2016 Top Food Trend: Seafood! cover

2016 Top Food Trend: Seafood!

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Consumers’ food interests and priorities are ever-evolving, especially with improvements in technology and changes in the economy, environment, and our social connectivity. The top food trends for 2016, which reflect these evolving priorities, have been released by market research firm Mintel, and the trends are looking great for seafood. Here are the top 12 emerging food trends for 2016, and how a seafood-rich diet can fit in!





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Top Trends

Image by Rob Taylor

Top Trends

Consumers’ food interests and priorities are ever-evolving, especially with improvements in technology and changes in the economy, environment, and our social connectivity. The top food trends for 2016, which reflect these evolving priorities, have been released by market research firm Mintel, and the trends are looking great for seafood. Here are the top 12 emerging food trends for 2016, and how a seafood-rich diet can fit in!

1. Protein Alternatives Become Mainstream

Image Flickr/cookbookman17

1. Protein Alternatives Become Mainstream

Alternatives like veggie burgers and soy milk are no longer just for vegetarians and people with other dietary limitations. Instead, these alternative protein sources and potential substitutes appeal to the everyday consumer, making these options more mainstream. This is great news for a seafood-rich diet, because fish is very healthy, packed with protein, and can substitute beef, chicken, or pork in a variety of tasty recipes. Salmon burger, anyone?

2. Getting Away From Artificial

Image © iStock

2. Getting Away From Artificial

Consumers want natural, less processed food and drink options, forcing companies to reduce or remove artificial, less recognizable ingredients. Seafood can be a natural food! Whether you are buying fresh or frozen, there are many natural options available. When buying frozen, make sure that the seafood is the only ingredient on the list. For a fresher version of natural and healthy seafood, buy from your local fishermen’s market or Community Supported Fishery. For a list of markets in Southern California, go to SeafoodfortheFuture.org.

3. Eco-Friendly Food Is The New Reality

Image Flickr/Archangel12

3. Eco-Friendly Food Is The New Reality

The impact of food production on drought and climate change is becoming a serious concern for consumers. In the coming year, sustainability will no longer just be good for the bottom line—it will be a necessary part of product development and distribution.

Eco-Friendly Food (Cont.)

Seafood shines in this department, as it has a low environmental impact in comparison to other forms of animal protein.

Seafood produced in the marine environment typically generates fewer greenhouse gases and uses fewer land and freshwater resources. Fish and other seafood species are also more efficient at converting feed into edible protein. Despite this, less than 2 percent of the global food supply comes from the ocean. We need to eat more seafood!

4. Feeling Good, From The Inside Out

Image Flickr/WithWind

4. Feeling Good, From The Inside Out

Consumers now understand how much their diet can impact the way they look and feel. This connection places a new emphasis on personal and physical wellness, creating a market for products enhanced with beneficial components, such as collagen, probiotics, or omega-3 fatty acids.

Feeling Good (Cont.)

Improving our diet for optimum health may seem like an unattainable New Year’s resolution, but increasing the amount of seafood we eat could go a long way toward achieving that goal without sacrificing taste. Seafood is a super healthy food, packed with beneficial omega-3s, iron, selenium, and other essential nutrients.

Research shows that seafood is the best dietary source for heart-healthy omega-3s. Adding more nutritious and tasty seafood to our diet has been shown to reduce our risk of heart disease, improve brain development, and may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Learn more about seafood health benefits from the Seafood Nutrition Partnership and Seafood Health Facts.

5. Food For Every Body

Image © www.BillionPhotos.com

5. Food For Every Body

The increasing promotion of athletic programs that motivate people to become and remain active is paired with the complementary need for food and drink that helps introduce consumers to sports nutrition.

Food For Every Body (Cont.)

It is common knowledge that getting and staying fit will require healthy nutritious eating, which creates an opportunity for a market of products that work with people’s activity levels and goals.

Seafood is low in calories, packed with protein, and is a great source of many vitamins, including B-complex vitamins, which are important for energy metabolism, giving athletes the right kind of energy to perform without consuming the “bad” fats. To learn more about the nutritional value and health benefits of seafood, visit Seafood Nutrition Partnership and Seafood Health Facts.

