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My Top 5 Organic Food Trends for 2017

My Top 5 Organic Food Trends for 2017

As I do at the beginning of each January, I give my top 5 organic food trends for the new year, predicting what I think will be popular with consumers and in the marketplace. These organic food trends are centered around the themes of food as medicine, convenience and authenticity, and some are poised for […]

Food Trends

As I do at the beginning of each January, I give my top 5 organic food trends for the new year, predicting what I think will be popular with consumers and in the marketplace.

These organic food trends are centered around the themes of food as medicine, convenience and authenticity, and some are poised for a very significant year.

Here are my Top 5 Organic Food Trends for 2017.



Have you ever gone into the store and said “I’d really like some of those nuts but don’t feel like spending $9 on that bag? I just want a handful of them right now.”

If so, you are certainly not alone. And organic food and juice companies have definitely been listening.

One fantastic trend that I think is going to have a breakout year is smaller sizes, which is going to be a win-win for everyone involved.

Consumers get a lower price point, smaller product and something smaller to travel with, and retailers and companies benefit from increased velocity.


Here are a few things that we know.

  • With the U.S. organic sector currently valued at around $43 billion, there is no question that organic has become big business. As a result, some big food companies, hoping to get a piece of this growing industry, will do whatever they can to get their products certified at the least possible cost. As a result, this means organic standards invariably suffer.
  • With President Obama signing a disastrous federal GMO-labeling law last summer, often referred to as the DARK Act, we don’t know what the future holds for organic. Furthermore, since the fine details of this law are still being determined, we could have federal GMO-labeling standards which are not only worthless but actually harmful for consumers.
  • There is A LOT of discontent about how the National Organic Standards Board, the committee that makes recommendations to the USDA about organic rules and regulations, is being managed.


While some people believe that the organic seal has gotten too far away from its original values and ought to be replaced outright, I don’t think that will or should happen.

Instead, what I think what we will see much more of is that companies will still use the organic seal AND will also embrace non-governmental, third-party certifications such as Demeter (certified Biodynamic), Food Justice Certified, Fair for Life, Fair Pay Today, and others.

These are certifications that get us closer to the true standard of organic farming while also protecting and promoting workplace equality and fairness, soil health, and farmers’ rights.



If you’re like me, you ask yourself the same question every single day: where am I getting my green juice?

While I firmly believe that pressed organic juice is not going anywhere and will only grow in market size, I also believe that people are going to start asking themselves an additional question: where am I getting my fermented vegetable drink today?

The fermented vegetable drink category is going to surge. People will shift in consuming these beverages from once in a while to once a day. Why will this happen?

Quite simply, the health benefits that these drinks provide, namely the beneficial bacteria, will become too important to ignore.

People are going to start reevaluating what they are drinking and the value that these drinks provide to their bodies. Gut shots, beet kvass, cultured tonics, and all other fermented beverages will be the huge beneficiaries of this change in consumer behavior.


While gut health seems to get a lot of headlines these days – and rightly so – organic food companies are going to focus a lot of more attention on brain health in 2017.

And this means we’ll be seeing a lot more products being marketed as nootropic foods.

Nootropics, substances or functional foods that improve cognitive function, such as improved memory, concentration and learning, should definitely grow in popularity. People want to eat foods that not only make them feel good and look good, but also make them think better and more clearly.

There is a real opportunity to become a market leader in this segment, and the smart organic food companies will capitalize on this, offering consumers both nootropic foods and drinks.



If you go to the supplement section at your organic supermarket, you will see absolutely no shortage of green powders. There are literally dozens and dozens of them. For the hardcore green juice drinkers, traveling with green powder is something that nearly all of us do.

Yet, with turmeric becoming another must-have food, largely because of its anti-inflammatory properties, why aren’t people traveling with turmeric powder?

One explanation is that turmeric-based drinks have only really started to penetrate the market in the last 5 years or so, while green juice has been around for many decades.

Whatever the reason may be, 2017 is the year that we will start to see a lot more turmeric powder products – ones that combine turmeric powder with other ingredients such as black pepper, which increases absorption. And I think what Bija Bhar is doing is incredibly smart and ahead of the curve.

Did I miss any organic food trends that you think will be popular this year? If I did, please let me know below what organic food trends will emerge in 2017.

