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KeHE has the most innovative brands that position retailers as the go-to natural, organic, specialty, and fresh destination for healthy living. As part of the commitment to finding goodness and staying ahead of the trends—KeHE’s Product Innovation Gurus has summarised the top five trends to watch in 2019. Cannabidiol and hemp-based products have taken the industry by storm. Shoppers are starting to explore CBD products for their claimed health benefits including relief from pain, anxiety and seizures and to improve sleep. Despite several states legalising recreational cannabis use, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) says CBD is not permitted in food or drink.

Fats were in, then out, and now they are back in and on the minds of consumers in a huge way. Among Google’s top 10 searches in 2018, five of them reference the ketogenic lifestyle. Between the countless weight loss selfies shared on Instagram and word-of-mouth endorsements, Keto—a strict regimen of low-carb, high-fat foods that forces the body into a state of ketosis—was all the rage for 2018 and expect that in 2019 it will reach new heights.
Consumers have spoken—a one size fits all approach won’t always work when it comes to their health. Consumers want functional, great-tasting products to support them in areas of concern like “clean” protein, daily nutrition and healthy aging. And what works for one shopper may not work for another. That’s why brands providing custom solutions are attracting consumers.

Shoppers know what they want; and they want it now more than ever. App developers have had their hands full creating solutions to answer the demand for more convenient ordering and delivery—from food to fashion, everyone has an app for that. The need for instant gratification has allowed grocery stores to become an alternative to traditional take-out. Stores are dedicating a larger footprint to fresh grab-n-go sets including ready-to-drink beverages, prepared take-and-bake meals, and other fresh offerings.

Another concept gaining momentum is upcycling. Forty-percent of the food produced in the U.S. goes uneaten and, on average, a family of four throws away over $1,800 in food every year. This has pushed brands to adopt a process of creative reuse, the process of transforming by-products, waste, and useless or unwanted products into something usable. Think juice from ugly and surplus produce, giving a second life to whey from artisanal dairies and brine from pickle producers, and protein bars from the leftover nutritious grains from brewing beer.