Culinary Visions Food and Flavor Profile Explained

The Culinary Visions Panel, a food-focused insights and trends research practice, identified gourmet flavor and purchasing trends for 2019. Read on for our recommendations to easily incorporate the trends into your business.

Trend #1- Replenishing with Purpose

Food is going beyond simply satisfying hunger, with ‘nutritional value’ ranking as a major factor in food consumption, according to 73% of those surveyed. 

A simple way to promote this trend is to highlight products that showcase the low carb craze. Many of these products replace carbohydrates with beans and vegetables. For example, you can update your pasta aisle with bean-based pastas that reduce carbs while amping up protein like POW!™ Pasta Lentil Penne Pasta from Ancient Harvest® .

Incorporating plant-based foods into your snack and bulk sections like Hippeas™ Organic Chickpea Puffs in flavors like Bohemian Barbecue, Pepper and Sriracha, Vegan Rob’s™ Brussel Sprout Puffs or dehydrated vegetables like whole green peas are other ways to make sure that this trend is represented in your aisles.

Trend #2 – Beyond Dietary Restrictions

The Panel observed that consumers seem to be moving away from strict diets toward diets of moderation, with snackers limiting portion size instead of cutting these foods out of their diet entirely.

Foods traditionally seen as indulgences but with a health conscious take will appeal to this trend like MacKnight Salmon Bacon,  or  Lifetime® Fat Free Cheddar Cheese, made with skim milk while maintaining the characteristics of its full-fat counterparts. Healthy snacks like vegtable hummus from Lantana™ become indulgent with exotic flavor combinations like carrot Sriracha or edamame and red pepper hummus.

Protein-packed snacks are also a must for those seeking smaller portions. Grab & Go options include pre-packed snacks and small meals high in protein with a focus on single-handed eating. We love these Volpi Roltini Singles.

Trend #3 – Ethical Concerns

Reducing our carbon footprint has moved to food choices, according to the Panel’s survey. Consumers are seeking foods that bear in mind the social consciousness of their packaging as well as identifying foods that have been ethically sourced.

When marketing products for your business, emphasize foods that are locally-sourced.  An easy place to start is with the meat or dairy sections. Add cheese with locally-sourced milk like Montchevre® Truffle Goat Cheese.

Non-GMO is still an important call-out for customers. Non-GMO status is carried across all categories from pastas and cereals to sides and snacks like the Lundberg line. This brand also fits into the trend of sustainability in that it uses eco-positive farming practices for its grains.

One additional trend we’ve seen lately – products with a heart. Brands are not only focused on creating great products, but they are also getting involved in important causes, as well. This Bar Saves Lives and Project 7 are just two of the brands we carry with a mission to improve the planet and improve lives.

Trend # 4 – Healthful Without Compromise


The Culinary Vision Panel found that the hunt for health foods even applies to the Grab & Go counter.  According to the survey, customers are looking to access healthy foods at all times. As with other areas of the store, customers are gravitating towards more plant-based foods in this section. 

The time spent in your grab & go section is short, so identify snacks that call out their plant-based ingredients for easy decision-making like Plocky’s® Black Bean and Rice Tortilla Chips, Peeled Much-Ado-About-Mango™ Dried Mango , Harvest Snaps® Green Pea Crisps or Love Corn® Sea Salt Roasted Corn Kernels.

A hot, new trend in the Grab & Go assortment — shots. No, not alchohol – healthful shots. Taking a nod from the apple cider vinegar craze, companies are marketing single serve ‘healthful’ shots for the impulse buy customers. A great offering for this market is Vermont Village® Vinegar and Honey Shot.

Trend # 5 – Quest for World Flavors

For 2019, a greater emphasis will be placed on food ingredients and flavor profiles from Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Korea, the Philippines, and Morocco.

Taking on this trend doesn’t necessarily mean you must offer complete meals from the country of origin, but offer your customers the raw ingredients so they can make their own meals and snacks. We love Madhava Raw Honey from Brazil.

For those customers looking for a more readymade version of these flavors, Kitchen & Love Ready to Eat Cauliflower Moroccan Vegetable Harissa is a great option. Look for more inspiration on our site in our Ethnic Food category.

If this all seems overwhelming, you can relax a bit. Adding trending products to your assortment can be simple. You don’t need to take on all of these trends at once.  Making small incremental changes will help show customers your assortment is current, while allowing you to see which trends resonate with your particular customers. For some inspiration, check out our carefully curated sections of our site such as our Gluten-Free snack category, or our Organic section. Our Snacks & Healthy Snacks category is chock full of healthful options.

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