Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Trending in Foods: Healthy Ingredients, Spicy Foods, Pie Sales, Menu Calories, Grass-fed Label

Five food-related subjects that are trending on this Tuesday...

Expect to see more processed foods containing dried beans and other healthy ingredients.
The food industry is listening and innovating to meet consumer healthy ingredient perceptions. Take the chickpea pasta, Banza, for example. It contains chickpeas, tapioca, and pea protein, and claims to have twice the protein and four times the fiber of wheat pasta. In about a year, it gained a market presence in more than 2,000 stores, including Whole Foods and Sprouts. In the snack isle, chips with dried beans are also appearing on grocer shelves.

A Chinese study suggests that hot and spicy foods contribute to longevity.
The number of Americans who prefer hot or spicy foods is on the rise, and now totals over 50 percent of our population. Ingesting capsaicin, the hot ingredient from chili peppers, is associated with lower risks of cancer, heart disease, and respiratory diseases and has a positive effect on metabolism. A recently completed Chinese study suggests that spicy diets contribute to living longer.

Sales of pies are booming.
Todd Hale LLC - Am.Bakers.org

The bakeries and delis located in the perimeters of grocery stores are growing their sales volumes, while baked goods in the middle of the grocery store remain stable. In the past 12 months, deli sandwich sales rose 6 percent, bakery pie sales rose 21 percent, and bakery brownies and dessert bars increased 13 percent in sales, followed by cookies, which rose 7 percent.

Restaurant menus will not include calorie amounts for the time being.
The FDA is delaying labeling restaurant menus with calorie amounts until, at earliest, 2017. The health care bill of 2010 is requiring those eateries with more than 19 locations to display caloric amounts for menu items. Health advocates are frustrated over the implementation delays.

Do you know what the grass-fed beef label means?
In January of 2016, the USDA's AMS announced that is dropping its official definition of "grass-fed". According to Business Insider, "In a statement, the AMS claimed that it doesn't have the authority to define and determine whether specific grass-fed claims that companies make on their packaging are 'truthful and not misleading.' In short, while the USDA still evaluates and approves grass-fed claims, the government no longer has an official definition of the term 'grass-fed,' which means the phrase is now more open to interpretation. While the AMS says the change will not negatively impact anyone, critics say that dropping the official definition is a bad move for both consumers and meat producers alike."

To view last week's trendspotting post, go here.--k.m.

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