Kale finally falls from the top 10 list of superfoods to make way for plant-based milks, fermented food

By Elizabeth Crawford

- Last updated on GMT

Kale finally falls from the top 10 list of superfoods to make way for plant-based milks, fermented food

Related tags superfood Trends

For years kale dominated supreme as the top superfood sought by Americans, but the leafy green has finally fallen off the top 10 list – replaced by fermented foods in the top spot, followed by avocados and seeds in the second and third, according to the 7th annual Pollock Communications and Today’s Dietitian’s ‘What’s trending in nutrition’ survey.

According to the survey of 1,342 registered dietitian nutritionists, fermented foods likely stole – and held – the top spot on the list of superfoods for 2019 and 2018 because of their “powerful anti-inflammatory health benefits”​ and gut health boosting powers.

Among those fermented foods most sought after, the survey predicts yogurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, tempeh, kimchi and miso will be popular choices in the coming year.

The rising popularity of plant-based eating also will heavily influence which superfoods are popular in 2019, the survey predicts. As such, the full length of list is all plants – including non-dairy milks, which debuted in the tenth position this year.

In between, ancient grains, exotic fruits, blueberries, beets, nuts and coconut product fill out the list.

Many of these premium ingredients are more expensive and for the first time, the survey predicts, consumers will be more willing to pay in 2019.

The survey reports “in a shocking switch,”​ that the healthy label is starting to surpass cost and taste as the top considerations for consumers’ purchase decisions.

“Healthfulness has hovered near the top 3 purchase drivers in recent years, but it’s notable that for the first time it has moved up to the number 2 spot, reinforcing the demand for better-for-you food choices,” ​ according to the report.

The only consideration health has not yet toppled is convenience, which will hold on to the top spot for another year, according to the report. Behind health are cost, taste, natural, organic and gluten-free, it adds.

Extreme dieting gains traction

What consumers are eating is not the only thing changing – how they are eating is, too.

As predicted by dietitians last year, the keto diet emerged as the most popular diet in 2018 – a spot it will hold in the coming year as consumers “on the hunt for a flat belly”​ continue to embrace extreme dieting, this year’s report notes.

This attitude will open the door for another extreme approach to gain traction in 2019: intermittent fasting, the survey predicts.

With the rise of intermittent fasting, so-called ‘clean-eating’ will fall to third-place in the popularity contest for diets, it adds.

Despite the drop in clean-eating, the report urges food and manufacturers to continue to cleanup labeling and reformulating products to be free from unwanted ‘chemical’ sounding ingredients, as consumers will continue to avoid these characteristics and increasingly view them not as a point of differentiation but as table stakes for consideration.

  1. Fermented foods, like yogurt
  2. Avocado
  3. Seeds
  4. Ancient Grains
  5. Exotic fruit, like acai, golden berries
  6. Blueberries
  7. Beets
  8. Nuts
  9. Coconut products
  10. Non-dairy milks

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