Every year a few food fads appear and disappear, and as we head closer to the New-year, it’s time to think about what the next big food fad of 2018 will be. 2017 will be remembered for plant protein, sprouted foods and healthy fats that made its impact in a big way. The Keto diet proved to be a winner too. Everything from artisan pizzas, to smoothies have made their buzz, but 2018 will depart from those of lesser taste and veer toward both a wellness and comfort-focused food experience.

A research forecast by Euromonitor International suggests that the global market for health and wellness offerings is expected to grow at a 3.5% CAGR, to $815 billion, by 2021. Health or a Healthy Lifestyle is no longer a niche craze or only prescribed by the doctor. Over the last couple of years, Health has moved to a higher realm as now it also means discovery, pleasure and sophistication too. More than ever before, a healthy mind, body and spirit and the harmonic confluence of the three is now seen as one and the same way to achieve happiness.

Here are some health related trends that is sure to dominate our minds more than any others in 2018.

1. A Healthy mind in a Healthy body makes a Huge Comeback

A Healthy mind in a Healthy body makes a Huge Comeback

The new age consumers and the Millennials who are the difference to Health approaches in the recent years are at the forefront of this psychological shift in the premise of health and wellness. Moving away from the commodity craze of the generation that came before them, the millennials are placing more value on health and wellness experiences than on material objects.

Health and wellness no longer refers simply to a lack of illness and disease, but to a more holistic state of being, where one’s mental, physical and emotional health are in harmony, at a higher plane. In an era where flaunting of the self on Social Media is often seen as a value addition to the personality, looking great, feeling good and sleeping well are the new luxuries that consumers are beginning to enjoy and flaunt, irrespective of the price.

2. We are ready to buy some sleep the technological way!

Canned Corn

Optimal levels of sleep and rest is one factor that can define activity levels during the day to follow. People have begun to realize the need for quality sleep as much as the need to spend quality time when awake and so have begun to spend on a holistic approach to health and wellness that includes nearly every aspect of life, even sleep.

Unlike any generation before them the Millennial consumer is no more scared to experiment or embrace breakout health ware & technology nor to participating in fitness classes & group activities that improve well-being or using products, devices and apps that aid sleep. Moreover, the same is true with going organic or the natural food way, taking health supplements, and following special diets, plant extracts & nutritional supplements.

3. Self-care surfaces to Show on top of the to-do list

Self-care surfaces to Show on top of the to-do list

If somebody told you “self-care is for rich, white women dropping out of limousines,” trust them not; Google searches for “self-care” are 25 percent higher now than they were at this time last year.

Most of us, the Health Conscious Citizens, male & female, will in 2018 unapologetically make time on our daily calendars for more unplugged activities contributing to self-love and care, with the understanding that attending to the demands of your own health first thing means you’re better equipped to support your family, community, and the world.

As self-care services are available as over the counter kits & online, it is now increasingly available as a honest and worthy pursuit that includes journaling, meditation, knitting and as in a purchase of service like the face masks and drop-in spa.

From simple solutions like soaking in a few bath salts at the end of the day to ease the tension before good sex and a long nights’ rest & we are beginning to use them as an antidote to long, plugged-in work hours is in. Daily Digital Detox bath soak sales have tripled over the past three years. We are hooked to health which is good!

4. Millennials take Health Consciousness to a Higher Plane

Millennials take Health Consciousness to a Higher Plane

As the conscious conversation and education about the true purpose of self-care and how to make it more accessible is only multiplying many fold. For millennials, who were born between 1980 and 1999, wellness is a daily, active pursuit, and one they are willing to spend on. Many of them bring fitness into everyday life visibly by wearing athleisure apparel for all kinds of activities other than working.

Research firm Forrester found that millennials and Gen Zers combined account for 69% of all fitness wearable owners. More so than any other generation, Gen Z looks to exercise as a way to treat or prevent illness, and it is particularly relevant for emotional and stress-related issues. For Gen Z, technology is fun, entertaining and useful.

Millennials, have grown up in a time of rapid change, so their priorities and expectations are sharply different from those of previous generations. According to the Harris Group, 72% of millennials would rather spend money on experiences than on material goods, and that preference is forcing retailers to adapt as more millennials ascend into adulthood and increase their spending power.

