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Seven Food Trends to Watch in 2019: #3 Plant-Based Foods, #4 Cannabis-Infused Foods & #5 Alternative Sugars

Our Food Trends 2019 list continues with our next three picks for food trends that may be staying center plate in the new year.

Food Trends 2019

#3 Plant-Based Foods & Beverages. 

The rise in plant-based foods in part can be credited to consumers interest in eating more whole foods, plants, looking for meat alternatives, and wanting foods that have transparency. Michael Pollen must have had his crystal ball out when he coined this phrase in 2009, “Eat food. Mostly plants. Not too much.” Big players in the plant-based industry like Beyond Meat, are dominating the meatless market at the moment but perhaps not for long. Lots of other companies—at Expo West there was an increase in alternative meat exhibitors—are experimenting with plant-based foods as well as beverages. Look for more brown rice milks and oat milks to make a splash in the market in 2019. 

Food Trends 2019
Food Trends 2019 Plant-based foods

Another factor in the increase of plant-based products is thanks to Millennials. This group of digital native consumers is willing to try new foods and is often introduced to new food trends via their social channels. There has been a lot of buzz thanks to Instagram and Facebook about newcomers to the plant-based market. The benefit of this trend becoming front and center, is that food companies are working diligently to provide not just plant-based options, but ones that taste really good. We sampled Good Catch Food’s Fish-Free Tuna at a recent Fancy Food Show and were blown away by the texture and outstanding taste. This is one plant-made product that we are really looking forward to seeing more of. 

#4 Cannabis-Infused Foods.

Culinary cannabis has definitely been trend topping in 2018 and will most likely grow in popularity in 2019. Marijuana continues to make its way into mainstream America with now 30 states legalizing it for medical use and another nine states (and Washington, DC) have legalized it for recreational use for adults over the age of 21. However, it’s products that contain cannabis—but are non-psychoactive that are going to be even more popular in the new year as more consumers want to try foods with the health benefits provided by CBD. According to the Specialty Food Association’s article, 55% of consumers surveyed would be interested in trying cannabis in food and 33% would try it in non-alcoholic beverages. 


#5 Alternative Sugars.

Americans are starting to come to terms with their sweet cravings and the exorbitant amount of sugar in most diets. Sweeteners like Agave and honey will continue to show up in products to help reduce sugar but maintain the sweetness. And these sweetening staples will also get a flavor kick. Look for unique flavor combinations, using global spices and even floral flavors to appeal to a broader audience. 

Our final predictions for top food trends in 2019 include Global Cuisine Meets Local and Trendy Foods at the Gas Station.

Skillet Creative’s Designs Featured on First We Feast’s Hot Ones.

Check out the hot sauce line up for Hot Ones Season 7 and you’ll find Skillet Creative client, Butterfly Bakery’s Maple Wood Smoked Onion Hot Sauce. Super popular and James Beard Award-winning online magazine, First We Feast focuses on food, drink and pop culture. One of their most watched YouTube series, Hot Ones includes a wide range of celebrities being interviewed by host Sean Evans while they eat progressively spicier chicken wings. The show’s tagline sums it up nicely, “The show with hot questions, and even hotter wings.” 

Skillet Client, Butterfly Bakery’s Hot Sauces Featured in Season 7 of Hot Ones.

Skillet Client, Butterfly Bakery’s Hot Sauces Featured in Season 7 of Hot Ones.

Evans says the season 7 line up is the “NBA draft of hot sauces,” as he describes each hot sauce and their unique flavor attributes. Calling Butterfly Bakery’s hot sauce one of the most interesting flavor profiles ever on the show thanks to maple wood smoke onions. 

Butterfly Bakery Hot Sauce Label

Butterfly Bakery came to Skillet Creative a few years ago to evolve their hot sauce labels. Owner Claire Georges questioned if the vertical orientation of their old labels was working or if that layout was challenging for consumers and less effective on the shelf.

In addition, Georges wanted to find a better way to incorporate into the labels the flavor partnerships with other local producers and brewers. Each hot sauce is made in small batches, so developing a system to communicate the handmade element on the labels was also key when redesigning.

Food labeling design

Skillet Creative created two concepts for consideration, one that included an evolved version of the vertical format and a second option that changed the orientation and placed the unique collaborations and small-batch elements on the front. Georges felt the second layout was the best option, so we continued to fine tune that label and carry it across the entire hot sauce line.

As Hot Ones host, Sean Evans pointed out, “this is a farm-to-table label.” Soon after the hot sauce label was updated, the design was also applied to Georges’ other products including her line of mustards.

As the company and product line continued to grow, Skillet helped Butterfly Bakery to a badge that could quickly communicate the full product offerings, including granola, cookies, mustard, and the hot sauces.

Skillet Creative designed a badge that Butterfly Bakery uses on unique gift merchandise such as this cool pint glass.

Skillet Creative designed a badge that Butterfly Bakery uses on unique gift merchandise such as this cool pint glass.

Georges had intentions of pairing the hot sauces with a pint glass or bottle opener for gift merchandise. We can only imagine that being featured on Hot Ones Season 7 will create more demand not only for Butterfly Bakery’s hot sauces but also their cool schwag. Way to go Claire!

If you are considering evolving your label or creating new merchandise for your brand, let’s connect. We’d love to learn about your company and your vision for growth. 

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