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    From Keto to Cannabinoids: The New Food Trends Coming Your Way

    food expo

    During the two days I spent at the recent Natural Products Expo West – the nation’s largest annual foods show – I logged over 14 miles on the massive convention floor and sampled many of the 3,000-plus exhibitors.

    From all that I saw (and tasted), here are some of the trends – new and ongoing – from the Expo that you’ll likely see at your local grocery and health food store in the near future.

    First, a few trends from recent years continue to expand: foods of virtually every category with labels boasting “gluten free”, “non-GMO”, and “vegan” were everywhere. Also the turmeric craze – not just in tea, but in nearly everything you can think of, from cereal and chocolates to sports drinks – seems hotter than ever, thanks to the spice’s reputation as an inflammation fighter. The non-dairy milk category (think: almond, coconut, pea, macadamia, rice, oat, and even peanut and cashew milks) shows no signs of slowing either.

    And the new trends? Here’s what your likely to see in the coming months:

    Cannabinoid-infused Creations
    Marijuana edibles have come a long way from pot brownies. The hot new cannabis edibles are non-intoxicating and are may provide wide-ranging health benefits.

    CBD (short for cannabidiol) is a novel ingredient that’s now in a wide range of foods and beverages — from coffee and tea to condiments. Cannabidiol is one of the main cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant. But before you think you’re going to get “high” sipping a cup of CBD tea, you should know that CBD is not psychotropic. Unlike THC, the cannabinoid known for making people feel high, cannabidiol doesn’t cross the blood-brain barrier.

    The potential benefits, according to some research, are that CBD can help with pain management, relaxation, and sleep, and it appears to have anti-inflammatory properties. Get ready to see a variety of CBD-infused foods from olive oil, tea, honey, beverages, chocolates and cookies. By some estimates, the CBD market may top billion by 2020.

    Some products to look for:
    Colorado Hemp honey by Frangiosa Farms
    Buddha Teas CBD Turmeric & Ginger

    Fish-Free Seafood Makes Waves
    No, you didn’t read that wrong. Just like there are plenty of plant-based beef, poultry, and pork alternatives, the food industry is moving toward plant-based seafood choices.

    The faux fish trend is being positioned as a more planet-friendly and sustainable option since global fish stocks are being depleted from overfishing. In addition, many consumers worry about heavy metals contamination, animal welfare and even news reports about fish fraud. Vegan seafood options are being made with blends of beans, legumes, or other plant-based proteins, coupled with algae-based ingredients to provide the beneficial omega-3 fatty acids seafood provides. I got to sample a fish-free tuna fish salad that had a near-perfect taste and texture of regular tuna.

    Some products to look for:
    Gardein’s Fishless Filet and Crabless Cakes
    Sophie’s Kitchen has an extensive line that includes vegan shrimp and scallop options
    Good Catch will have products available later this year including the vegan tuna fish

    Keto Craze
    The Keto Diet (ketogenic diet) was once just a fringe trend, but now is quickly becoming a super fad. In short, the keto diet is a very low in carbs, moderate in protein and high in fat, which puts the body into a metabolic state known as ketosis. (The thinking is that this will help you burn calories more efficiently and help you lose weight. Whether ketosis is sustainable/healthy for some people is questionable… more on this in a post to come soon.) Regardless of whether the keto diet is right for you, many companies are jumping on the trend with products like high protein/low sugar granola and fat supplements/shakes.

    Some products to look for:
    Bhu Fit Protein Granola
    Cave Fat Packs (supplement powder)

    Cauliflower Power!
    While cauliflower is anything but new, you probably haven’t seen it used for pizza crusts or birthday cakes. I tasted a wonderful chocolate cake made with cauliflower flour and couldn’t wait to make my own at home!

    This new nutrition trend is using dried cauliflower blend in place of wheat flower. According to some of the companies I spoke with, you can replace regular flower on a 1:1 basis with cauliflower flour in your recipes. Compared with traditional flour, you’ll get fewer calories and a healthy dose of vitamin C.

    Some products to look for:
    Cauli-Flour by CauliPower
    Cali’flour Foods Pizza Crust

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