Every year over 10,000 RDNs gather for the Food & Nutrition Conference & Exhibition ( FNCE®), the largest annual meeting of food and nutrition professionals. The exhibit hall at FNCE® is a great spot to see what is trending in the world of healthy food. Here are a few trends we saw this year.
Plant based foods are trending on menus and in grocery stores, so it wasn’t surprising to see a strong showing of plants at FNCE® . Burgers, seafood alternatives, frozen desserts and beverages were all available in plant-based versions. We also saw traditional plant foods presented in ways to make them more convenient and accessible. The California Strawberries booth encouraged people to #getsnacking with a challenge to build the best strawberry snack. Two of our Compass RDNs competed (Kerry Cowart & Tori Martinet pictured below), with the title going to Tori and her challenge partner for their delicious stuffed strawberries.
New takes on familiar foods
Baked products made with alternative grains or without grains at all had a big presence. We saw wraps, breads, pizza crusts and muffins made to be accessible to people with varying needs. Sauces and condiments also got a makeover with nutrient rich ingredients. Traditional dairy products like milk, yogurt and butter were available in non-dairy versions as well as goat’s milk options. Pasta was well represented with both legume and fish based noodles. Coffee and tea are even getting a new twist.
We can’t forget the snacks. Portable snacks are always popular at conferences because they offer on the go energy to attendees who need a boost during sessions or while traveling. This year we saw (and tasted) a lot of snacks featuring seeds and dark chocolate.