Institute of Food Technologists Releases Its List of the Top 10 Functional Food Trends

Trends include the rise of single male households and personalized nutrition plans

According to the IFT, 30 percent of consumers participated in at least one specialized eating plan, including vegetarian, Paleo, and vegan.

The Institute of Food Technologists released their list of the top 10 functional food and drink trends from the U.S., using information from a wide range of industry sources.

At the top of the list was “Men in the aisles,” which reflected the rise in single male households. Research conducted by the FMI last year revealed that men now account for 43 percent of primary shopping and 46 percent help with food preparation, according to Food Manufacture UK.

Next, “Gray matters,” points to the fact that by 2019, half of the U.S. population will be more than 50 years old, and this segment of the population will account for more than half of all consumer product spending.

Other highlights from this list include “personalized nutrition plans,” “a new natural hierarchy,” and “healthy convenience.”

Personalized nutrition plans came fourth on the list, as in 2015, 30 percent of food shoppers participated in at least one plan. Of this percentage, millennials were not only more likely to adopt a specialized eating approach, they were the most likely to try more than one. Popular among millennials were vegetarian, juice cleanses, Paleo, and vegan eating styles.

A new natural hierarchy reflects the growing importance consumers place on minimally-processed foods and natural ingredients. The IFT says, “One quarter of consumers say that their food habits characterize them as living a minimally processed lifestyle and 30 percent were making a strong effort to eat more minimally processed foods.”

The healthy convenience trend, last on the list, says that one in five adults prefer to eat on the run.


Check out how these trends line up with what consumers want based on Google searches.