Feed Your Future with 2019 IFT Trends
Many food industry trends were on display to feed your future at this year’s annual Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) expo in New Orleans, Louisiana. From different takes on cajun cuisine and snacks, to alternative proteins and African flavors, IFT 2019 did not disappoint. Our trend experts walked the show and took note of a few major trends.
Did you have the chance to heat up your strategy with our heat management experts during the show? Are you interested in having more conversations about heat management? Please reach out to us to request more information and samples from the show to incorporate into your products.
2019 IFT Trends:
Alternative Proteins are the Norm
The most common theme that we saw when walking the expo floor was for alternative protein. Sources like jackfruit, soy and pea protein were the base for many featured products and were one of the first talking points to describe an offering. IFT also featured many presentations from industry experts highlighting key trends and issues, and a prominent topic for discussion included alternative proteins to meat, including Meat Hybrids: New Product Opportunities for Flexitarians.
Scrumptious Snack Offerings
Innova Market Insights predicted Snacking: The Definitive Occasion as a top trend for 2019, and it was definitely on display in New Orleans. Snack portions that attendees could carry with them were highlighted at many booths. These snacks focused on fitting the needs of many different lifestyles and also played into Innova’s trend for the ‘adventurous consumer,’ with unique flavor profiles and sensory experiences. An example included szechuan puffs that left a tingling sensation, complemented with no-heat habanero raisins and cumin potato sticks at the Kalsec booth.
Flavors from Around the World
We tried to pinpoint a specific region of focus for flavors during the show to no avail. Nearly every region seemed to be on display to create a ‘melting pot’ of flavors. From Middle East, Korean and African flavors to Indian curries and local Louisiana-themed dishes, flavors from around the world were on display at IFT 2019.
Other Notable Trends
- Clean and Clear Label Attributes
- Traceability and Blockchain
- Savory Dairy
The macro trend for clean label was highlighted in many exhibitors’ design, and more are starting to touch on clear label attributes as well. If you are wondering about the differences between clean and clear label, we clarify in our 2018 research – Consumer Trends: Clean to Clear Label.
Stemming off the trend for clear label attributes, such as responsible sourcing and environmental sustainability, sourcing and blockchain were important areas of conversation for product innovation. Several sessions highlighted traceability and blockchain efforts to inform consumers where there food is really coming from, and trace all aspects of a product journey.
Spicy and savory ice cream, milk and creamer products provided a novel take on sweet dairy applications. The trend for sweet heat was prominent with flavors like cardamom citrus heat and habanero ice cream, as well as the savory flavor of green tea.