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3 Big Ingredient Trends You Should Know About

Food for a happy mood?  The ‘perfect’ sweetener?  A natural source for satiety?

Those are some of the beliefs around three ingredients that are gaining consumer popularity.  Here’s the (brief) lowdown on each of them…

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Photo by dmourati

1)  Hot Peppers

Remember the Sriracha fumes kerfuffle of 2013?  When the court said ‘no’ to closing down production of the popular chili sauce, die-hard fans everywhere were relieved. However, it may be more than just taste that keeps them wanting to ‘feel the burn’ of the Rooster-branded chili sauce in their favorite dishes and on their tongues.

Based on the science of how spicy foods affect our bodies, it seems that when we eat them, our endorphins kick up. Result:  a natural mood booster.  Clever food marketers are tapping into this and introducing all kinds of spicy new products to tempt our palates and keep us happy and loyal.

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Photo by tJj

2)  Stevia

Recently there’s been a resurgence of sugar bashing.  It’s been blamed for everything from obesity to aging.  Along comes Stevia — sourced from the rebaudiana plant — minus many of the scary health warnings that have been attributed to sugar and other sweet substitutes. Nowadays you can even find Stevia among the packets of Splenda, Sweet N’Low and sugar in many restaurants.

According to Food Business News, the use of Stevia in products may double by 2017. However,  a big challenge, according to the The New York Times (and not unlike other sugar substitutes) is keeping Stevia ‘natural’ while adjusting it for consumers’ taste.

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Photo by CIAT

3)  Protein 

Unconventional ‘bars’ are popping up all around big cities, catering to cravers of niche products and services like specialty juices and upscale manicures — even hair blowouts.   Recently, I came across Protein Bar  — a one stop shop for protein-packed meals.

What has protein done lately to merit its own retail chain?   Well according to Food Business News, Americans are eating protein in copious quantities.  They believe high protein products are a healthy source of energy and keep them feeling full and satisfied.

Plants, in particular, are increasingly being touted as a healthy protein source.  One of several benefits is that they’re naturally low in fat and cholesterol. Bloomberg describes a plant-based high protein source called  ‘pulses’ — legumes that include dried peas, beans, chickpeas and lentils — being used by food manufacturers in both sweet and savory products.

So now that you’ve read this, are you craving a spicy, sugar-free, kidney bean smoothie?    More importantly, are your marketing efforts incorporating these ingredient trends?  If not, are there ways you can capitalize on them?