Frieda's: "Brain foods" and carb substitutes key trends for 2018

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California-based company Frieda’s Specialty Produce has drawn attention to blue-purple produce items like blueberries, purple grapes and Stokes Purple sweet potatoes as products that could benefit from "brain food" trends this year.

In a release, Alex Jackson Berkley said retailers needed to be ready to meet demand by banking on hot healthy eating trends like this and carb alternatives. 

"Shoppers are always trying to make healthier choices at the beginning of the year, which includes seeking out fresh produce they read or hear about in the food trend lists," Berkley said.

Many health publications, including “Today’s Dietitian” magazine, point to brain foods as one of the top trends for 2018. These are foods that help with cognitive function, memory, and alertness.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The National Restaurant Association and Natural Grocers see a trend in vegetables as carb substitutes, from spiralized vegetable “noodles” for pasta to sweet potato slices as “toasts.” Adding vegetables to unexpected dishes like oatmeal, smoothies, and desserts to add nutritional values, colors, and flavors is also a trend to watch.

"The Stokes Purple sweet potato is on those lists as a hip and healthy food to eat in 2018,” said Berkley. 

“In addition to being a source of brain-healthy anthocyanin, Stokes Purple sweet potato fans have been adding them to everything from breakfast burritos to brownies.

“Retailers can tie in the ‘Power of Purple’ with Ultra Violet being 2018’s color of the year for their promotions,” she added.

The company added that in December, Pantone, the global authority on color, announced Ultra Violet as the color of 2018 that will be seen everywhere from fashion to food.

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