Food and Beverage Trends in 2019: Snacking on Fats While Drinking Cactus Water

Posted December 13, 2018 by Keith Seiz

It’s next to impossible to narrow down the food and beverage industry to three trends. I could have easily listed 15 things that will influence what you eat next year. In paring my first large list to three items, I eliminated quite a few sure things. However, the list below is indicative of the over-arching trends that will pervade across multiple products and food and beverage categories in 2019. 

Snack Attack

Did you know more than 50% of all eating occasions are snacks? That’s an astounding number, but not surprising. I saw it firsthand at the Natural Products Expo West and Expo East shows. It seemed every exhibitor was promoting either healthy snacks or functional beverages (see below). For millennial and generation-z consumers, three square meals a day are in fact, square. Today’s consumers nosh non-stop from the early morning protein bar to the end-of-day handful of nuts (again, see below).

The only thing threatening the snack aisle is too many options. As a consumer, it’s wonderful. As a food manufacturer, it’s alarming to think of how many companies are developing products exactly like your’s. I’m banking the companies that survive are the ones that figure out how to get health and indulgence right. There are too many options now for consumers to accept a mediocre snack if it’s healthy. They’ll go elsewhere and find the healthy snack that tastes like it’s not healthy. Here’s my favorite snack food that fits this trend.


: They made my “Favorites of 2018” blog post and here they are again. A great snack that does not sacrifice flavor for health. It’s one of the few healthy snacks my kids didn’t see right through. 

Feel Good Fats

I’ll admit, I wasn’t exactly a “good fat” evangelist until recently. We picked up a new client in the California Walnut Commission and my first job was digging deep into the world of walnuts. I came out of that hole after three weeks with an all new understanding and respect for the good fats founds in nuts, avocados, salmon and olive oil. Yes, I’m officially a member of #TeamGoodFat. With the popularity of high-fat diets such as Keto, I expect I’m not alone in seeking more healthy, fat-filled products in 2019. My favorite feel good fat product of the year? Unfortunately, something I can’t get in the United States.

Matsu Kiyo – Maple Walnuts

One of the many perks of my job is the amount of food, beer and spirits that get sent to me. This single-serve snack came courtesy of the California Walnut Commission via Japan. In Asia, seasoned walnuts are very popular, and I can understand why. These things are absolutely amazing. It’s one of my professional life goals to make snack packs of seasoned walnuts as popular in the United States as they are in Japan. 

Functional Beverages

“Let’s drink to your health” will have a completely new meaning in 2019 as more and more functional beverages will flood the marketplace. They’re already here, but I anticipate functional waters, teas and juices to gain even more shelf space next year, pushing traditional carbonated soda mainstays to a narrower slot.  Similar to the snack aisle, the beverage manufacturers to thrive in this environment will be those that hit on a specific health benefit without sacrificing taste. Just like this product. 

Busy Bee Yerba Mate – Ginger Lime

I’m a water drinker that really spices it up by drinking the occasional sparking water. However, this drink from Busy Bee blew me away with the perfect marriage of sweet and spicy with a bit of tartness. 


Let us know your pursuits. We’ll find the best way to get you there.