FNCE 2018 – 5 Essential Trends and Takeaways

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Here is a list of new foods and trends from Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' The Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (#FNCE) 2018 in Washington, D.C.

This year I decided to show you the top 5 trends of food manufacturing that I saw on my walk through the entire expo so you can get a good overview quickly. It is always fun to walk and interact with so many different vendors!

  1. Fancy food is an overall theme. As the case with last year, the big food companies are not as numbered or extravagant. I did not see McDonald's, Burger King, Coca Cola, Frito Lay, General Mills, or Hershey's. This list is just from my memory although I confirmed with the exhibitor list. Many large companies are here but the overall feeling is wow, there are so many small manufacturers here! If I had to find one word to describe the food companies on the expo floor, it is "fancy foods." And that is a good thing! There are a plethora of young entrepreneurs who are touting foods that are whole and sustainably sourced. Scroll to the end to see photo examples!
  2. Stevia is the top sweetener or zero-calorie sugar substitute. Even Splenda is saying "all-natural and made with Stevia". Reducing sugar seems to be a focus for many food companies and beverage makers.
  3. Protein is a popular ingredient. Nestle is adding it to breakfast drinks. It is the base of pasta made from beans, and there are all sorts of powders.
  4. Fiber is a big focus for many food companies. I saw "invisible fiber" in many booths along with the addition of fiber to many products.
  5. Plant-based is a huge theme with many of the small companies. Plant-based milk alternatives, meat alternatives, nut and bean products, vegetable smoothies, fruit, and veggie snacks and more abound!

Longest lines. If you want to see what is popular, observe the lines of people! The lines were long for delicious whole food items like:

  1. Cauliflower pizza crust and sweet potato toast crackers
  2. Avocados
  3. Kind bars
  4. Siggi's yogurt
  5. Rigatoni pasta
  6. Banza chickpea pasta

Cauliflower Pizza and Potato Toasts:

Avocado treats:

Kind Bars:

Banza (eatbanza.com), a chickpea pasta that is high in protein and fiber, had one of the longest lines!

The Ronzoni booth featured many flavors for pasta and everyone was anxious to try them:

Quaker is featuring fiber and digestion messaging:

Examples of fancier, whole foods, from smaller manufacturers:

This is a freezer full of vegetable purees that can be made into smoothies!

Protein and fiber is a hot combo:

Digestion and fiber are popular:

Low sugar chocolate:

Flavored bone broths:

Allergy free cookies:

Vegetable based desserts:


Sugar free flavored water:

Mindful, clean desserts from Soozy's:

Bean chips:

Plant-based, dairy-free probiotics:

High fiber breakfast:


Focus on beverages that are low in sugar by Pepsico:


And lots of booths boasting the benefits of protein:


Here is an example of a dietitian entrepreneur who makes the most delicious nut butters, Betsy's Best:

Here are the latest products on Mindful Eating:

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Published on Categories cooking, food and health, nutrition basicTags ,