Top 10 Food Trends for 2008

'Locavores,' bold flavors, and healthier choices will be hot, some experts predict.

By Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD/LD
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Feature

Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

What new food trends are in store (the grocery store, that is) for 2008? According to the experts, 2008 might be called the year of ethical eating. Consumers are looking for more locally grown foods that support a healthier environment and a healthier lifestyle.

"Locavore" -- a person who seeks out locally grown and produced foods -- was designated the 2007 word of the year by the New Oxford American Dictionary, and eating locally is also is anticipated to be the biggest food trend of 2008. Experts say we can also expect consumers to think more holistically about their food -- questioning where it came from, its packaging, and its ecological footprint.

Americans are also expected to experiment this year with exotic foods with bold flavors -- like goji berries, yumberries, pomegranates, blood oranges, colored and flavored salts, and grains such as red rice, amaranth, and black quinoa.

And, experts predict we can look forward to more healthy choices on grocery store shelves. People want foods that are convenient, fill them up, taste good, and will help them lose weight, says American Dietetic Association President Connie Diekman, MEd, RD.

Soups, salads, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein are examples of these healthy foods that multitask. Manufacturers are also expected to continue to create more portion-controlled packages of foods (like the popular 100-calorie snack packs).