5. The Rise of Health Analytics & AI Health Chips, Patches , nanoRobotics

The Rise of Health Analytics & AI Health Chips, Patches , nanoRobotics

The young consumers of today are no more dependent on learning about what is healthy and what is not, from their parents and from school, but they learn from media and peer reviews. With technology giving them no escape and through engaging with technology across all parts of everyday life, they are at the forefront of the Health and Fitness table. Technology help them keep track of their fitness training, active life and sleep data which they consciously seek through the apps & services. They also like to take equal time outs as much they engage in monetizing time efficiently to which health and the Health analytics contribute to in managing and measuring many aspects of their lifestyle, from water intake, to sleeping, to sugar levels, which they are concerned about in their quest for health and wellness. This year we will see the use of chips, nano-robots, and patches finding usage in the treatment and cure of a number of medical conditions from relieving pain of the muscles to regulating the insulin supply in the blood to fighting cancer.

6. The personalization and customization of Health Choices

The personalization and customization of Health Choices

People are making use of the power of Knowledge when it comes to tailoring diet charts to the specific needs of the body be it be a condition of diabetics, high Blood pressure, thyroid, osteoporosis or weight loss. In 2018, you can expect big corporations expenditure on responding to consumer demand for better personal care products, higher-quality food, and sustainability practices. Cutting-edge research on intermittent fasting and the microbiome offer promising outlooks for feeling our best and healing disease through behavioral & habitual changes to the way we consume food.

Personalization is no more a surprise and delight to consumers as it is expected to be! Personalisation of products and services is the new norm and is expected and no longer considered a bonus feature or perk of one company versus another. Personalization will be the keyword most of the services will be packaged in 2018 and has become a marketing necessity now. Personalization of services is the key-word that will draw potential customers to products & vice versa.

7. Fem-tech will drive a new wave of women’s empowerment.

Fem-tech will drive a new wave of women’s empowerment.“Technology and services for the woman from the woman” has been causing disruptions in the field of Health delivery systems and home testing, minimizing the need to visit a doctor. From heart beat monitor apps & calorie tracking apps and birth control-delivery services to at-home STI testing, the reproductive health space is being disrupted by women-founded startups focused on getting health access into the hands of women—and out of the hands of politicians & the realm of men. This need based divergence is making mobile technology entry in to confines once deemed the Doctors’ professional space.

8. Experiential Retailing & Servicing the Moment of Need

Experiential Retailing & Servicing the Moment of Need

Just being fit or living in ultimate technological sophistication and comfort doesn’t define the Wellness asa Luxury experience; it is also about feeling happy and indulging in experiences that promote well-being, and sharing (flaunting) those experiences with friends. People want to feel transformed after each new experience and are willing to pay a premium for the uniqueness of the experience. Experiential retail offerings are replacing traditional models, and retailers who evolve with consumers’ changing demands are the most likely to be successful.

The intrinsic value of an experience or many will be the main draw for the 2018 consumer who will be seen purchasing wellness (even as a luxury) instead of splurging in luxury goods that might have interested the previous generation. Even the traditional brick-and-mortar retail stores will be focused on attending to personalizing customer needs and are finding ways to customizing their offerings.

It all revolves around offering the best of services to a new level of exclusivity for which customers also seem very willing to pay more, for the special, personalized treatment or service. It is also about easing life to a higher level like if you wanted to order a ride on Uber, you can sound it to Siri to get it done for you- this is the new phase of how marketing will be in 2018, aided by technology.

9. Call of Nature

Call of Nature

Pure extracts, organic meat, fruits & vegetables, and all natural products will find more demand and following in 2018 and at home, the artificial and unnecessary will give way to more ‘naturally good stuff’ paving way to healing a bruised world at large. Consumers will be making a giant shift in food consumption pattern as new knowledge emerges that sheds light on existing food processes, on product ingredients and processes.

As zero-waste living becomes imbibed into their lifestyles, most of the health conscious Millennials’ as well as some from the older generations are making use of the knowledge that emerges in the field of health, food and fitness in shopping smarter and paying attention to their footprint. The #zerowaste hashtag has now amassed a great following on social media and remind us that locally grown vegetables and fruits (unpackaged) are the ultimate zero-waste snack.

“Grass-fed” might not be an option but the only option to uphold the interest of animal welfare, protecting the environment, and our own personal nutritional benefits. People are turning to grass-fed and pasture-raised animals for many animal products, including eggs, milk, butter, and cheese, in addition to the meat.

