There's no denying that as a society we are far more aware of our nutritional intake than ever before. An article has been released by Think with Google regarding 2016 food trends, and how Google can figure out just what people are looking for based on what they type into the search bar.
The article states that, "to eat right, people are going online to raise their food IQ and make more informed choices" which is great news for an online-only site like ours.
As I said, we are more aware and with that awareness comes curiosity. What do we do when we need to know something? We Google it. Just try typing in "how to" into the search bar and you'll see what pops up. It's rather bizarre and funny but it's also very real. People out there are actually wanting to KNOW this stuff!
In a world that's ruled arguably by millennials who are "much more interested in staying healthy and eating healthy", the focus has shifted in a big way from eliminating unhealthy food to incorporating more of the food that IS healthy and good for you. Best thing to eat when tired? Google it. Best thing to eat to get glowing skin and shiny hair? Google it. Best food for an itchy skin condition? Google it, Google it, Google it, Google it!
We want to know what to eat to get the results we want. It's all about putting that ingredient to use and making it do its job. Say hello to... functional foods. I think you'll also be interested to know that according to Google Trends, "best foods for" searches have grown 10 times since 2005!
How do we incorporate these wonder foods into our meals? By way of cooking and if we don't know how or what to cook, we search for a recipe! One of the top ingredients listed in the Think with Google article is turmeric (the spice) with a search that's grown 300% in the last 5 years. Why? Its list of benefits is longer than the great wall of China and people want to use it!
Have a look at these turmeric-driven recipes on Food24:
Healing 'golden milk'
Turmeric and tahini salad dressing
Turmeric and poppy seed cookies
Turmeric is just one example. Think of how many people you know that have incorporated coconut oil into their diets! The concept of 'functional food' that serves a specific purpose is no doubt set to grow - which poses an interesting, yet creative challenge for brands who are don't have an already healthy hook.
What do you think? Is functional food here here to stay?
- Tessa Purdon