Insights and Studies

Sample These 2018 Food and Beverage Industry Trends 

Sample These 2018 Food and Beverage Industry Trends 

 Since 2017, we’ve seen stores embrace digital shopping, step up their stance on sustainability, and promote a healthier perspective overall. In 2018, it is food and bev’s chance to take those lessons to heart. This year the industry makes a statement with big flavors and bold ingredients while returning to the “more is less” mentality. Check out what’s in store for the coming year.


1. Aromatics and Florals


Flowers aren’t just for centerpieces anymore. From cocktails to coffee, bright and floral flavors are budding as one of the top flavor trends for 2018. While the fear with florals has always been being “too perfume-y,” companies and consumers are warming up to the idea.

Honey Lavender ice cream is wow-ing palettes across the country while Rose Water trends as one of the next big functional beverages. If you already have florals and aromatics in your lineup, do a special feature of them on displays and be sure to highlight their complex flavors. Acclimate customers through samplings so they can see the power of the flower for themselves and know it doesn’t have to taste like soap. Rose, Elderflower, and Hibiscus top the list of favorite florals to try.


2. The non-meat meat


Tofu and tempeh might be what come to mind when thinking about meatless alternatives. Vegetarians and meat lovers alike want tastier, more satisfying non-meat options. It’s no secret that consumers might be dissatisfied with carb- and chemical-filled veggie burgers.

Beyond Meat makes 100% plant based “meat” products. Its claim to fame is making veggie based products that mimic beef in look, feel, and taste. They use beets to mimic the color of beef and once they cook, they even “bleed” like real burgers. Their success comes after 7 years of experimenting with the sensory experience of meat and finally being able to replicate it.



3. Functional Mushrooms


‘Shrooms might be trendy this year, but their health benefits aren’t anything new. For centuries, mushrooms were prized in ancient Chinese culture and used for their medicinal properties. They considered the Resishi mushroom to be the mushroom of immortality. They contain a wealth of benefits from adaptogenic (stress reducing) properties to immunity boosting complexes.

Within seven years, the functional mushroom market is on track to exceed $50 billion dollars, according to Grand View Research. Superfoods no longer apply to just health nuts and foodies. People care more about the quality of what they put into their bodies, focusing the returns to their health and well-being. Four Sigmatic [link to Coffee blog or vice versa] sells different blends of coffees, teas, and hot chocolate. This company proves that mixing these health-packed fungi can easily be mixed into your daily diet and more importantly your favorite drinks.


4. Super Powders


Powders like turmeric, arrowroot, matcha, maca, and moringa are 2018’s fairy godmothers of superfoods, sprinkling their miraculous health benefits on dishes around the world. Many of these, like turmeric, have been used for thousands of years in medicine and cooking.  

Navitas Organics sells pure powders, but also uses the powders in grab-and-go snacks like Coffee Cacao Power snacks that contain cacao, camu, and maca. This makes the powders accessible and delicious for the unfamiliar shopper. Aloha takes a similar approach as they incorporate super powders like turmeric into their Boost Tea and moringa in their Superfood Greens.


5. Spirulina


Yum, algae… Don’t turn away just yet! The spirulina market will be worth $416.11 million by 2023. On trend with consumers seeking to maximize health benefits, spirulina is being added to smoothies and unexpected dishes.  It often comes in a powder form, but recipes range from spirulina pesto to spirulina chocolate truffles.

Organic Burst makes spirulina accessible and, more importantly, less daunting. They sell it in tablets and powder form, but feature delicious spirulina recipes on their website. They educate on how to make algae a pantry staple. Other companies such as Go Raw make spirulina bars and sweet spirulina bites. Whether you want customers to blend it, mix it, or snack on it, make it known that spirulina is easy to use and nutritious.


6. Gut Health Beverages


Kombucha dominates the functional beverage market, but it’s not the only beverage good for your belly! Experts expect the probiotic market to grown to over $64 billion by 2023.  