Today’s urban consumer is most savvy than ever about the power of his/her purchases. As we are all networked, and connected in more ways than one, those of us who are passionate about our personal wellness will be stepping up our commitment and activities to healing the planet, seeing it’s the only way to be well and will do something about it, because it starts with us, at home!

10. Plant-based protein to give a run for Animal Protein

Plant-based protein to give a run for Animal Protein

Come 2018, and you could have your hearty beef or lamb steak replaced with broccoli or Spinach as your primary source of protein. As research on vegetable protein from natural and organic sources find a healthier voice, meat could get sidelined by the menu makers at the restaurants as well as the health conscious, and we could see more and more people migrating towards vegan themes, occasionally and permanently.

The plant-forward trend which emerged some time ago is sure to hit the top in 2018. Reducing our dependence on animals as our primary source of protein will relieve the stress on both our physique as well as the environment.

With commonly available vegetable making it to the list of essential plant protein sources, we could see vegetables and fruits find their way into the main course of meals in many forms, which will be demanded by the health conscious consumer.

In 2018 the Home Kitchen Garden & Terrace Gardens will flourish with the promotion of organic gardening and the actionable talk of food sustenance takes over. Names like chickpeas, broccoli, and portobello mushrooms will be repeated more in health conscious home kitchens while the restaurants will search out the most exotic of the vegetables from faraway islands, making 2018 an interesting year with a host of healthy veggies spread all over your kitchen & dining table.

11. Progressive health & wellness consumers reinventing Food culture:

Progressive health & wellness consumers reinventing Food culture:

In-spite of their accepted minority, the power that the progressive wellness consumer has over the food culture is disproportionate. Those lost for direction will invariably have to depend on the knowledge of the progressive wellness consumer as the mainstream media will be hard pressed to mass market the food fads that the food MNCs invent each year. This conversation that they generate is infact paving the way for a healthy discourse, enthusiasm and knowledge with the grossly advertisement fed, mislead mainstream consumers, who are hungry for a healthy guidance and right direction to take.

As an urban consumer is now reaching out to the remotest of villages to find new, healthy food flavors, that the world has missed. The progressive wellness consumer is no longer thinking about condition management (lowering cholesterol or blood pressure) or dieting (low fat, low carb) but is focused on deriving the benefits from rising the quality of food he/she eats, positive nutrition, fresh, unshelved, unpackaged (local), less processed foods & beverages, almost prescribing to the age old Indian Ayurveda formula, “(Quality) Food as the Healer/Medicine”.

From a purchasers’ point of view, this means moving away from processed and packaged, long shelf life products that are attached to tags like “fat-free, diet products and 100-calorie portion”, and quality fats, such as found in nuts, avocados and butter.

12. Sugar Conscious Shift to Whole Grains & Fiber

Sugar Conscious Shift to Whole Grains & Fiber

Every individual contributes to his/her obesity and later to diabetes by subscribing to larger food portions, greater total dietary intake, sedate pleasure-seeking lifestyles, and lack of exercise. Diabetes has a high risk of showing up with co-morbidities such as hypertension, obesity and cardiovascular disease.

Eating and drinking pose significant challenges when managing diabetes, since sugar and carbohydrates are ubiquitous in many foods. A 2017 research says more than half of all the diabetics interviewed say they depend directly on their intake of foods and beverages to control/manage their diabetes issues, which itself is a big risk, just like self medication.

With growing awareness about the deadly aftermath of inheriting Diabetes, 2018 will see consumers seeking whole food solutions in managing diabetes. Whole grains and fiber will make a big comeback in 2018 aided by a shift in consumer awareness and perception in managing and treating the disease.

13. Giant Corporate eyeing Greener Ethics & Sustainability

Giant Corporate eyeing Greener Ethics & Sustainability

“For us, sustainability is the world’s greatest innovation challenge,” Nike’s chief sustainability officer Hannah Jones – it is no different for a multitude of companies whose profits multiply many times over every year. But very little thought or action in that direction has been sought by the corporate in business. With the Environmentally aware consumer opting to buy/patronize companies that have a working Green Policy implemented in their manufacturing process, it is only a matter of time before the aspirations of the new generation catches up.

