Most kids thought it was cool back in the day when chicken nuggets took dinosaur shapes and spaghetti-formed Xs and Os. Though eight-year old consumers didn’t know it, these innovations were thanks to food technology. Wondering what’s up-and-coming for the next generation of kiddos? Turns out, it may be a little more creative than shapes.
The future of food tech is exploding, and it just so happens that much of that innovation has been centered on the basic building blocks of food: the ingredients. As food tech advances, these ingredients may find their way into products we love:
Moringa: As a complete plant protein and source of other vitamins and nutrients, this is the green superfood to watch. The leaves are typically treated like spinach or ground into powder. Now commercially available in the United States, moringa is found in common foods like Kuli Kuli’s moringa bars, supplement powder, and green energy shots. This product is available for purchase online and in over 2,000 stores across the country.
Baobob: This superfruit has been available commercially only since 2008 and is hitting shelves in several consumer products now. The baobob’s claim to fame is its naturally occurring nutrients, such as fiber, electrolytes, and antioxidants. Sold from Baobest as a supplemental powder and in fruit bites, this product is available for purchase online and will likely show up in more products soon.
Guayusa: Like sugar, there has also been a recent push for natural caffeine products. Guayusa is being used in new brands of energy drinks, as a natural and sustained energy choice. This caffeine-containing leaf is grown in the Amazon and can be found in many different drink products, some of the most popular being natural energy drinks from Runa and Teawolf.
Natural, Low-Calorie Sugar: It’s no news that sugar has a bad rap, and with artificially created sweeteners like aspartame also coming under fire, there’s been a push in the past decade to develop natural, plant-based sugars. Though some still find the aftertaste off-putting, natural sugars like stevia and monk fruit can now be found in products we love, like Pepsi, Coke, ice cream, and even yogurt!
Cricket Flour: The “buzz” around insects as an alternative protein source has more than 25 startups striving to go mainstream with ingredients like cricket flour. With the potential to provide a more sustainable protein source, cricket flour is now being incorporated into many of our favorite foods. Look out for cricket flour in protein bars from Exo and Chapul, chips from Chirps Chips, or even regular baking flour from Bitty. These products are all available online and many are hitting the shelves in select supermarkets this year as well.
The best news of all? The food industry is never boring. Food tech will continue to surprise us with new ingredients and boundary-pushing innovations that will open new markets and redefine existing categories.
We can’t wait to see what’s next. To discuss how innovative marketing and strategic communications can push your boundaries in the food industry, contact Mark Gale at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 262.563.5129