Five 2020 trends include NOWstalgia, food as medicine, flexitarian foods, global flavors and food for good.
Picking the brains of the chefs, food experts and product developers behind its roster of private brands like Simple Truth, Kroger and Private Selection, Kroger released a list of food trend predictions for the year ahead and debuted a new podcast called “Noshtalgia.”
The company said the food predictions reinforce the grocer's mission to provide fresh foods and innovative store brands for its shoppers and to be “Fresh for Everyone,” as its new tagline proclaims.
Cookbook author and TV personality Danielle Kartes will host the "Noshtalgia" podcast — which is available through Apple and Google podcasts and streaming on Kroger.com — meant to offer a unique way to provide content around Kroger's "Fresh for Everyone" messaging.
In the debut episode, Kartes speaks with a Kroger customer about a comforting dish she had growing up, her grandfather’s Waldorf salad, and speaks with a Kroger chef at the company's culinary center about how to make this version of the Waldorf salad.
The podcast is the embodiment of Kroger’s first food trend of five that the Kroger team curated. The trends are:
Kroger highlighted consumers' interest in foods and flavors that hearken back to childhood memories. A case in point is the Kroger shopper in the podcast reminiscing about her grandfather’s Waldorf salad.
2. Food as medicine
This encompasses products that promote well-being and help customers manage conditions like diabetes, heart disease and cancer. To further support this, Kroger Health is testing a food prescription service that a primary care physician would recommend to a patient to receive customized advice on nutrition and foods healthy for that patient. The “prescription” of recommended foods gets filled out at the Kroger store.
3. Flexitarian foods
This encompasses healthier foods that don’t go all-in on the vegan lifestyle but flex between plant-based, vegan and healthy foods. Kroger’s Simple Truth Plant Based line and Emerge plant-based patties and grind supports this trend.
4. Global flavors
Focusing on foods and flavors that reflect tastes and styles from around the world, this trend is fueled by the millennial generation, which likes to travel. Kroger said millennials expect to take five trips a year, with an emphasis on international travel.
5. Food for good
Similar to the other trends around wellness and healthy eating, these foods support sustainability and a socially conscious consumer.
Cincinnati-based Kroger employs nearly half a million associates who serve 9 million-plus customers daily through a seamless digital shopping experience and 2,769 retail food stores under a variety of banner names. The company is No. 2 on Progressive Grocer’s 2019 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States.