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January 7, 2014

8 Food Trends to Expect in 2014

Check out our dietitians' predictions for the top food trends of 2014. 

1. CLEAN EATING. Although the Paleo diet was all the buzz in 2013, a more realistic approach to clean eating will be seen in 2014. This trend advocates eating food as close to its natural state as possible. The focus is on whole foods - lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats - and limiting processed food intake.

8 Food Trends to Expect in 20142. HOMEMADE ALTERNATIVES. Using olive oil and lemon juice in place of the previous trend of low fat, low sodium dressing alternatives is a trend in 2014. Other examples include using high citrus fruits like kiwi and oranges to marinate and tenderize meat and using Greek yogurt in place of sour cream.

3. GOING LOCAL, FROM PEOPLE TO INDUSTRY. Many of Food & Friends' local restaurant partners that support Dining Out for Life® and Chef's Best Dinner & Auction have already included locally-sourced items on their menus. This year, chain restaurants will be following suit. Chains like Chipotle and Panera Bread are expanding awareness by using catch phrases such as “Food with Integrity” and “Live Consciously” to promote their safe sourcing practices and wellness promotion.

4. ALLERGEN-FREE FOOD. 13% of American adults have some type of food allergy. However, more people are choosing allergy-free foods even though it is not a necessity for their health. An example of this is choosing to eat gluten-free. Ingredients like quinoa, rice and buckwheat are more popular and available on grocery store shelves.

5. MEAT-FREE ALTERNATIVES. More non-vegetarians will be consuming meat substitutes. Tofu, portabella, and black bean burgers will be popping up on fast-food and restaurant menus alike. 

6. NUTS FOR DAIRY. Lactose-intolerant, vegan, and clean-eaters are choosing milk-and-dairy-free options. Soy and rice cheese are already found in grocery stores, however, be on the look-out for cashew, hazelnut, and hemp milks.

7. "ALLOWABLE" SNACKS. Snacks containing nutritionally dense, functional ingredients are on the rise. Roasted seaweed snacks, kale chips, and seeds are now available in convenient, on-the-go packages. 

8. NATURAL SWEETENERS. As more people are watching their sugar and calorie intake, demand for calorie-free, natural sweeteners is increasing. Stevia and other natural sugars like coconut and palm sugar are becoming more prevalent.

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