant citrus taste with slight pear overtones.
This one will be real interesting to keep an eye on.