Voices: Well Noted

Ingredient Trend Predictions for 2008

Editor David Feder makes ingredient trend predictions for 2008.

By David Feder, R.D.

Being a magazine devoted to nutraceutical trends, we’re always in prognostication mode. We approach trends the way a Le Mans racer drives: An upcoming curve isn’t the point of reference, the horizon beyond it is.

Predicting ingredient trends is risky business. I’ve been right – for example anticipating the boom in antioxidant-rich red/purple/blue fruits. I’ve been wrong, or at least premature: Resistant starch – a significantly healthful and versatile ingredient – unfortunately has yet to become part of Jane and Joe Sixpack’s vernacular. But being wrong never stopped a journalist, so here are some predictions for 2008, ad apres.

Some “forgotten” ingredients will make comebacks. Acerola is an example (see “Acerola Comes up Aces,” www.foodprocessing.com/articles/2007/272.html), as are aloe (already gaining traction) and rose hips. And colorful and interesting fruits and veggies, especially from exotic tropic locales in South America and Asia, will keep getting more attention (and inclusion) in foods and beverages formulated for health. They’re easy to understand as good for you, tend to be tasty and need little processing. They also are becoming more familiar as the world gets smaller.

This tropical storm is acknowledged by Robert Schueller, director of communications for Melissa’s World Variety Produce, Los Angeles (www.melissas.com). “Mangosteen will be one of the hottest tropical ingredients in 2008,” he declares. Schueller points not only to the traction it’s receiving now as a beverage ingredient, but the familiarity it will enjoy when the fresh fruit becomes available in the U.S. in spring. “We also plan to see in increase of about 20 percent in fresh organic pomegranates in 2008,” notes Schueller, “and a 30 percent increase in fresh pomegranates seeds. Other potentially hot new fruits include paw paw, guanabana and atemoya from Thailand.”

Will cupuaçu finally have its day? I think so – if not in 2008 then in 2009. I’d predicted big things for the cacao cousin back in 1999, but legal and logistic issues kept it from being a player. Now, it can readily benefit from chocolate’s sudden and newfound respect as a health food – it’s as loaded with nutraceutical benefits as chocolate. (Chocolate-like bars made from it are outstanding, similar to Belgian chocolate but with a faint hint of coffee.)

But the big trend to look for in 2008 and beyond is a tidal wave of functional foods and beverages promoting anti-inflammatory benefits. As science discovers more about the role of inflammation in disease and cellular aging, researchers also are discovering many antioxidant ingredients serve dual function as anti-inflammatories. This allows formulators and marketers to make an easy transition to on-the-shelf presence for product.

Finally, general categories of foods and beverages for health – i.e., satiety, brain-boosting and energy – will keep making a big impact, although the field is getting crowded. Yet one thing won’t change: Any processor planning to launch a food or beverage targeting wellness needs to be darn sure it’s tasty, and any health marketing is backed by objective science. If you release a product that can’t stand up under intense scrutiny, you’ll see it land in the bargain bin at the big-box store before you can say “Chapter 11.”

More from this author...


Well Noted: Tell Me What to Eat

Where nutrition educators are struggling, manufacturers may be succeeding.


Communicating Whole Grain Needs to Consumers

How can food and nutrition professionals best communicate to consumers advice on how to boost their intake of whole grains?


Food Industry New Year's Resolutions for 2006

What resolutions have you made for processing in 2006? Editor David Feder has a few suggestions.


Kosherfest 2005 Exhibits Merging Trends

Kosherfest 2005 showed that the merger of the food industry's two hottest trends is no mixed marriage.


ADA Conference Explores Nutrition Topics

The DNA of diet and other new trends from the American Dietetic Association conference.


2005 Natural Products Expo East Report

If it had a health component and could be eaten, imbibed, swallowed, lathered on, rubbed in or even worn, it was on the show floor at the Natural Products Expo East.


Glycemic Index Often Misused

The phrase "glycemic index" - GI - is being tossed about a lot in wellness foods circle lately. We heard a lot about the glycemic index within the patois of the low-carb diet craze. Most of what was said and written about GI was in the form of misguided, misunderstood or deliberately misdirected information.


Report from 2005 IFT Expo

This year's IFT show served up a plethora of new and wondrous ingredients, the wisdom of Malcolm Gladwell, and the announcement of the World Food Prize.


Flavor is the Name of the Product Development Game

Editor David Feder reminds us flavor is the name of the game.


Has Nutrition Reporting Turned a Corner?

Editor David Feder, R.D., wonders if the tide is finally turning against slipshod reporting of nutrition science.


Processors Work to Ease Diabetes Compliance

Editor David Feder discusses how processors are working hard to make compliance easier for persons with diabetes.


Beware of Nutrition Misinformation

Everybody's an expert -- or so they seem to think -- when it comes to nutrition. This myopic egotism opens the door to misinformation and a swarm of nutrition fads and crazes, says Editor David Feder.


The Trouble with E-Newsletters

Wellness Foods exists to be of service to our readers. The same holds true for the Food Processing website and our e-newsletters. But is that message getting through? Editor David Feder tells why he sometimes feels like Rodney Dangerfield.


What Makes a Snack Good or Bad?

Editor David Feder, R.D., wrestles with the question of what makes a snack -- and snacking in general -- "good" or "bad."


In Praise of Smoothies

Wellness Foods Editor David Feder, R.D., tells tales out of school and the merging of smoothies with meal replacement beverages.