Trend Perspectives by Cynthia Maxwell

What do simple food and beverage trends look like for 2020/2021? It’s all about “less.” How about this: General Mills just announced the separation of the marshmallows from the cereal and will sell the marshmallows packaged solo. Less time spent trying to fish out those super sweet marshmallow treats. Less waste in that we don’t have to throw out the left-over cereal. Admit it; if you’re a Lucky Charms fan, you have probably done this!

Even though these lockdown times have sent many of us into the kitchen to create more complicated foods like homemade bread, the simple things in life are still important.
Food companies are responding, and here are some simple “less” trends worth mentioning.

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Less Ingredients, More Appeal

A coworker and mother once told me that she would only let her son have packaged food items with ingredients that he could pronounce. At the time, he was around nine. I have noticed many food and beverages with callouts such as “Only three simple ingredients”, and of course, “No fillers, preservatives, artificial colors or flavors.”

Often these companies are posting their minimal ingredients right on the front of the package.
RXBAR does this as the primary focus of their packaging, front and center, in bold print.
3 Egg Whites, 14 Peanuts, 2 Dates, No B.S.- are the ingredients on the peanut butter bar.

Soley Inc. uses a hand image to show how many ingredients are in their products—holding up one finger for one, and two for two ingredients. Like their two ingredient Banana Cacao Jerky with one whole organic banana and cacao.

Less Sugar, Yes, Please!

The juice aisle has been stocked with quite a few “less sugar” options for a few years now. Juice, on average, has around 25 grams of sugar per one 8 ounce serving.

Yogurt is another high sugar culprit with as much 20+ grams of sugar -that usually includes added sugars in the 13-15-gram range. The less sugar trend is a big one for 2020 and will continue to grow.

Siggi’s yogurt motto “less sugar, more protein” offers three yogurt flavors with no sugar added, each containing 4-5 grams of sugar-all of which comes from the fruits added.

RELATED: Revisit Simplicity and Minimalism Trends of 2019

The low ABV trend is huge now if you have noticed at your local grocery and liquor store selling hard seltzers and hard kombuchas that contain minimal sugar. California brand Flying Embers is one zero sugar winner that offers seltzers and kombuchas with minimal ingredients, including adaptogens, probiotics, and antioxidants.

Nestle is working on reducing up to 40% of the sugar content in some of their products using alternative sweeteners and simply reducing sugar.

Less Plastic, Less Waste!

Environmentally friendly plastics are not new, but more and more companies and consumers are getting serious about it. Starbucks has planned to phase out straws from around 30,000 stores nationwide by this year.

Simplifying packaging as it pertains to the environment will continually be a big call out.
Packaging designed for re-use is a great direction. I just discovered that my spirulina by Bare Organics is packaged in a container that is dishwasher safe, freezer safe, microwave safe, and BPA Free. It is a pretty cool container as well.

Replacing plastic packaging with paper has also started to make an appearance. Cocojune yogurt is the first yogurt company in the U.S. to be certified plastic neutral. They have a paper-based cup with a net-zero plastic footprint. Their plant-based yogurt comes in beautiful, yummy flavors like Vanilla Chamomile, Strawberry Rhubarb, and Lemon Elderflower.

As I finish up this article, another theme has presented itself concerning simple trends. These “less” trends have also equaled to a healthier body and a healthier environment. Less is definitely more in this case.

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