This is a great time to look back and reflect on what the most important recent trends have been and to examine where it appears they are heading next. Let’s explore the top 10 organic food trends of 2016.
1. Organic Tea: Matcha, Herbal Teas, Medicinal Teas and More
Have you noticed that health food stores devote significant amounts of retail shelf space to displaying organic teas, yet almost no shelf space to displaying sodas? In the last decade, soda consumption has been declining while tea consumption has been on the rise.
In 2016, popular media has been touting matcha tea, which is the type of tea typically used in the Japanese tea ceremony, as a remarkably trendy beverage. Organic herbal teas, tisanes and holistic medicinal teas have also been noteworthy this year.
According to the latest data available from the US Tea Association, approximately 80% of Americans drink tea. Millennials are the demographic group setting records for the highest levels of tea consumption, with an estimated 87% of them jumping aboard the tea-drinking trend. About 85% of tea consumers in the USA are choosing black tea. Green tea has become more widely available in the USA during the past decade, but it has a minority market share at about 14%.
2. Organic Turmeric
Google has shared an extensive report about the top US food trends of 2016. While the report doesn’t give us all that much insight into the specifics of organic food trends, there are a few items on the report of interest. The most important of these is turmeric, a plant-based flavoring ingredient from the ginger family that also has medicinal properties. Consumers are interested in turmeric both as a seasoning and as a health aid.
Google’s data reveals that significant numbers of consumers are searching specifically for organic turmeric. They are also looking for ways to incorporate turmeric into their smoothies, juices and other drinks as well as searching for recipes that include turmeric.
3. Organic Coconut
Organic coconut oil was another item of interest mentioned in Google’s 2016 food trend report. In general, organic coconut is a trendy ingredient right now, with coconut being used for diverse purposes. There are now coconut flours, coconut-based sweeteners, coconut aminos, coconut beverages and more. Dr. Axe has shared an astounding list of 77 uses for coconut oil alone, and a recent report from eatingorganic.us has identified 18 organic coconut-derived products used in cooking, beauty care and household cleaning.
4. Gluten Free Organic Flour
Thanks to a growing number of people with gluten sensitivities, people are now interested in making flour out of ingredients other than wheat. Choices include potato flour and coconut flour among others.
5. Pastured Organic Meats and Grass fed Beef
Research by Dr. Loren Cordain, author of The Paleo Diet, continues to influence food trends more than a decade after his popular book was published.
It used to be somewhere between challenging and impossible to find beef that was both organic and grassfed; you used to have to choose one or the other. Thanks to The Paleo Diet and other factors, demand for healthier meat choices has been on the rise, and growing numbers of livestock farmers are adapting their practices to meet the demand. Consequently, it’s now possible to find organic grass fed beef and organic pastured chickens for sale in a growing number of health food stores, specialty shops and websites.
6. Organic Catering and Meal Delivery Services
Since there are not many restaurants serving organic foods, a new market niche is arising: organic catering businesses and organic meal delivery services. These services bring meals right to your work or house so you do not need to worry about shopping for organic foods anymore.
7. Community Supported Agriculture
CSAs are not a new trend, but they’ve remained important in 2016. By all appearances they will continue to be in demand in 2017 and beyond.
8. Organic Foods Continue to Become More Mainstream
With organics becoming increasingly available at big box stores like Walmart and
Costco, they are no longer only accessible to the affluent.
9. Ancient Grains: Organic Spelt and Kamut
As consumers become more educated about the issues surrounding wheat consumption, they’re searching for healthier alternatives. However, many are not abandoning wheat and grains all together, but instead seeking to consume the varieties they feel are either most beneficial or least harmful. As a result, there’s rising interest in ancient grains such as spelt and kamut.
10. Organic Convenience Foods
Big brands are catching on that growing numbers of consumers are rejecting chemical-laden convenience foods. They are developing and introducing more health-conscious organic alternatives in growing numbers.
These are the 10 top organic food trends we’ve observed in 2016. Interest in these categories remains strong as we head into 2017, and it’s likely that many of the items on this list will continue to gain traction with the public in the coming year.