Looking ahead in 2019: HFI identifies food trends

HFI is looking ahead in 2019, highlighting the trends that we anticipate continued growth throughout this year.

Plant-based foods
While a plant-based diet isn’t new, manufacturers are looking to utilize pulses, legumes, seeds and specialty grains in new and unique ways. Ancient grains are still trending within the plant-based proteins category; however, pulse utilization has emerged as a driving trend in this area.

HFI offers these ingredients (pulses, legumes, seeds, specialty grains) not only in whole form, but as flour, flakes, grits, meals, etc. which opens more opportunities for incorporating these plant-based ingredients into a variety of applications including protein bowls, beverages, baked goods and snacks, to name a few.

On-the-go Healthy Snacking
The largest impactors we’re seeing in better-for-you snacking are simple/clean label, new/exciting ingredients, ‘free-from,’ pulse utilization and functional ingredients.  On-the-go consumers are looking for convenience foods which are also good tasting and good for you. Consumers today have high expectations for their food; they want to know what is in their food and they want it to be simple and clean.

Purple Power
You’ve likely heard the phrase “eat the rainbow” which focuses on the health benefits colorful foods bring to your plate. Because of the high concentration of flavonoids, antioxidants and phytochemicals, purple foods still stand out as one of the healthiest colors of the rainbow. In fact, ounce for ounce, our Suntava® Purple Corn has more antioxidant power than blueberries, acai berries and pomegranate juice.

We supply Suntava Purple Corn as a raw, whole form as well as a flour, meal, flakes and grit. Our purple corn’s vibrant colors maintain their presence throughout the manufacturing process to the finished product, allowing formulators to add color to snack foods, beverages, cereals, baked goods, etc, naturally.

Food Story
Consumers are becoming more informed about their food choices and the desire to know where food comes from is increasing. Our relationship to our growers helps us realize our mission of connecting farmers to the foods that nourish and sustain our lives. As an on-trend ingredient supplier, HFI creates meaningful solutions with our customers by helping them tell their story and share their passion, whether that is regenerative agriculture or transitioning to organic.

Consumers want to feel good about their purchases and to buy from companies whose mission and values they support. A good example is sustainability in which our focus begins with what is good for business, good for people and good for the land.

Go Non-GMO
Non-GMO foods were valued at about 700 billion U.S. dollars in 2016 and are forecasted to reach about 1.49 trillion U.S. dollars by 2021 (Source: Business Wire; TechNavio). More specifically, Non-GMO Project Verified is the fastest growing label in the natural products industry, representing over $26 billion in annual sales and more than 50,000 Verified products for over 3,000 brands.

We have been a part of the Non-GMO Project since its inception, and through our Verification, we are partnering with our customers to produce healthy foods to feed the increasing consumer demand for non-GMO products.


These are a few of the trends we see continuing through 2019 which are connected to one another in many respects and are supported by other trending categories including clean label, minimally processed, gluten-free, etc.

What food ingredient trends have you been tracking from this past year? Let’s cultivate goodness, together in 2019! Learn more about our on-trend ingredient solutions by visiting HFIfamily.com/innovative-solutions.