6. Food With A Story

Community Seafood

6. Food With A Story

Consumers love product origin stories, and want to know where the ingredients and inspirations came from. People want to see products with verified claims to the source of the food, and are drawn to true stories that give the product a hand-crafted, locally produced feel.

Food With A Story (Cont.)

There are few stories more romanticized than that of the local fisherman, but in the United States it is a struggling heritage.

The U.S. imports more than 90 percent of the seafood it consumes, even though we have some of the best managed fisheries in the world and more fishable ocean area than any other country.

Traceability becomes more difficult when buying fish from overseas, resulting in distrust of the product and the conditions under which it was harvested and distributed. Buying from a local fisherman bridges the gap from boat to plate, connecting the consumer to their community and the fish they are eating and providing the consumer with confidence in his or her dinner choice.

7. Food With The Click Of A Button

Advancing technology and distribution innovations are fostering the growth of non-traditional grocery shopping.

Online shopping, mobile apps, and delivery services are beginning to transform the landscape of grocery shopping and allowing consumers to avoid physical retailers and instead shop from the comfort of their home. These new avenues are also presenting consumers will access to deals, niche offerings, and full pre-prepared meals.

High-quality, responsibly caught seafood is becoming more readily available online from companies like Catalina Offshore Products, Pike Place Fish Market, 2 Sisters Alaska Seafood, Salty Girl Seafood, and Honolulu Fish Company.* Buying fresh, smoked, canned or frozen seafood online from your local fisherman may become more common in the coming year. *Visit seafoodfuture.org to learn more about environmentally responsible seafood options.

8. Non-Manufactured Superfoods

Image Flickr/Taz

8. Non-Manufactured Superfoods

The growing interest in ‘getting back to basics’ foods has enhanced demand for foods like ancient grains and other superfoods, promoting the concept that natural staples are better than today’s manufactured options.

Seafood has been an important source of protein and other nutrients for humans throughout recorded history–there’s even evidence that Neanderthals ate mussels. As a long-time staple food in the human diet, seafood is one of the most back-to-basics options for us to eat, and eating local seafood allows us to connect to our local environment.

9. Looks Good Enough To Tweet

Image Flickr/John Herschell

9. Looks Good Enough To Tweet

We have become completely enthralled with food-centric media, which has sparked a new interest in cooking for nourishment and as a creative outlet, with a special focus on how the food is presented. Presentation has grown in importance as sharing images of our food with our friends and followers via social media has become a norm. Cooking seafood may seem intimidating, but when done right, can result in gorgeous works of art to share!

10. Cooking For One

Growing numbers of people of all ages are living in single-person households or occasionally eat meals alone.

Combined with the stigma attached to overeating or food waste, this puts more pressure on having more food products that are just the right size for one consumer. Pre-prepared, individually packaged seafood can meet the needs of solo diners, and is beginning to become available.

Salty Girl Seafood is one of the companies at the forefront of providing high-quality, traceable, and sustainable smoked and frozen pre-packaged seafood that is seasoned and ready to cook. Additionally, most grocery stores have seafood sold in packages with fish that have been individually quick frozen (IQF), making it easy to thaw and cook each individual fish portion at a time. Buying seafood in this form makes getting the recommended weekly dose of seafood for any individual easy and delicious!

11. Not All Fat Is Evil

Image Shutterstock nomidavid

11. Not All Fat Is Evil

The negative stigma associated with fat has begun to diminish. Consumers are becoming more aware of the differences between “good” and “bad” fats, and are intentionally adding more sources of “good” fats into their healthy diet. One of the best examples of “good” fats is omega-3 fatty acids, which need to be obtained through food, and seafood is considered the best dietary source! Visit Seafood Nutrition Partnership and Seafood Health Facts for more information.

12. Eat With Your Eyes

Image Flickr/Susan Lucas Hoffman

12. Eat With Your Eyes

Although taste and flavor are of course very important for a good meal, our share-centric society also craves food that is visually appealing. Artful presentations and bold colors are growing in popularity for consumers, not only for the benefit of sharing images, but also because of the understanding that eating a variety of colors can signify a more balanced, healthy diet.

Seafood, which comes in all kinds of varieties, colors, shapes, and sizes, is a great way to bring the rainbow to your table and feast on a healthy, delicious, and visually attractive meal.

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