Plant protein and health-enhancing fat lead 2016 food trends

By Noli Dinkovski

- Last updated on GMT

Plant-based protein: set up to be key trend in the year ahead.
Plant-based protein: set up to be key trend in the year ahead.

Related tags Nutrition Fatty acid

Protein from plants and health-enhancing fat are the two leading food trends of 2016, according to a new consumer insights report by Canadean.

Health, wellness, technology, convenience, and indulgence were all projected to directly influence the top trends in the year ahead.

‘Storm clouds’ are gathering over animal-based protein, and some of the strongest support for plant protein is coming from vegetarian athletes – a group that could help link plant protein with athletic prowess, Canadean said.

Things were also looking up for fat, one of the industry’s biggest villains in recent decades, it claimed.


Fat was being promoted as a health-enhancing ingredient in categories you would not expect, like bottled water, Canadean added.

It cited the example of FATwater functional water, a recent US launch that contains medium-chain triglycerides derived from coconut oil.

Soft drinks, or ‘hard sodas’ are predicted to fill a gap between overly sweet ‘alcopops’ and more sophisticated drinks like beer, wine, or spirits.

Look out for the rise of food you can drink as well. Recent developments like drinkable peanut powder and drinkable soups that are positioned between soup and smoothies suggest that the drinkable meal concept is on the rise, Canadean said.

Another expected trend is a growing consumer desire for smaller brands and products from smaller companies.

Top 10 trends

  1. Protein from plants, not animals
  2. Fat is back
  3. Soft drinks get hard
  4. My new personal care routine
  5. Food you can drink
  6. Small is beautiful
  7. Say hello to GMO 2.0
  8. Sweet on sour
  9. Permissive indulgence
  10. Anti-pollution beauty

Greener GM food

There is also likely to be a new generation of greener and waste-reducing food made with genetically-modified (GM) organisms.

Sour flavours were predicted to be on the rise as well – in everything from candy and beer to vegetables.

A further trend will be permissive indulgence through the addition of ‘better for you’ health ingredients to indulgent foods.

Trends in new personal care routines and in anti-pollution skincare and haircare products are also expected.

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