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ProdigyWorks: Hot Food Trends for Summer 2018

Summer is on!  That means the New York Fancy Foods Show is right around the corner.  While we have seen some new food trends pop up already this year, there will be no better place to spot the latest and greatest happenings in the food and beverage space than at the Fancy Food Show on June 30th – July 2nd.  As the ProdigyWorks team prepares for one of the largest annual specialty food and beverage event in America, here are some fun, innovative food and drinks trends we expect to see at the show and throughout the rest of the year.


 
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Buzz Worthy

Bee Pollen is thought of as one of nature’s most healthful foods as it contains almost all the nutrients needed by humans.  It is rich in proteins, free amino acids, and vitamins, including the B-complex, and folic acid.  Bee pollen is believed to increase energy levels, smooth your skin, aid in digestion and support your cardiovascular health.  

 

Research also suggests it is easily absorbed so your body can quickly put all of its nutritional benefits to good use.  The next time you look at a restaurant menu, don’t be surprised to see bee pollen as an ingredient in a smoothie or salad dressing or sprinkled on top of your ice cream or donut.

 

Grain of the Pharaohs

Farro is high in protein and fiber with a nutty flavor and a rice-like, chewy texture.  This ancient grain has a storied past as Egyptian kings and Roman legions were accustomed to eating it, and it has been an essential of Italian food for centuries.  Today we are seeing it in a blossoming number of farm-to-table restaurants.  

 

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The complex carb provides many vitamins and minerals including vitamin B3, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc… and tons of antioxidants. This heritage grain works in a variety of dishes including warm and cold salads, soups and stews, oatmeal and stuffings.  It is hard to go wrong with farro.

 

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Tea Meets its Matcha

Matcha means “powdered tea.”  This tea, Japanese in its origins, has been around for centuries but has become increasingly popular in the past couple of years because of its health benefits. Unlike regular tea, where the leaves are discarded after brewing, you drink the matcha leaves, which means youre taking in more catechins—antioxidant compounds responsible for benefits like boosting metabolism and preventing cancer. 

It is estimated that one cup of matcha equals 10 cups of steeped tea when it comes to antioxidant content.  Expect to see more people using this bright-green powder in everything from sparkling tonics to smoothies, to matcha-infused snacks like cookies and ice cream.

 

Not Your Grandma’s Cauliflower

Cauliflower is growing in popularity because it appeals to a broad range of consumers following a variety of diets, from vegetarian to Paleo.  Many of these diets follow the regimen of finding foods with limited additives such as sugar, salt or synthetic ingredients.  Cauliflower is the perfect answer to that model.  

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 As such, many food companies are beginning to use vegetables to replace flour, rice and other simple carbs as consumer demand low-carb, low-cal and gluten-free alternatives. Cauliflower, chiefly because of its mild flavor and adaptability, is being used to make an array of recipes, from muffins and mashed cauliflower to casseroles, gnocchi, pizza and even chocolate brownies.

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Happy Hour Just Got Healthy

Non-alcoholic drinks – craft sodas, botanical mixers, mocktails and drinks with natural sweeteners or herbal accents – are growing in popularity in the drinks industry.  Driven by a focus on well-being and better choice options, consumers who are looking for non-alcoholic alternatives are choosing healthier options rather than drinks that are sweet, fruity or fizzy.  

 

People have a greater curiosity around different flavors and want more selections so expect to find plenty of creative options at bars this summer including Heineken’s 0.0% near beer or the new Wine Water.

 


Consumer tastes are constantly changing and there is no bigger indicator of that than in the food and beverage space.  As a company, it is vital to always look at what’s ahead in your industry, not just what’s happening tomorrow but what the landscape will look like 5 and 10 years down the road.  An effective strategy for the future prepares you for success today.  The Prodigyworks team will be at the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City on June 30th – July 2nd, looking at the latest trends in food and drinks.  We would love to meet with you to discuss the work we do in the innovation space, share some food and beverage innovation success stories, and how tapping into our network of creative geniuses can help you leap ahead of your competitors. 

Learn more about LMCA’s innovation subsidiary ProdigyWorks – Originating as a partnership with Mensa more than 10 years ago, ProdigyWorks is a unique, global, high-IQ network that takes incredibly diverse combinations of the world’s smartest and most creative thinkers and unleashes them on brands’ toughest innovation, futuring, naming and product development challenges. Come see how rapid, high-level, outside thinking leads to smarter, more sustainable innovation that drives long-term in-market success for the world’s best-loved brands.

 

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