Bitter Flavors, Plant-Based Options To Flourish In 2019

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Boulder, CO — During the coming year, consumers will show more interest in bitter flavors and plant-based options, according to a 2019 trends report from research company Sterling Rice Group (SRG).

“The thread that ties all the new flavors, ingredients and market forces together is how our desire to improve all aspects of the human experience is profoundly influencing the foods we will be eating well into 2019,” says Liz Moskow, culinary director at SRG. “We are also seeing extreme diet protocols from keto to paleo and more, giving consumers permission to eat things that were previously considered bad for you. This gives full-fat dairy and other foods a seat at the table.”

While sour products have seen solid gains during the past year, SRG anticipates shoppers to show even more affinity for bitter flavors during 2019. Looking at the culinary world, where trends often first appear, menu references to bitter have risen more than 22 percent in the past four years and are anticipated to increase more than 18 percent in the coming four years.

Additionally, trends centered around plant-based products are expected to persist, with shoppers show interest in vegetables such as cassava, Japanese yams, parsnips and jicama.

Other trends SRG foresees include butter becoming the new bacon as “fat bombs” become more popular among those following special diets such as keto. Lettuce is also expected to move from the bowl to the cup as leafy greens are being used more in fresh-pressed juices, while hydroponically grown varietals are being called out by name on menus.

Finally, the market research company expects artificial intelligence to really hit the food industry hard, as manufacturers leverage technology to uncover trends as they occur in real time.