With 2018 right around the corner, Loblaw has announced a list of food trends to pair well with the inevitable onset of “New Year, New Beginnings” movements. Packed with cook-and-cut sheet meals, freak shakes, and retro-inspired meals, the list showcases some trends the retailer foresees will become increasingly popular on the Canadian home-front. Taste the New Next is the company’s detailed account of food trends in 2018.
“With the announcement of the Loblaw 2018 Canadian Food Trends, we hope to encourage Canadians to think differently about what they are eating and where their food comes from,” said Greg Ramier, Executive Vice President of the Market Division, in a recent press release. “We hope our food trends list will inspire Canadians to try new things and discover new family favorites.”
Loblaw Food Council is comprised of professional chefs, registered dieticians, academics, and Loblaw food experts. The eclectic group met in the summer of 2017 and reviewed internal and industry data to predict consumers’ big shifts in buying and eating trends.
Loblaw’s trends are the following:
Closing the Food Loop
This blooming trend focuses on lessening food waste. Grow-it-Yourself is a movement that is geared towards consumers' use of items conveniently grown at home, but the retailer expects that this concept will extend far beyond the reaches of consumers lucky enough to have a green thumb. Other emphases include catered portion sizes and the reuse of leftovers.
“Many Canadians are having conversations about how to reduce food waste in their households. Using leftovers to make new and exciting meals throughout the week is one simple thing we can all do at home to help make this challenging issue delicious,” said Chef Ned Bell, a Loblaw Food Council member.
Gone are the days of passing on sweets and treats, as 2018’s Canadian diet features all the goods. Variations of some favorites include freak shakes with fun toppings, morning cakes for breakfast, and full fat options in yogurts, which are all set to take center stage, according to the retailer.
“In an increasingly virtual world, Canadians are seeking food experiences that are novel, sensory, and nostalgic. The faster the world changes, the more Canadians yearn for themes and variations of the familiar,” said Sanjay Khanna, Futurist and Loblaw Food Council member.
Dual-purpose ingredients will become increasingly popular, as consumers seek new and inventive ways to use the remainder of their grocery goods in another recipe. Canadians also want to keep old traditions alive and are using retro recipes as a base for their modern tastes to twist.
“Canadians are looking to evoke a sense of nostalgia when it comes to their meals, but now benefit from unexpected ingredients and cooking tools that can help modernize these retro classics. For me, it’s about maintaining the great taste that you remember from when you were a kid, but reinventing it to make it a healthier and balanced meal,” said Kathy Jollimore, Chef, food stylist, food writer, and Loblaw Food Council member.
Canada’s Food Guide will be a guiding post for consumers looking for new ways to get nutritious meals. Those who look to the Guide for inspiration will be led in nourishment-focused directions and are more likely to join discussions on what nutrition means, what they should actually be eating, and how they can gain credible insight into the nutrition world.
In this regard, gut health is also stepping into the spotlight. Pre- and probiotics, fermented foods, and other gut-focused foods will rise in popularity. To further this point, consumers will be looking for new ways to reduce their sugar intake.
“Canadians have taken a vested interest in what we put in our bodies, including the food choices we make. Gut health is the biggest trend I’m seeing right now. Probiotics are here to stay,” said Sue Mah, Registered Dietician and Loblaw Food Council member.
Cooking on the Clock
Canadians seem to be well-aware that time is of the essence, with consumers looking for ways to get nutritious meals on-the-go. Morning cook-and-cut sheet meals are an easy way that consumers are finding the nourishment they want with the ease of a meal-prep plan. Another way way that consumers are also looking for morning meal options to make ahead-of-time is their use of chicken and seafood, newbies to some consumers' a.m. line-up. Meal kits are another way that Canadians are looking to make their life easier, as they turn to value and customization during their day-to-day happenings.
“Canadians think they don’t have enough time to cook, but the fact is, every meal doesn’t have to be Instagram-worthy. Breakfast, for example, can be as simple as scrambled eggs in a wrap, which takes less than five minutes. I want to challenge Canadians’ assumptions that they don’t have time to cook. Cooking can be fast AND really delicious,” said Claire Tansey, writer, chef, and Loblaw Food Council member.
Loblaw Food Council’s insider tips give retailers a preliminary view of what's in store by giving insight into consumers’ approaches and needs. Its concepts can be seen online, in-store, and in kitchens throughout 2018.
How will these trends take shape in the coming year? Deli Market News will continue to report on their reflection in our industry.