What is Quark? In March I was honored to speak at the Clean Label Conference in Itasca, Illinois on clean label ingredient trends. There I met Craig Sherwin who is the Technical Service Manager for Novozymes North America, a Dutch ingredient company. Craig was promoting an alternative to the conventional yeast-based lactase used in lactose-free dairy. He mentioned this being applied to a variety of dairy products, including a traditional Germanic product called “Quark”. Somewhere between the texture of a thick yogurt and ricotta cheese, quark is a creamy, cultured milk product that can be used in sweet and savory dishes, or eaten plain.
Hop to it: It’s not too late to shop for a better-for-you Easter basket With Easter right around the corner many Americans are gearing up for a big family celebration. According to Packaged Facts’ “Food Gifting in the U.S.: Consumer and Corporate” report, those celebrating Easter last year spent an estimated $18 billion on products including candy, gifts, food and flowers, with $152 spent per celebrant. Food and candy comprised more than $6 billion of consumers’ Easter spending.
Serving up Data Bites, One Slice at a Time March 14, or 3.14, is National Pi Day. A day when America pays homage to the mathematical constant π. Pi is that unique, never repeating or ending, fraction that many of us remember from geometry class -- the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. So it’s appropriate that we celebrate with food in the shape of a circle. Many grocery stores offer deals on pizza pies, fruit pies and even chicken pot pies. There is no doubt a pie for everyone.
American consumers are demanding more transparency about the ingredients being used within the food products they consume, with the majority of consumers preferring natural, socially-conscious food items. And they are beginning to expect the same for their pets, who are increasingly being viewed as an extension of the family.
Not only are American consumers taking a greater interest in the ingredients being used in their food and beverages, but they’re also beginning to care more about what’s being used in their personal care products. Studies show that shoppers are looking for products with recognizable ingredients and they’re willing to pay more for items using “better-for-you” ingredients. But as shoppers continue to vote with their wallets, personal care good manufacturers are continuing to look for opportunities to tap into the burgeoning “natural personal care” product market.
Now that we’ve shut the door on 2017and looked at trending diets this year, let’s look at the food trends that are heavily anticipated in 2018. Just Googling “2018 food trends” will bring up hundreds of articles in dozens of publications about what’s going to be hot this year. You can see for yourself here, here and here. We decided to dig into a few of these trends and learn a bit more about them – and see how prevalent they are on the grocery shelves already. However, it’s up to you to decide if you’d like to drop these into your shopping cart this year.
Valentine’s Day is here and consumers across the country are searching for the perfect way to show their love. Chocolate continues to be one of the most popular Valentine’s Day gifts and those indulging this year need not feel guilty. Buying patterns for chocolate follow broader grocery shopping trends -- consumers are investing in “better-for-you” ingredients and brands that provide greater transparency. February also marks American Heart Month, a federal event that brings awareness to the dangers of heart disease. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends maintaining a healthy diet for optimal heart disease prevention - this includes avoiding added sugars and steering clear of sodium-laden foods. Luckily, the myriad of chocolate options mean that shoppers can have their “heart-healthy” chocolate bar and eat it, too.
February is American Heart Month, a federally-appointed event to remind Americans to focus on their hearts and encourage them to get their families, friends and communities involved.Heart disease is the number one cause of death for both men and women in the United States, claiming an estimated 610,000 lives each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fortunately, maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle are two of the best preventions to cardiovascular disease.
Cruising the Mediterranean Sea provides travelers with an incredible experience. Visiting some of the most historically important cities on Earth, including Athens, Jerusalem, Madrid, Rome and Venice, just to name a few. Of course, the most important part of any day visiting these places is mealtime. The food in this region is so well regarded that the Mediterranean Diet is embraced the world over for its nutritional value. In this fourth and final blog of our series on shopping your diet, we look at the Mediterranean Diet and the nutritional value it offers to people who follow it. We’ve already covered Paleo, vegetarian/vegan and keto diets, now we’ll offer some insights into how the Mediterranean Diet might look when filling your shopping cart.
Shop Your Diet Series: Part III: The Keto Diet January is more than half-way over – are you staying committed to your goal of eating cleaner and/or following a particular diet this year? We hope that our information on “shopping your diet” is helping to alleviate confusion about what is allowed – and what to avoid – for your new way of eating. In the third edition of our series on shopping your diet – the second post was on vegetarian and vegan diets – we’re digging into the trendy ketogenic diet. Though you’ve likely seen this diet leading headlines in the past few years, it has actually been around since the 1920s. Designed in 1924 by Dr. Russell Wilder at the Mayo Clinic, the original purpose of the keto diet was to treat epilepsy. It lost its popularity in the 1940s due to the slew of anti-seizure medications on the market. The ketogenic diet is a low carb, moderate protein, and high fat diet which puts the body into a metabolic state known as ketosis. When the body enters a state of ketosis, the liver produces ketones which become the main energy source for the body; this diet is based on the premise that the body is designed to run more efficiently as a fat burner than a sugar burner.