Evolving Consumers

Some trends we’ll be seeing in 2014 have already begun to evolve and some seem a tad farfetched. The following are food trends to keep your eyes on for 2014:

Consumers increasingly are appreciating the more socially responsible companies and want to support those companies which donate or support important social issues. We are drawn more toward consumer and environmentally friendly products and want to support initiatives that align with our beliefs and views.

Consumers are becoming more educated about what’s lining the shelves in their supermarkets and have increased awareness of not only what is in the product, but also what the product is packaged in. There are some companies that have actually developed edible wrappers, such as burgers served in packaging you can eat in Brazil and edible ice cream sandwich wrappers in Los Angeles. Could we see more environmentally friendly, low-calorie, high-fiber wrappers we can use as a side dish as packaging in the future I think yes.

What about more online grocery shopping, especially locally? Yep. We may very likely see drive through grocery stores as well. Phone Apps which allow consumers the ability to check product ingredients on labels or health claims on food packaging is coming down the pike; and EZ Passes for fast food! Oh my.

Consumers have already begun experiencing more international flavoring and cooking at home, access to spices and produce far and wide and the interest in healthy, flavorful, new multi-cultural foods will continue to grow in popularity.

For the snack happy, supermarkets will showcase healthier options with health benefits at the check-out register aisle, better-for-you, on-the-go items will be replacing the high-calorie, high-fat sweets found there now.

Tea anyone? The tea craze in the U.S. is real and we should be seeing tea shops opening to follow along the coffee houses.

New super foods will be showcased such as the grains Freekah (an ancient grain high in protein and fiber similar to bulgur that has a smoky, nutty flavor and firm chewy texture. It can be substituted for rice dishes or added to soups or casseroles) and Teff (an extremely nutritious grain with a mild nutty flavor that can be substituted for flour). The vegetable trend is the cauliflower and we will be seeing more variety of deeper colors and uses for it as well.

More products will be developed for the allergy-sensitive consumers – such as gluten free.

Please remember to contribute toward your OFA nutrition services if you can. These programs are not sustainable at current levels without the support of participant contributions.

Be aware that Food Stamps can be used toward your contribution. I do not want to have to make any further cuts to nutrition services. Thank you for your support.

Chautauqua County Office for the Aging Senior Nutrition Program provides nutritious noon meals at several Congregate Dining Sites throughout the county along with a Restaurant Dining out Program. Our Dietitian, Cheryl Walhstrom, RD is available for nutrition counseling in your home at no cost to you. We also sponsor several exercise programs. Call the office for more details and information.

Call: 753-4471, 661-7471 or 363-4471.