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  • Demeter says:

    Cricket flour! It’s super sustainable to produce, has an excellent nutritional profile, and actually tastes good. It’s still catching on, but it’s really a no-brainer on so many fronts. This product deserves all of the (increasing) attention it’s getting!

  • Jennifer says:

    These are trends I’m rooting for ! For those interested in learning more about the connection of SOIL – FOOD – HEALTH, follow @Kissthegroundca on Instagram (or on facebook Kiss The Ground) They’re an org that makes this information digestible in cool infographics, video clips, and memes. I saw a sneak peak premiere of the new documentary coming out next year called “Kiss The Ground” important stuff!

  • Jane says:

    On point. Great article.

  • Wendy says:

    Hi Max, do you know what President Trump’s stance is on GMO labeling and organic food laws?

    • Michael Kaltner says:

      If it is bad for Big Business Trump will get rid of any Regulations. He will cut funding to FDA
      He will support the goals of Big Agra

  • What is the best way to fight back at this Dark Act now? I would like to know what I’m putting in to my system. It’s really not fair to the public to be left wondering what they’re taking in to their bodies. That’s why I support my local farmer and the priceless produce they grow. I am 65 years old and have never felt better since I started eating more dark greens, fruits and eating more grains and staying away from beef and pork. Staying away from any products that contain the words “fortified”, “concentrated” “enriched” and “reconstituted” has also been a wise decision. To me what those word mean is that they’ve taken all the nutrition out of the product. NO THANKS.

    • Max Goldberg says:

      Hi Gary,

      There is not much that we can do about it right now but the Center for Food Safety is planning on filing a lawsuit to stop it. You could donate to them. Otherwise, please make sure you’re on my email list and I’ll keep you informed about possible next steps. Also, feel free to take a look at my new newsletter Organic Insider, which will keep you even better informed about all things organic and GMO. All the best, Max

  • Donald E Lewis says:

    Hi Maxwell, I am back and would like to add one item that I have stressed many years. It is the value of trace minerals. I learned it from all the years of Organic Farming and Gardening. I have heard for many years do not disturb the subsoil and never knew why. Well the chemical fertilizer people like this so swallow till has been promoted for years. I have prove that deep till is the only way to control insects for one and there are others. When swallow till and no till was introduced many years ago is when more insect problem and fungus appeared as well. This is my call against shallow till.
    I have plowed all my farming and gardening years. It is all for the roots invisible that make the top grow healthy and visible. Roots for annual plants can not penetrate hard pan where the trace mineral reside. Plowing to 14 to 16 inches and keeping it porous and not pack it back down every time with heavy equipment which is as bad as not plowing. The trace minerals are brought up that mix with the top soil to let the earthworms and microorganisms do the job which the plants like. Every plant does not have the same need for the hot acid chemical water soluble minerals that the scientists think works. My method gives the plants a choice and maybe so minute a mineral that science has not found. Plants have sense and no brains if the roots are not restricted. There is no comparison to the chemical industry pushing the NPK as the only way with some guessed at water soluble minerals. I call brain with no sense. The plowing every year is necessary as the minerals will return to the subsoil that are not used and the earthworms have not used in their gizzards to digest the organic matter visible and help the microoganisims finish the job foe the planets use. Year after year of hot acid chemical fertilizer destroys this process and burns up the most important substance in the soil (organic matter carbon) releasing it as CO2 the greenhouse gas. After a few years only dirt is left as all the synthetic chemicals are increased. All healthy food is decreased and human health follows. ALL HEALTHY FOOD COMES FROM FERTILE SOIL — FOOD — HEALTH — IN THIS ORDER. The two elements that do not fit this formula are nitrogen and oxygen. They are in abundance in the atmosphere. Nitrogen is the lightest at 78% needed for the plants foliage mostly. Oxygen for the earthworms and microoganisims which is 20% and close to the earth. If the soil is porous and plenty of Organic matter it is trapped when it rains. This method saves and builds the organic matter and chemicals destroy it.

    I hope one can picture the connection as I visualize it starting with fertile soil. The Master built it up over millions of year. It is being destroyed in some eighty years by man.

    • Max Goldberg says:

      Hi Donald,

      Nice to hear from you again. And you are 100% correct. It is all about the soil and the trace minerals in the soil. As a farmer, you know this better than anyone.

      All the best,

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