Tastewise, an AI-powered food trends prediction and intelligence startup, released its 2019 Food for Function report. The company leveraged its proprietary food trend prediction platform, which helps brands anticipate fast-changing culinary trends and preferences.

Using AI, Tastewise goes beyond simply knowing which foods are currently trending, to understanding why they’re trending, giving food brands critical insights and more lead time to prepare for the future market demands. For example, knowing that sauerkraut is currently trending is just step one. Step two is understanding that it is trending because people are turning to fermented, probiotic-rich foods because of their positive effects on gut and brain health. This knowledge helps food brands determine which ingredient will trend next and how they might effectively tap into it.

The report draws attention to some of the biggest opportunities for food brands in today’s era of wellness-obsessed consumers.

Highlights include:
• 37% of consumers are using food as a functional tool to reach their goals; antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, weight loss, energy boost or gut health goals are particularly important for consumers.
• Provolone cheese and maple syrup are this year’s new weight-loss contenders.
• Pea protein is seeing growing popularity in the pursuit of wellness.
• Consumers are using fermented milk drink kefir and powdered Peruvian root maca for their natural antidepressant properties.
• CBD is seeing a significant rise in consumption for improved gut health (+286%), sleep (+201%), energy (+70%), and to improve the immune system(+138%).
• Consumers are drawn towards ingredients that support positive gut health: watermelon, peppermint to soothe digestive discomfort and leafy greens for fiber to support a healthy digestive process

“In order to remain innovative and stay ahead of the curve, it’s imperative that food brands understand why certain ingredients are trending by learning the deep, real motivations and functions consumers are compelled by,” said Tastewise Co-founder Alon Chen. “Our platform
and AI were designed specifically for food and beverage analyses and unveil rising human needs to predict the next big trend ahead of time.”

Download the report.