With governments too encouraging Green protocols for implementation in manufacture & recycling, it is no coincidence that over the years up until 2017, more and more companies and corporations started prioritizing sustainability and ethics protocols. Many wellness brands continue to set an example in this space. #Zerowaste initiatives of people, startups & corporations will catch on big time in 2018.

With solar and wind power generation and usage increasing rapidly, 47 cities in the USA have already committed to meeting 100 percent of their community-wide energy need from renewable sources. This trend, if sustained at this pace, will soon be the reason for a record percentage of energy production in the United States.

14. Unwired – by Freedom of Choice

Unwired – by Freedom of Choice

‘Disconnect to reconnect’ is the new mantra for those burnt out by the Social Media overkill. Disconnecting & going unwired might seem counter-culture though it is going to be massive mainstream in 2018. As more and more of us start to notice the impact that our interactions with the monitor has on our health, we are sure to sever the connection till we feel safe. 2018 will be the time to Disconnect to Reconnect.
Cafes’ and other social joints will be seen advertising themselves having to do nothing with the WiFi. From Bring-your-Bag-to-shop to Power-down-to-discounts, retail businesses will find new ways to market products on the Disconnect theme. Super-cool phone-free social spaces will be in fashion in 2018. At last, a sensible change!

15. Consumers will shift focus to Gut Health

Consumers will shift focus to Gut Health

As new research unfolds linking gut health to overall brain function, including improved mental health and a decrease cancer and Alzheimer’s risk, the food industry sitting up to take notice. Gut health is officially on the table in 2018 and there is a 250% rise in the number of searches on recommendations and recipes associated with gut health & probiotics. With plant-based protein and plant centric diet becoming increasingly popular in 2017, people are beginning to seek for probiotic sources beyond yogurt and kefir due to their proven health benefits such as weight management, improved calcium absorption and digestive health.

16. Farm-to-table menus

Farm-to-table menus

With growing stress on reaping the benefits of prescribing to a locally grown vegetable & fruit diet that includes all the seasonal produce of the locale, a conscious shift in the way we choose our food is taking place. With farm fresh produce still marketed at a premium the chance to meet the farmer who cultivates the vegetables and fruits you eat is still limited to handful. But on the other hand, the good news is that we are moving toward a higher consciousness wherein we seek to know where our food actually comes from and how it’s made or raised!

Label reading is a new culture that does matter to our individual health. We are beginning to demand to know if our meal is farm-to-table, especially when it comes to meats and hormones. By the end of 2018 we would have raised the bar of our food needs and because we pay for it, through administrative regulations & Food Organsiations, we would also bring the producers accountable when food doesn’t prescribe to our need.

17. Food flavored by Flower accents

Food flavored by Flower accents

It all started with the Pistachio rose lattes. Everything foodie in 2018 is soon to be smelling of flowers. Food is going to be flower-flavored or flower-scented from 2018 officially and funnily. You can expect to buy whole Foods like lavender-lemon flavoured granola and raspberry-geranium popsicles. More flavours to be added will smell like elderflower, lavender, hibiscus, and violets, too.) Edible flowers are huge as garnishes, salad ingredients, teas, and flavorings for everything from candy to coffee. Aromatheraphy meets the Food on your plate? Will the food on your forge a peaceful word?

18. Stevia to replace Sugar?

Stevia to replace Sugar

In 2018 you will find frequent use of stevia as an ingredient in more beverages, baking mixes and condiments as consumers look for calorie- and sugar-reduced versions of their favorites. Commercially, Stevia mixed with brown sugar, cane sugar and honey will make lower-sugar and lower-calorie options. Stevia has double the strength of sweetness when compared to regular sugar. It has almost zero calories and no carbohydrates. This factor makes it a viable sweetening option for those who want to lose weight or are on low-carb diet in 2018. Stevia is viable for diabetics as a substitute.

19. Skin Care That Protects You From The Tech World And Pollution

Skin Care That Protects You From The Tech World And Pollution

UV rays, pollution, blue light from laptops, and harsh ingredients batter your skin no end. All that protection that you have been used till 2018 might seem like shallow makeup when you have a high-end line of Skin creams & lotions based on “skin-barrier-supporting” and “microbiome-enhancing” serums that help fuel optimal skin function and, of course, a healthy glow.
In 2018 the beautifiers will come up with ingredients like lipids, ceramides, adaptogens, and even live bacteria to help fortify your skin’s natural functioning to be your first natural line of defense against technology and the pollutants of the modern world.

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