As the leader in freeze-dried foods, we have our ear to the ground on the trends, rumblings, and forecasting for our market. Mercer Foods kicked off the fall season in Baltimore at the Natural Products Expo East. Twice a year, the natural products industry gathers to see the latest and most innovative products slated to hit shelves.

As we worked our way through the show, many creative and exciting items caught our eyes — and taste buds. Take a look at our top six takeaways from the show.

New Food Trends

Grocery shelves will be filled with the latest trends seen at Expo East 2017.

1. Plant-based proteins

Plant-based alternative proteins were around every corner. People are leaning toward clean eating and sustainable practices, with more than 69 percent of consumers regularly eating meatless meals.

2. Goods for your gut

Probiotics are strong and steady. The good bacteria is being touted in items beyond yogurt, including fermented beverages like kombucha, pickled foods, and more. With an abundance of boutique fermentation brands, consumer belly health is looking good.

3. Ginger everywhere

Lending its distinct aroma and flavor to drinks, snacks, infused foods, and more, ginger is going to be leaping from shelves into consumer pantries. This unique food even made Google’s first ever beverage trends report earlier this year as one of the fastest-growing trends.

4. Himalayan pink salt

This pink, tasty seasoning had time in the spotlight a few years ago and is back for an encore. Often a favorite of chefs and food professionals for its presentation and flavor, the blushing pink salt is back in popularity.

5. Snacks rising

We’ve explored the rise of snacking before and now, more than ever, it shows no signs of slowing down. With family and consumer schedules becoming busier and busier, healthy grab-and-go items are in demand, with customers looking for whole, filling, and nutritious options.

6. Pop goes the popcorn

As we reported from previous industry trade shows this year, popcorn is poppin’! With flavors and blends that run the gamut of savory, sweet, and spicy, popcorn is cementing its place as a go-to snack for consumers of all ages and demographics.

We pride ourselves on being able to deliver healthy, nutritious foods and ingredients to meet your brand and product needs. To learn more about our freeze-drying services, get in touch and be sure to sign up for our monthly newsletter, which is chock-full of industry news and insights.