People demand trendy foods to be healthier, more nutritious

Half of Americans believe they’ve got a great idea for the next big food trend.

A new poll of 2,000 US adults found 73% think trendy foods need to be healthier and include nutritious qualities. Just as many (74%) said they’re more likely to try a food trend themselves if it’s healthy.

To really make a trend take off, these food-fluencers need to set their sights on social media. More than a third (37%) said they discover food trends from one of four major platforms — Facebook (67%), YouTube (62%), Instagram (58%) and TikTok (45%).

Outside of social media, cooking shows or segments (34%), friends (34%) and family (33%) are leading sources for learning about trendy foods and recipes.

Over two-thirds (68%) said they’re likely to try a new food trend and nearly as many (66%) claimed it’s because trying new things is an “exciting” experience.

More than half (58%) also stated they are more likely to try a new food if they see it’s been endorsed by celebrities, chefs or food influencers.

Social media cooking recipes
Respondents heavily rely on social media for recipe ideas.

Commissioned by Beef + Lamb New Zealand and conducted by OnePoll, the study discovered food trends were found to be most appealing to respondents when they were either convenient to prepare (23%), nutritious (21%) or used flavors they already like to use and eat (20%).

Some of the trendiest foods that check all these boxes are avocado toast (24%), fermented foods (21%), restaurant-inspired dishes (20%), street food (19%) and cauliflower as bread replacement (19%).

Many respondents also shared that trendy foods also need to include ingredients that have added nutritious benefits — things like yogurt (32%), garlic (29%), ginger (29%), turmeric (29%) and dark leafy greens (28%).

For seven in 10 Americans, it’s important they can find nutritious foods.
For seven in 10 Americans, it’s important they can find nutritious foods.
Getty Images

This could explain why 59% claimed trendy diets are just as appealing to them as trendy foods. The trendiest diets right now include flexitarian (35%), low-carb/no-carb (29%), carnivore (29%) and Mediterranean (29%).

When it comes to future food trends, respondents suggest it may be a new kind of burger, avocado tacos, something spicy, or even budget-friendly meals.

“People often look to food trends because they want to try something new and exciting, but that doesn’t mean they need to compromise on nutrition and taste,” said Michael Wan, Global Manager at Beef + Lamb New Zealand. “By combining trending flavors or ingredients with familiar favorites, consumers can enjoy the best of both worlds.”

Avocado toast is so trendy right now.
Avocado toast is so trendy right now.

For seven in 10 Americans, it’s important they can find nutritious foods. Nearly as many (68%) said they pay close attention to the nutritional value of most things they eat. 

Respondents are especially concerned about not getting enough vitamins (38%), protein (36%), fiber (32%) or Omega 3s (31%) in their diets — enough for 74% to actively look for ways to increase their protein and nutrient intake from natural food sources, such as grass-fed beef and lamb, rather than processed ones.

The trendiest diets include...
The trendiest diets include…

They’re also paying attention to claims when purchasing food products. High protein (38%), low sugar (37%), all natural (35%) and low fat or organic (31%) are some of the leading claims, while sustainable (26%) and regenerative (20%) are also top of mind when shopping for food. 

Sixty-nine percent are willing to try imported food products if they better meet their dietary preferences than domestic food products and 70% said they’d be willing to spend the extra money on foods they know are going to be healthier for them.

Close up of woman's hand holding a bowl of fresh beef cobb salad,
More than half (58%) also stated they are more likely to try a new food if they see it’s been endorsed by celebrities, chefs or food influencers.
Getty Images

“Getting the most out of a nutritional food trend starts with being a more conscientious shopper and examining what goes into it,” continued Wan. “Using quality, nutritious, and sustainably raised ingredients to replicate food trends at home is a recipe for success. And with half of Americans saying they have a great idea for the next big food trend, we’re bound to see some delicious new ideas popping up on social media soon.”

TOP TRENDING FOODS 

  • Avocado toast – 24%
  • Plant-based meat / seafood – 21%
  • Fermented foods (sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, etc.) – 21%
  • Restaurant-inspired dishes – 20%
  • Cauliflower as bread replacement – 19%
  • Street food – 19%
  • Cauliflower as protein replacement – 18%
  • Turmeric lattes – 18%
  • Loaded fries – 17%
  • Seeds (hemp, chia, flax, etc.) – 17%
  • Baked feta pasta – 17%
  • Grass-fed proteins – 17%
  • Salmon rice bowl – 17%
  • Pesto eggs – 17%
  • Air-fried pasta – 17%