What Do 2018 Food Trends Mean For OCS And Micro Markets?

Nov. 30, 2017

There are a lot of new trends for food in 2018. I've been researching, and wondering how these trends will impact vending, office coffee services (OCS), and micro markets. It turns out, there's a lot of opportunity to sell new types of food, especially in OCS and micro markets, as can be seen from the 2016 NAMA industry census. According to the census, total micro market revenue grew by 154.1 percent from 2014 to 2016. From what I hear, food is a big part of micro market revenue, especially new options. Here are my takeaways from the Packaged Facts and the Specialty Food Association trends for 2018.  

SPA Food Trends definitely has an interesting list, providing items like, my personal favorite, "Goth food." Activated charcoal, created from coconut shells, is used to create black food this next year. It is already extremely popular because of its detoxifying effects. It can be found in everything from pizza crust to lemonade to ice cream. Trends for 2018 will continue in the direction of good-for-you consumables, which creates opportunities for healthy vending, especially in micro markets. Plant-based foods are at the top of the list for 2018 food trends, with alternative-sweet not far behind. This indicates consumer desires for more options in the healthy range and also the bagged and shelved market. This also means that operators should expect to be replenishing salty snacks as well as healthy snacks more frequently than sweet snacks and candy bars.   

Keep an eye out for vegan and non-GMO labels to pop up in packaged foods, as these two positive trends exemplify the focus of having a clean label, according to Packaged Facts. Again, instead of sugar, Packaged Facts discusses the appeal of color as catching to the eye, and antioxidant-rich botanicals winning out with things such as sushi, eggs, beets, and even purple cauliflower. Another new trend is the complement to sea salt: cracked pepper. Whether seen in chips and crackers, even in some daring new desserts, pepper is coming to the forefront because of its artisanal flavor. It plays a big part in cured meats, too.  These new trends in packaged foods really open up a wide array of options for micro markets, OCS and vending alike to delve into.  

Whether non-GMO labels, which both Packaged Facts and the Specialty Food Association cite as being trends for this year, will be something you adapt or introducing more fresh and colorful food options to your micro markets and Office Coffee Service, your consumers will be more satisfied with the options you provide. The research from both of these trend-introducing parties includes innovative ideas that will behoove you to adapt into your micro markets and OCS, as consumer's demands follow the trends.