Drinking vinegars, kefir, and probiotic juices and waters offer alternatives from the popular fermented tea with all the microbiome goodness!

Even if you don’t have a probiotic product in your line up at the moment, the beverages can be used in smoothies, on-the-go with other satisfying and nutritious snacks, or used as a drink mixer (kombucha cocktail anyone?). Find which products pair well with yours or match your brand philosophy. Turn gut health into a movement by following brands like Kevita, Health Ade, Suja, Tropicana, and Siggi’s that offer delicious, tummy-friendly products.



Here’s to those that play in the snow. Salud.

A post shared by KeVita (@kevitadrinks) on

7. Hyperlocal


Farm-to-table isn’t exactly groundbreaking. While it’s no secret consumers want more sustainably sourced products closer to home, we’re zooming in that much closer.

The hyperlocal movement focuses on products that come from very close to wherever home is to you. We aren’t talking same region or state, but within your community. Consumers feel that this is a responsible choice that boosts the local economy and supports ethical sourcing practices. Like some of the other trends on the list, this isn’t a new idea. In fact, this is how an agricultural society operated until modern times. As these old turned new again trends make the list, it is important to see which you can absorb into your production and advertising strategy.


8. Sparkling Water


Consumers associate soda with sugar, sugar with calories, and calories with weight gain. They’re making the swap and replacing their soda habit for one that still sparkles without the unhealthy add-ins. La Croix’s parent company, National Beverage, saw sales rise by around $180 million since 2015.

Americans are not only curbing soda, but are working on their aesthetics. La Croix’s marketing campaign includes photogenic packaging, hashtag campaigns, and encourages sharing of the “La Croix experience.” The combination of America’s bubbly fixation and La Croix’s top-notch marketing prove that sparkling water finally has its time to shine.



Don’t let your creativity run dry.🖌💧#StayHydrated (📸:@punkpostco)

A post shared by LaCroix Sparkling Water (@lacroixwater) on


9. Cannabis Compounds


The hemp industry has projected growth of $1.8 billion by 2020. As more states legalize marijuana, CBD (cannabidiol) is making its way into snacks. This year’s focus on functional products fits in nicely here. CBD doesn’t have mood altering effects, but has anti-inflammatory effects, antioxidants, fights cancer, boosts immunity, and more. CBD counters the effects of many of THC’s properties.

While it will still be a while before CBD is widely used, be prepared for the compound to function as the newest health super star. In fact, Dirk Lindley, founder of Cannaki, a CBD beverage company, told us that after losing loved ones to breast cancer, he asked what he could do for others.  He says “ The world wants the product and now the world is getting it,” and has enjoyed being at the forefront of the changing industry.



10. Transparent Packaging and Design


Consumers are looking closer at what they’re eating during their  their weekly grocery shopping trips. When it comes to ingredients, seeing is believing.

Farmer Willie’s Ginger Beer has taken this lesson to heart. “People don’t know what the hell they are drinking,” says the company’s co-founder and CEO Nico Enriquez.“There are no ingredients labels or nutrition facts on alcohol. So, if you can provide people with real, clean ingredients and they know what they are drinking, and you build a movement around that, you can change alcohol for the better and give customers something they are actually improving their lives upon.”.

With virtually no alcohol companies displaying ingredients or nutrition info, Farmer Willie’s is making a stand, creating a tasty ginger beer with less sugar and zero gluten. What’s more, they’re the first alcohol brand to feature an ingredients and nutrition label on their brews in the hopes of inspiring more booze brands to do the same.




Download the 2024 Outlook Report

As the retail landscape continues to evolve, it’s more important than ever to stay on top of the latest trends and challenges. Download our report today to see how more than 160+ CG executives and field leaders are strategizing for 2024.

Gabrielle Downey

Gabrielle is a Content Marketing Journalist at Repsly with an enthusiasm for creativity and innovation. While pursuing her passion for writing, she is studying economics and philosophy at Boston College. She spends her free time exploring Boston in search of the best cup of coffee and cannoli.

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