January is the month for new beginnings a time which consumers take to wipe the slate clean of 2019 over-indulgences and set themselves up for a successful new year. It’s a month where many people reevaluate their previous habits and resolve to take better care of their health moving forward. The start of a new year can still represent an opportunity for positive change and improvements to areas like health and diet in which food and beverage brands can play a key role. Below we’ve explored 4 health-focused food and beverage trends to help inspire seasonal and limited time offer (LTO) products for the occasion of Healthy January.

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MAKE WAY FOR MOCKTAILS

Welcome to Dry January, where we’ll be serving up zero-proof cocktails all month long. For many people, kicking off the New Year begins by steering clear of alcohol. Whether consumers are living a sober lifestyle for one month or indefinitely, “zero-proof” drink options are now in abundance. Alcohol-free wines, beers and spirits are hitting mainstream markets, and booze-free bars have made their way into cities across the country -- like New York City, Denver, and Austin. Highly-curated mocktail menus feature superfood smoothies, botanical-infused beverages, floral flavors, adaptogens, and a whole lot of hemp.

PLANT-BASED SEAFOOD

In 2020, consumers will be digging into plant-based products more than ever. Areas like dairy and meat alternatives will continue to thrive. Consumers should definitely be on the lookout for a myriad of new seafood alternatives coming to market. What used to be a relatively unexplored sector will now be much more widespread. Some faux-seafood options include vegan tuna, seaweed-based shrimp, imitation squid, and crabless cakes.

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BREAK OUT THE BURGER BLENDS

Although plant-based products will be more prevalent than ever, not everyone’s ready to fully give up their meaty protein sources. For those looking to cut down on meat consumption without removing it entirely, a noteworthy product to try is the meat-plant blended burger. A mixture made of half veggies and half high-quality ground meat, blended burgers are super flavorful and juicy. Most brands currently on the market offer patties made from beef mixed with either pea protein or mushrooms.

Mushrooms work particularly well, as the nutrient-dense veggies add a good deal of moisture, which enhances the burger’s juicy texture. They also boast a naturally salty flavor profile – no need for an extra shake of salt on this patty! Whether consumers are transitioning to a plant-based diet, looking to increase their veggie intake, or just wanting to try something new, burger blends are delicious, healthier, and more sustainable than a traditional beef patty. Several brands can already be found in local supermarkets -- like the mushroom and beef burger from The Blend, Applegate Organic’s turkey and mushroom blend, and Raised & Rooted’s angus beef and isolated pea protein patties -- but expect burger blends to thoroughly rise in popularity throughout 2020.

SAY HELLO TO SWEET POTATOES

We’ve already experienced a cauliflower takeover, with the versatile veggie finding its way into nearly every imaginable food category. This year, expect a similar situation with the sweet potato. Although the delectable root vegetable has long been a staple in American diets, sweet potatoes are receiving a new level of appreciation. Sweet and tasty, the vibrant orange-colored veggie is packed with nutrients like fiber, vitamin B, vitamin C, and antioxidants, making it a great addition to a healthy diet. Plus it provides a beautiful pop of color to any meal. Be prepared to see a multitude of sweet potato products across grocery shelves this year, like Banza’s new plant-based boxed mac and cheese, made with chickpea pasta and a cheese-less “cheddar” sauce made from sweet potatoes.

This series is backed by our Seasonality Initiative where we help our customers develop pipelines of new concepts and flavor ideas for the seasons and major occasions like the Healthy January.

When most folks think of seasonality it’s normally in preparation of Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall; but when consumers, more specifically foodies, think of seasonality it is usually in anticipation of pumpkin spice lattes or breast cancer pink cookies. At Symrise we are constantly looking for ways to innovate and that means going beyond the scope of normal. It also means not only looking for inspiration within, but outside of the box — our box being the food and beverage space.

If you have questions or would like to learn more about our initiative please contact us.

Continue reading on Healthy January: Trends in Better-For-You Sweet LTOs for Healthy January

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