Veggies are the New Fruits

Cauliflower seems to serve as an alternative ingredient for everything these days, as the vegetable is featured in products ranging from pizza crust to risotto to tortillas. But how about in sweet treats, like strawberry oatmeal?

Yes, as we enter 2020, vegetables are sneaking into breakfasts, desserts, and other sweet foods. It isn’t just the ubiquitous cauliflower, either – earlier this year, Kashi launched a line of waffles made with “superfood ingredients,” including beets, quinoa, and sweet potatoes.

Similarly, you can find chickpea granola from effi foods on grocery shelves, a sweet and savory blend that feels like a natural progression from traditional trail mixes.

If we had to trace where this trend originated, we would point to the juicing phenomenon that became so popular a few years back. Attractive, colorful bottled juices with both fruits and vegetables promise a host of health benefits as a condensed source of vitamins and minerals, which has been perfect for the Instagram era – consumers can flaunt their healthy habits via a sleek product that also happens to look great on camera. We’ve long been drinking our carrots, beets, celery, etc., so why not include them with our pancakes?

Last week, we wrote about how nutrient-rich vegetables have been replacing starches in snack foods. This trend takes it a step even further, pairing vegetables with fruits in sweet products. It will be interesting to watch where this goes – will it mean that manufacturers will find even more places to add vegetables in addition to meat dishes, sides, and sweets? Probably. Will it mean that fruits will be given the same license, finding their way into savory dishes? It’s possible, but with consumers increasingly turning away from sugar (even natural sugars) thanks to other trends like the keto diet, it is currently difficult to imagine that we will see this happening beyond novelty and specialty items.

We have called out these trends on Instagram, where we are running a new series called #TrendTuesday. Follow Works Design Group’s account for weekly insights for a variety of categories from across the grocery store.


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