KANSAS CITY — Entering the new year, self-care and environmental consciousness hold a strong foothold in consumer purchasing trends. Most trend forecasts attribute these preferences to a continued concern with personal health that was triggered by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. As climate change becomes an increasingly urgent crisis, consumers seek peace of mind and a sense of participatory cooperation in their food choices, pursuing clean label, organic, and non-GMO food options. Reduced sugar and alternative sweeteners outweigh a past emphasis on decreased fats and caloric value in diet trends. The gut biome and its interactions with the body and brain is entering the baked foods realm with new research in heat-stable postbiotics, joining the already popular prebiotic foods trend. Plant-based meat alternatives are gaining traction as consumers warm to the idea of vegetarian meals being considered comfort food. Locally sourced foods are an increased point of interest as they become more accessible at grocery stores and pose an opportunity to lead a more sustainable lifestyle.
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